GENEVA, Switzerland – The car that took Automobiles Ettore Bugatti to fame in the 1920s, the Bugatti Type 35, is seen by many as the most successful racing car of all time with about 2000 professional and amateur races – sometimes 14 in one week.
In 1926 Ettore and his son Jean decided to build a half-scale Type 35 for Ettore’s youngest son Roland’s fourth birthday. The Bugatti brand is 110 years old this year (2019) and so came the decision to revive the Bugatti ‘Baby’ using 3D printing.
Two of the cars were on the Bugatti stand at the 2019 Geneva auto show.
What Ettore and Jean had intended as a one-off became an official Bugatti vehicle. The feedback from customers visiting the Molsheim factory had been so positive that it went into production and was sold from 1927 until 1936.
BIGGER, PERHAPS BETTER…
They were, the company said, ”cherished by Bugatti enthusiasts worldwide, no modern collection is complete without a Baby”.
About 500 were made – but now they are back in the form of Baby II, again as 500 units limited edition but this time in three-quarter scale so children and growed-ups can play with them. Though hand-assembled, the car was designed with the aid of a precise digital scan of an original Type 35 built for the 1924 French Grand Prix in Lyon.
As was the original Baby, the Baby II unis will have rear-wheel drive battery power; unlike it, though, will be a removable lithium-ion battery pack, a limited-slip differential, regenerative braking and two power modes for drivers of differing statures: a 1kW ‘child mode’ with the top speed to 20km/h and a 4kW ‘adult mode’ limited to 45km/h.
However an optional Speed Key upgrade (same as the Speed Key for its big brother (the Chiron) which allows 10kW and disengages the speed-limiter.
Detail has been important: the cockpit has Bugatti’s signature turned-aluminium facia, a leather-upholstered seat, a scale recreation of the Type 35’s distinctive four-spoked steering-wheel and custom Bugatti instruments.
The standard exterior will be traditional French Racing Blue, although buyers will be able to order in afrom a range of colours.
HEADLIGHTS FOR NIGHT RACING
The signature eight-spoked aluminium alloy wheels are scale replicas of Ettore Bugatti’s ground-breaking 1924 design and house modern brakes on each wheel. Powerful headlights (not shown on Geneva show images) will light the way for drivers young and old while exploring new landscapes or lapping a kart track.
Despite being the smallest member of the Bugatti family, the Baby II will, we’re told, have a lot in common with its bigger brothers. Proudly displayed on the nose will be Bugatti’s famous Macaron badge made of 50g of solid silver, just like the Chiron.
Each car will have a numbered plaque and cars ordered in 2019 will also incorporate a badge to commemorate Bugatti’s 110th anniversary.
…AND SO TO THE PRICE!
Prices start at 30 000 euros (about R486 000, March 2019) plus taxes and delivery and production will start before the end of 2019. Reservations for build slots opened on March 11 2019 – email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Final specifications to be confirmed before production starts.