Bugatti's Next Car Could Reportedly Be a Four-Seat EV Under $1 Million

By Chris Perkins, Road & Track

Bugatti CEO Stefan Winkelmann thinks the automaker he runs can't only build ultra-exclusive hypercars forever. In an interview with Bloomberg, Winkelmann said he's pushing for Bugatti's next car to be an electric four-seater of some sort with a much lower price tag. 

"The industry is changing fundamentally, and we have to address what opportunities there are to develop Bugatti as a brand going forward," Winkelmann said. Discussions between Bugatti and parent company Volkswagen over the project are ongoing, with Winkelmann conceding it's a "hard fight" to get approval to develop such a car.

Bloomberg reports that the Bugatti EV would be either a grand tourer or a crossover, though Winkelmann said earlier this year that the brand wouldn't make an SUV. Currently Bugatti builds around 70 examples of the Chiron per year; Winkelmann said the aim for this new car—if it's approved—would be 600 a year. That's a huge expansion for a company that currently employs around two dozen to produce all its cars.

With higher volume comes a lower price—500,000 to 1 million Euros (about $550,000 to $1.1 million). That sounds like a lot, but a basic Chiron costs $3 million and Bugatti's latest special edition, the Centodieci, carries a base price of about $9 million. This EV would be a very different sort of Bugatti.

Bloomberg notes that Bugatti has been in a precarious spot ever since Volkswagen's diesel-emissions cheating became public knowledge in 2015. With the German giant forced to pay huge penalties and make a major investment into EVs, ultra-high-end brands like Bugatti suddenly seem like huge excesses.

Bugatti is a holdover of a very different Volkswagen Group. The automaker's 1998 purchase by VW was masterminded by the late Ferdinand Piëch, who famously chased engineering excellence in cars with very little regard to cost. Piëch helped usher the remarkable Veyron into production, a car that redefined what people thought was possible. VW reportedly lost around $6 million per car. 

Winkelmann told Bloomberg that Bugatti is "earning decent money" now, but it needs to present a business case for continued success, regardless of whether VW decides to spin off the brand. If Bugatti were to build an EV based on a Volkswagen Group platform, it could likely do so profitably. Even if the Chiron and its special-edition derivatives are profitable, it was still a very expensive car to develop, with not much hardware shared with any other car.

We've reached out to Bugatti for more info on Winkelmann's comments, and we'll update if we hear back.



item Autos: Bugatti's Next Car Could Reportedly Be a Four-Seat EV Under $1 Million
Bugatti's Next Car Could Reportedly Be a Four-Seat EV Under $1 Million Autos
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