Motoring News

Hot babe! – Bugatti slots open for ultimate mini-race car

MOLSHEIM, Germany – Bugatti, at the 2019 Geneva auto show, announced a 110th birthday present to itself… the re-imagining of the original Bugatti Baby. The design and testing phase is over and the 2020 Baby is now in series production.

Want one? Read on…

The Baby II, described by those who have driven one as ”more of an unruly teenager than a baby”, has been developed in partnership with The Little Car Company

Image: Bugatti

All 500 cars were booked only three weeks after the 2019 Geneva show but some folk have since had a change in circumstances due to recent global events so a few build slots have become available on a first come, first served, basis.

‘STILL CHERISHED’

The original Bugatti Baby was born in 1926 when Ettore Bugatti and his son Jean decided to build a scaled-down Type 35 for Ettore’s youngest son Roland’s fourth birthday. Ettore and Jean had intended the present as a one-off but feedback from customers visiting Molsheim was so positive that the Baby went into production and was sold from 1927-36.

Today (2020) they are still cherished by Bugatti enthusiasts worldwide. However, with only around 500 assembled, they are now owned by a lucky few.

Image: Bugatti

The original Baby was a half-scale version that brought Automobiles Ettore Bugatti to fame in the 1920’s. The Bugatti Baby II ia bigger and considerably leaning to performance. An eight-year old would have found the original a squeeze but, at 75% scale and designed for ages 14 and older, the Baby II is more for a young adult.

WATCH the Baby Bugatti in action

Stephan Winkelmann, president of Bugatti, told The Corner in a media release: “Ettore Bugatti himself was already interested in catering to the children of Bugatti enthusiasts and designed the Type 52 miniature car as a genuine Bugatti.

”It was a sensation at the time.

”We’re continuing the tradition with the Baby II and I’m delighted that The Little Car Company shares our values. We want a young generation of enthusiasts to fall in love with the wonderful world of Bugatti.”

The Bugatti Baby II is available in three versions:

Base model with a composite body and a 1.4kWh battery pack”:

Vitesse, with a carbon-fibre body, 2.8kWh battery pack, and an ungraded power train with a Speed Key like its big brother, the Chiron.

Image: Bugatti

Pur Sang model, intended for collectors with the same powertrain as the Vitesse but a hand-formed aluminium body created with the same traditional coachbuilding techniques as the original Bugatti Type 35. Each shell takes more than 200 hours to create.

TWO POWER MODES

The Baby II’s performance has also developed. Though still rear-wheel drive, each Baby will have a limited-slip differential, high-performance hydraulic brakes, and selectable driving modes.

The Base model will have two modes; Novice, which is limited to 20km/h and 1kW of power, and Expert, limited to 45km/h and 4kW.

The Vitesse and Pur Sang versions will include the Novice and Expert driving modes but extra performance unlocked by the Speed Key to deploy up to 10kW to shift its 230kg.

Vitesse and Pur Sang units will try to spin their rear Michelin tyres from standstill on the way to a 70km/h top speed. Depending on the weight of the driver, 0-60km/h will take six seconds.

SWOP BATTERIES, KEEP GOING

When it comes to range, the lithium ion battery packs combined with regenerative braking will also surprise clients used to the original Baby. Driven modestly, the Base model can reach 25km on a single charge. The larger battery pack in Vitesse and Pur Sang units can do double that – unless, of course they put foot

The battery packs can be swopped out in a matter of seconds to keep the fun on the boil.

Bugatti test driver Andy Wallace was involved in final tuning, set-up, and key elements of chassis refinement at the Prescott Speed Hill Climb, home of the Bugatti Owners’ Club.

QUICK STEERING RELEASE

Other features include working replicas of the original Type 35’s instruments, with some adaption for modernity. For example, the fuel-pressure gauge has now become the battery gauge and (in a nod to the Bugatti Veyron), the oil-pressure gauge has become a power gauge.

The scale replica of the famous four-spoked steering-wheel now has a quick release to make access to the cockpit easier and the adjustable pedals are machined from aluminium billet and proudly display Bugatti’s famous “EB” logo.

Image: Bugatti

The fuel pump handle has also been reproduced but to select forward, neutral, or reverse.

The turned-aluminium dashboard is faithful to the original Type 35 and custom ‘EB’ switches operate the diode head- and sidelights. Finally, proudly displayed on the nose of each car, will be Bugatti’s famous Macaron badge, made of 50g of solid silver, an exact 75% replica of the badge on the Chiron.

The car can even be customised in chosen colours for exterior and interior, including the solid shades available on the Bugatti Chiron. An online configurator is available to play with on the BugattiBaby.com website.

Image: Bugatti

Each owner of a Baby II will receive membership of The Little Car Club and the Bugatti Owners’ Club and be able to attend events where they, their children, and their grandchildren will be allowed to drive their cars on famous race circuits.

First impressions from enthusiasts old and new…

Andy Wallace, Bugatti test driver and Le Mans winner: “When you first sit in the car and look at each tiny detail it reminds of the first few months with the Chiron.

”You get the same feeling walking around the car: everywhere you look there are beautifully engineered solutions and design details that really are quite amazing.

”It would be easy to create something like this with a quarter of the quality but that’s what’s so brilliant about this car: it’s absolutely top-of-the-line, a work of art on wheels.

“In its most powerful mode, Speed Key inserted, the Baby II is a very fast car. It’s quite impressive and brilliantly fun. You get a lovely feel of balance, it handles just like the original Type 35, and the regenerative braking is a very cool touch.

”It’s an authentic Bugatti – no question!”

Little Car Company CEO Ben Hedley:: “To develop the Baby II we had to walk a fine line. We wanted to pay tribute to the original Bugatti Baby and Type 35 but also to integrate modern technology and make it fun to drive.

”We’re delighted to deliver the hand-built Baby II to customers so multiple generations can share the joy of driving. We believe the vehicle is something really special, delighting collectors and car enthusiasts around the world.

”As a counterpoint to Bugatti’s production-car world speed record in 2019 we’ve developed a vehicle to be enjoyed at much lower speeds with your children and grandchildren”.

…AND SO TO THE PRICES

The Base model starts at €30 000, the Vitesse at €43 500, the Pur Sang at €58 500 (R1=€0,052).

  • For more information on the strictly limited edition Baby II, or to apply for an empty build slot, also visit www.bugattibaby.com.

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