The Bugatti Type 35 is generally acknowledged as one of the most successful racing cars of all time. During its career in the 1920s and 1930s, the Type 35 won literally thousands of professional and amateur races. To commemorate the success of the Type 35, Ettore Bugatti, along with his older son Jean, built a half-scale replica for Ettore’s youngest son, Roland as a gift for his fourth birthday. It was dubbed the Bugatti Baby.
It was intended to be a one-off, however demand was so great that the Bugatti Baby was put into production from 1927 until 1936. With only around 500 ever made, and a limited number having survived both that hard use of children as well as the Second World War. Today, the remaining original Baby models are highly valued by collectors. In 2017, one sold for $96,000 at Retromobile Paris.
The All-new Bugatti Baby II
To celebrate the 110th anniversary of the founding of Bugatti, the company is launching the Baby II. And 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. Hand-built, the car was designed with the aid of a precise digital scan of an original Type 35, built for the 1924 French Grand Prix in Lyon.
Powerful Electric Drivetrain
Just like the original, the Baby II has a battery-powered electric motor driving the rear wheels. Unlike its predecessor, the Baby II features removable lithium-ion battery packs, a limited slip differential and even regenerative braking. The junior car will come with two selectable power modes: a 1kW ‘child mode’ with the top speed limited to 12 mph, and a 4kW ‘adult mode’ with the top speed limited to almost 30 mph. In addition, for those enthusiasts who crave even more pace, an optional ‘Speed Key’ upgrade is available which allows power of up to 10kW and disengages the speed limiter. No top speed has been listed for the 10kW setting, however it would appear to be enough to have a power to provide for a challenging drive on a kart track.
The cockpit of the Baby II features Bugatti’s signature turned aluminium dashboard, a leather seat, a scale recreation of the Type 35’s distinctive four-spoke steering wheel and custom Bugatti instruments. The exterior of the car is painted in traditional French Racing Blue, although buyers will be able to order in a range of alternative colors. The signature eight-spoke aluminium alloy wheels are scale replicas of Ettore Bugatti’s ground-breaking 1924 design, with modern brakes fitted at each wheel.
Displayed on the nose of the car is Bugatti’s famous ‘Macaron’ badge, made of 50 grams of solid silver, just like the Bugatti Chiron. Each Baby II comes with a limited-edition numbered plaque and cars ordered in 2019 will also incorporate a badge to commemorate Bugatti’s 110th anniversary.
Prices start at around $35,000 at current exchange rates (plus taxes and delivery) and production starts in the fall of 2019. If you’d like to join the queue, reservations for build slots open at 9 am GMT, 11th March 2019. For more information, send an email to [email protected]