Bugatti CEO Stephan Winkelmann hinted at the possibility of an electric car when we interviewed him last year. In a new report, Bugatti CEO Stephan Winkelmann says the automaker is considering a more affordable second model, and it could be electric.
“I would see us doing a battery electric vehicle,” he told Bloomberg of the potential new car. “There, the balance between performance and comfort is much more important, and it’s about daily usability. This is what I see.”
Winkelmann said speed would be “far less important” with the new model. Although the second vehicle would be cheaper than the Chiron, we can still expect sky-high prices. The report speculates any new Bugatti could cost a half-million dollars and deliver 800 hp. But specific details remain fuzzy at the moment, as Bugatti is still studying the project.
Winkelmann sees electric power coming to a new car rather than the existing Chiron “because I don’t need a top speed, which is over 250 mph.” The Bugatti Chiron has a price tag of around $3 million and packs 1,479 hp from an 8.0-liter quad-turbo W-16.
In an interview with our colleagues at MotorTrend back in December, Winkelmann gave us additional clues at a possible second model: “We cannot do a copy of what we do today. So a second car has to enable us to sell more than we sell today,” he said. “It would be a different segment with a different price tag, but above all the other competition. The price is not about positioning Bugatti out of this world. It’s about innovation, about materials, craftsmanship, all the things that are important to create a car which survives longer than the others and becomes a collectors’ item.” Past rumors have hinted at a Bugatti SUV, but Winkelmann hasn’t given us any indication this is happening.
A second model isn’t a sure thing. Volkswagen Group is spending big on electrification and autonomous technology, which could potentially thwart the effort. Lamborghini and Bentley spent years lobbying to add SUVs to their lineups. Even if granted approval, Bugatti would have to spend an additional four years developing the car before bringing it to the public.