Crossover Bugatti may be on the way
Bugatti boss Stephan Winkelmann, who was at the helm of Lamborghini as it developed the Urus SUV, has publicly stated that Volkswagen’s über performance and luxury brand will never make an SUV under his watch. That doesn’t mean, however, that he’s writing off the notion of a more practical Bugatti at a (relatively speaking) more accessible price point than previous multi-million-dollar offerings.
Currently, the Bugatti lineup is a one-car affair with the Chiron and its derivations. Bugatti is already reported to be developing an electric limousine named after Ettore Bugatti’s Royale and based on the platform for the Porsche Taycan. Speaking to CAR magazine, Winkelmann said there still is a market for expensive sedans but he also teased a high-riding Bugatti, saying that most customers of expensive sedans and limos, “especially women, want to sit high so they can see out.” In interviews at the recent Frankfurt Motor Show, Winkelmann indicated that the new model would likely be a four-seater with at least some off-road capabilities.
Apparently, it may be closer than we thought. Winkelmann earlier told Automobile, “The design is done. Some potential customers have seen it, and they liked it.”
Winkelmann indicated to CAR that he’d consider some kind of hybrid drivetrain for the crossover, which at a predicted price of about $1 million, would make it the least expensive Bugatti yet offered by the brand since it was revived by VW Group.
“The new car will be the greatest, most expensive car in its sector,” said Winkelmann. “But it won’t be the most expensive or extreme Bugatti. The Chiron will always be on top.”
Although a new Bugatti crossover might have some electrification, don’t expect the marque’s Chiron flagship to run on anything but hydrocarbons. There is “still a lot of time for internal-combustion engines,” Winkelmann said.
CAR expects the Bugatti crossover to be smaller and lighter than the Urus, likely a two-door, with power provided by a version of Lamborghini’s 641-horsepower V-8, augmented with enough electric power to be close to 1000 hp. Based on the Urus’ performance, expect a 0–60 time close to three seconds and a top speed around 200 mph.
Though it won’t be nearly as expensive as the $3 million Chiron, the Bugatti crossover will still be reasonably exclusive, with a planned production run of about 800 units. We can’t imagine Bugatti will have a hard time selling them.