In 2916, Ettore Bugatti and his son, Jean, built a child-size, half-scale Bugatti Type 35 for Jean’s son, Roland, as a present for Roland’s fourth birthday.
That car was intended to be a one-off, but customers visiting the Bugatti plant in Molsheim saw the child’s version and asked to buy them for their own families. Thus was born the Bugatti “Baby,” which was produced from 1927 into 1936.
Around 500 such Bugatti Juniors were produced, and they have become collector’s items, occasionally available on the docket at major collector car auctions.
But as part of its 110th anniversary celebration this year, Bugatti has announced that it will produce a limited run of 500 junior-size cars. It is showcasing the design prototype, produced through 3D-printing, on its stand this week at the Geneva Motor Show.
“We are introducing the smallest member of the Bugatti family: the Baby II,” the company said in its announcement.
“A contemporary tribute to Ettore’s masterpiece, the Baby II will be a strictly limited run, just like the original: only 500 cars will be built.
“Unlike the original, which was only suitable for the youngest drivers, the Baby II is a three-quarters-size replica of the Bugatti Type 35 so it can be driven by both adults and children. The Baby II will allow automobile enthusiasts from across generations to share the love of driving and of the classic marque of Bugatti.”
To create the Baby II, a digital scan of an original Type 35 built for the 1924 French Grand Prix in Lyon was done. But unlike the Type 35 or the original Baby, the new version will be electric powered, with a removable lithium-ion battery pack and will feature regenerative braking to help extend vehicle range.
The car will offer two power modes — 1kW in “child” mode, which will have a top speed of 20 km/h (12.4 mph), and 4kW in “adult” mode, with a top speed of 45 km/h (nearly 30 mph).
An optional “Speed Key” upgrade will allow a 10kW mode that disengages the speed limiter.
The cars will have turned-aluminum dashboards, leather seat, a scale re-creation of the Type 35’s distinctive four-spoke steering wheel, custom instruments, 8-spoke aluminum wheels, four-wheel brakes and limited-slip differentials. They will be painted in traditional French Racing Blue, though other colors will be available on order.
Although not shown on the Geneva display, the cars also will have headlamps.
Each car also will have Bugatti’s famed “Macaron” badge, made of 50 grams of solid silver, just as on the Chiron.
Prices start at €30,000 ($33,735). Production begins in the fall of 2019. Reservations are being taken at firstname.lastname@example.org.