Bugatti Has Designed an SUV - Will the Bean Counters Allow it to Happen and How Much Will it Cost?
It could be the most expensive SUV ever built!by Ciprian Florea, on LISTEN 06:56
Rumors that Bugatti may expand its lineup beyond the just one model have been flying around since the early days of the Veyron. The Galibier concept sparked rumors that Bugatti may add a luxury sedan, but reports claimed that an SUV might also be underway. Come 2019, and it turns out that Bugatti actually designed an SUV, but we can’t see it because it hasn’t been approved yet.
A Bugatti SUV makes more sense than a sedan
Winkelmann said that the rumored SUV's "design is done" and that "some potential customers have seen it, and they liked it"
The 16C Galibier concept hinted that Bugatti might revive the iconic Royale with an ultra-luxury sedan that would compete with Rolls-Royce. But the French firm abandoned the idea some years ago, stating that a sedan wouldn’t make sense financially. An SUV would be a better choice from this perspective, Bugatti CEO Stephan Winkelmann said in 2018. One year later and Bugatti designed it and presented it to potential customers.
Speaking to Automobile Mag, Winkelmann said that the rumored SUV’s "design is done" and that "some potential customers have seen it, and they liked it." The CEO also noted that "one or two influential people" from the Volkswagen Group "were complimentary about it." However, a decision about putting it into production has yet to be made and "at this point, there is no budget" for such a model.
Bugatti doesn't have the necessary battery technology for an all-electric hypercar
Asked why Bugatti would build an SUV rather than an electric hypercar or a sedan, Winkelmann said, yet again, that SUVs make more sense financially nowadays and that demand is higher. He also pointed out that Bugatti doesn’t have the necessary battery technology for an all-electric hypercar. On the other hand, a potential Bugatti SUV would be powered by batteries and electric motors.
"Because crossovers are in strong demand. So far, nobody is doing a high-performance, high-end luxury CUV. Because of the battery situation, it’s too early for an electric hypercar. Having said that, the more generously packaged CUV would almost certainly be battery-powered. With the Galibier concept, Bugatti has in 2011 demonstrated that a superluxury sedan is compatible with our portfolio. But time has moved on, and I’m skeptical that a sedan can generate enough volume in today’s commercial environment. After all, we’re not talking 100 cars a year here, but 600 to 800," Winkelmann told Automobile.
Will Bugatti Put it into Production?
An SUV would cost less as the Volkswagen Group already has a few high-performance and hybrid crossovers in the lineup
It might not happen right away, but I’m pretty sure that Bugatti will eventually launch an SUV. The French brand isn’t very profitable right now, and the bean counters at the Volkswagen Group aren’t very happy about that. We already know that Bugatti lost money on every Veyron built and the situation is likely the same with the Chiron. The hole is covered by profits from other vehicles from the Volkswagen Group, but the German giant is surely looking to change that. And an SUV might be the perfect choice here, especially when compared to another hypercar or a sedan.
For starters, the SUV market is still booming. Haulers are doing better and better, and many automakers are axing their large sedans as a result. SUVs also return bigger profits, something that would help Bugatti at this point. Third, it would be much easier for Bugatti to build an electric or hybrid SUV. An all-electric hypercar would require plenty of research and development and maybe even a new platform. Both would need massive budgets. An SUV would cost less as the Volkswagen Group already has a few high-performance nd hybrid crossovers in the lineup, like the Bentley Bentayga and the Porsche Cayenne. It might sound like Bugatti’s SUV would hurt sales of the Bentayga and Cayenne, but the French hauler would actually compete in a niche of its own with a much higher price tag.
The Bugatti SUV will be the most expensive in the world
The SUV could cost in excess of $500,000
One of the reasons why Bugatti’s SUV won’t interfere with sales of other haulers from the Volkswagen Group is its price tag. While the range-topping versions of the Cayenne come in at under $200,000, the Bentley Bentayga fetches more than that and even move close to the $250,000 mark in the right trim and the right options. Bugatti will aim even higher. Whether it will share underpinnings with the W-12-powered Bentley Bentayga or the wild Porsche Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid, the Bugatti SUV will slot above them through finer materials, exclusive features, infinite customization options, and a unique exterior design.
Not only it would cost more than the Bentley Bentayga, but it will set a new record for the most expensive production SUV. That title goes to the Rolls-Royce Cullinan as of 2019, as the British hauler comes in at $325,000 before options. And Bugatti could beat that by a significant margin. I’m not thinking $400,000, but $500,000 or even more. Bugatti is the only automaker that can get away with such an expensive SUV. With several components borrowed from the Volkswagen Group, the SUV would be cheaper to make, which will result in higher profits, even if it will be significantly more affordable than the Chiron.
The Bugatti SUV could look a lot like the Chiron
The Chiron is Bugatti’s main imagine right now, so this SUV could get a similar front end. Granted, it won’t be as aggressive, but it could feature the same grille and similar headlamps. Bugatti could even make the Chiron’s C-shaped trim that surrounds the side window and door work on a four-door SUV. We actually made a rendering of Bugatti’s SUV, along with a detailed review of what it may bring to the table.
Bugatti is also considering a 310-mph Chiron
In the same interview, Winkelmann said that Bugatti is considering a more powerful Chiron capable of going past the 300-mph mark. However, he stresses that Bugatti must solve some issues here, including if it can find suitable tires or if it can make a profit from such a car. Bugatti is also considering a hybrid drivetrain for a 300-mph car, but it won’t happen anytime soon.
"It is still a possibility. But there are quite a few ifs involved, like if someone is willing to supply suitable tires, or if the return on the investment meets the target," he said.
The Chiron’s current top speed is limited to 261 mph.
|Output||1,500 HP @ 6,700 RPM|
|Torque||1,180 LB-FT @ 2,000-6,700 RPM|
|Tranmission||7-speed DSG dual-clutch|
|0 to 100 km/h||2.4 seconds|
|0 to 200 km/h||6.1 seconds|
|0 to 300 km/h||13.1 seconds|
|0 to 400 km/h||32.6 seconds|
|0 - 100 - 0 km/h||4.93 seconds|
|0 - 200 - 0 km/h||10.78 seconds|
|0 - 300 - 0 km/h||19.77 seconds|
|0 - 400 - 0 km/h||41.96 seconds|
|Top Speed||420 km/h (261 mph)|
Read our full speculative review on the 2022 Bugatti SUV.
Read our full review on the 2018 Bugatti Chiron.
Read our full review on the 2018 Bugatti Chiron Sport.
Source: Automobile Mag