The Bugatti SUV Will Be Dumb

Bugatti Galibier Concept from 2009

The latest rumors indicate Bugatti may be developing an SUV as a second production model alongside the Chiron. As someone who normally doesn’t give a shit about companies wanting to make money with SUVs, this one makes me feel a little sick.

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According to rumors reported by Automobile Magazine, Bugatti may be working on an electric SUV, maybe with hardware from Rimac, to join the Chiron hypercar in Bugatti’s lineup. Here’s more from the magazine:

The all-electric crossover could be developed with the help of Edag (a well-known R&D company) and built by Magna, though Bugatti may consider reviving its defunct Campogalliano factory (which we visited in its decrepit state a few years ago) near Modena for the job. Via its Porsche connection, the French boutique brand also got in touch with Rimac with regard to developing a suitable EV drivetrain. We’ve been told that the Croatian entrepreneur may be willing to sell Bugatti its 1,850-hp C002 rolling chassis, complete with batteries and control electronics. Regardless of how and where it’s built, the plan would be to sell around 600 of the emphatically dynamic three-door crossovers per year, priced anywhere from $850,000 to more than $1 million depending on specification.

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What kind of business does Bugatti have building an electric SUV? Bugatti was revived as a pet project of former Volkswagen chairman Ferdinand Piëch to pursue the ultimate performance car in the Veyron, and they more or less succeeded. Then they turned around and made the Chiron to more or less cash in on the clout earned by the Veyron, but it’s still a significant model of performance.

Bugatti has already proven that they can set out to do what nobody else is willing to try, with a budget nobody else has, and build a car only a few people in the world can ever afford to own. So explain to me the appeal of an electric SUV from the people who should be working on a turbine-powered car, or a six-wheeled sedan with a W16, or something.

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Bugatti can do anything. People will spend millions of dollars on whatever Bugatti builds. They may have the only true blank canvas in the entire automotive industry now. The last thing they need to worry about is emissions, practicality, and affordability—so who in their right mind would decide to pursue an SUV.

If they were working on an electric car to beat everything else on the planet, including the Chiron, I would be down for that. The technology of the future in an impossible car sounds like a great recipe. But instead Bugatti is playing down to the level of Ferrari, Porsche, Lamborghini, and Bentley with an SUV that only exists to build up sales volume.

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You’re a company that can sell a car with a production volume of one (1) and charge $12.5 million for it. You don’t need volume. You don’t need a family model. Your customers, on average, already own 42 cars, one of which is surely some boring SUV. You can do literally anything you want. I can’t stop thinking that! It’s like being able to download any sort of knowledge and be set on a career of your dreams and choosing to be an accountant.

The odds of this thing looking good are slim. The odds of it being more than a blip on anyone’s radar before its quickly shrugged aside as hollow bottom-line padding are slim. We will all look back on this in shame. You don’t have to do this, Bugatti. You’re supposed to be better than this. And now you will be just like everyone else.

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