A $30,000 Bugatti?
To celebrate the 110th anniversary of the founding of the original Bugatti company, with the help of Junior Classics, Bugatti is bringing back one of the most beloved vehicles the company has ever built.
The Bugatti Type 35 was not just one of the most successful racing cars ever, with about 2000 professional and amateur victories, it was also one of the most beautiful machines ever built. Its lines are instantly recognizable. At the height of the Type 35’s success, Ettore Bugatti and his eldest son Jean, who held an increasingly important role in the family firm, had the Bugatti works fabricate a fully operational, electrically powered, half-scale Type 35 as a birthday present for four-year-old Roland Bugatti, Jean’s youngest son.
The Bugatti factory in Molsheim was a bit like a fashion atelier, with customers visiting the works when ordering and planning their Bugattis. When customers saw the pint-sized Type 35, they insisted on having them for their own children, so the company put the Bugatti Baby into production from 1927–36. About 500 were made, and today they are a must-have for Bugatti collectors.
Now Bugatti is putting the Baby back into production, revealing a 3D printed design model at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show. Unlike other “continuation” series in the automotive world, the Baby II is not an exact replica, it’s in 3/4-scale to the actual Type 35, not half-sized like the original Baby, so adults can drive it too. It also has a much more sophisticated powertrain than the original.
The Baby II is powered by a removable lithium-ion battery pack, it has regenerative braking, and there’s even a limited-slip rear end. Modern hydraulic brakes are fitted at each corner. The standard Baby II has two power modes, 1kW child mode with a top speed of 12 mph, and a 4kW adult mode with a 27 mph limit. Similar to the full size Bugatti uber cars, the Baby II has a Speed Key (an optional upgrade) which unlocks a full 10kW of electrons and disables the speed limiter.
The Baby II is based on a precise 3D scan of a full-size Type 35 that competed in the 1924 French Grand Prix.
Bugatti’s signature machine-turned aluminum dashboard, leather seats, and a scaled-down version of the Type 35’s well-known four-spoke steering highlight the Baby II’s interior. Ettore Bugatti’s revolutionary eight spoke aluminum wheels, a signature element of the original Type 35, are also recreated in 3/4 scale. The model shown at Geneva was painted in Bugatti’s traditional French Racing Blue, though customers will be able to select from a choice of colors. While the design model did not have headlights, Bugatti says the production Baby II will be able to be driven at night.
Considered a real Bugatti by the factory, the Baby II’s nose will be graced by the same solid silver “Macaron” badge displayed on it’s big brother, the Chiron. The miniature Bugattis will come with numbered plaque, a commemorative 100th anniversary badge, and presumably some kind of warranty.
Bugatti will only build 500 examples of the Baby II (which will make it the highest production model in the revived Bugatti company’s history, as only 450 Veyrons were made), starting in the third quarter of 2019. Pricing starts at $33,739, plus taxes and delivery charges.