Bugatti President Stephan Winkelmann announced in November 2019 that the next vehicle it builds would be available between $550,000 and $1.1 million. That is not exactly inexpensive. But, for Bugatti, it is a far cry for their $18 million for La Voiture Noire. Today, however, the news is coming out that the anticipated entry-level Bugatti is delayed.
The original affordable Bugatti announcement
According to the Robb Report, in November, the French manufacturer announced the intent to appeal to a broader audience by providing a less expensive, new model. It would be a four-seater propelled by electric power. Mr. Winkelmann told the Robb Report, “The industry is changing fundamentally, and we have to address what opportunities there are to develop Bugatti as a brand going forward.”
According to Petrolicious,
“The average Bugatti customer already owns 42 cars, so it is probable that the new model would be added on to existing Chiron and Divo purchases as a sort of automotive tender, a plaything to keep at one of the beach house perhaps. Mere millionaires may consider it as a stepping stone to fully-fledged Bugatti ownership, while Bugatti themselves could use it as a development tool to transition the 1500hp Chiron to electric power when the time is right.”
The delay of the entry-level Bugatti
This morning, Automotive News Europe reported that the plans for the entry-level Bugatti are being delayed. The decision to approve the project has been postponed, “because even very wealthy customers may not be prepared to spend exorbitantly on a hypercar during the global recession brought on by the COVID-19 lockdowns.”
The pandemic economy alone is cause for many to be more careful with their wallets. But, Bugatti is owned by Volkswagen, which was already tightening its belt prior to the pandemic due to the fallout of the diesel emissions cheating scandal. This is further complicating Bugatti’s efforts to make a business case for the additional model. Rumors have suggested that this delay may be as long as two years, depending on the financial bounceback of Volkswagen as a whole.
Bugatti’s current lineup
The current lineup within Bugatti has several versions of the Chiron mid-engine hypercar and a few one-offs. Each one is hand made and takes two months. All are two-seaters.
- Chiron Sport
- Chiron Pur Sport
- Chiron Sport 110 Ans
- Chiron Super Sport 300+
- La Voiture Noire
Outlook for the new model
Bugatti currently makes approximately 100 vehicles per year. The addition of the entry-level model was suggested to boost production to approximately 900 per year. So, the new model would definitely go a long way to improving the bottom line of the manufacturer’s house within the Volkswagen umbrella. But, in order to make it happen, Volkswagen would first have to come up with the development money for the electric car. It is a catch 22.
Catch-22s are not new for Mr. Winkelmann. He was previously significantly involved with the development of the Lamborghini Urus SUV program. So, his experience to bring a new model to fruition may likely come in handy. But, as of this morning’s news, everybody will have to wait to find out what the house of Bugatti will build.