There’s One Thing Bugatti Won’t Do So Don’t Hold Your Breath On This One
We didn’t really expect Bugatti to go there so it’s not like we’re shocked that it closed the door on that oneby Kirby, on
Even if some of its peers have done it, Bugatti isn’t as keen on joining the SUV bandwagon. Actually, scratch that. The French luxury supercar brand has no intention of building an SUV, even as CEO Stephan Winkelmann admitted that the “time appears appropriate” for one. You can scratch those dreams of one day seeing a Bugatti SUV because it’s not happening. Bugatti is only the second automaker to completely rule out the possibility of an SUV one day. Instead of taking that route, the company will instead focus its attention on expanding its coachbuilding initiatives. It started with the Divo, but Winkelmann also said that more coach built models are on the way as the automaker celebrates its 110th anniversary. There’s an enormous amount of potential for Bugatti in this segment. Just don’t expect to see a coachbuilt SUV, either. That’s not happening.
Bugatti Simply Won’t Build an SUV, Industry Trends be Damned
It was a longshot anyway, right? A Bugatti SUV sounded good on paper because so many other exotic car brands have rolled our — or are about to — their own super-luxury SUVs in the past few years. Lamborghini already has the Urus. Bentley has the Bentayga, Rolls-Royce has the Cullinan, and Ferrari is developing Purosangue. A lot of these brands initially resisted building an SUV, but the booming popularity of the market forced them to reconsider, and now we live in a world where the Urus, Bentayga, Cullinan, and Purosangue all exist. It would’ve been easy for Bugatti to do the same because the environment around it has changed.
But alas, Bugatti is joining McLaren and Koenigsegg as the only three exotic car makers that will remain on the sidelines as the SUV market passes it by.
Unlike other automakers, it’s hard to blame Bugatti for making this decision. The French marque is a different animal compared to other exotic brands like Ferrari and Lamborghini. It’s a lot like Koenigsegg in the sense that it’s defined largely as the standard-bearer of performance in an industry that has no shortage of competitors in that field. If it developed an SUV, it would, as CEO Stephan Winkelmann noted, be a disservice to its brand and its history. You can’t fault Bugatti for that, just as you can’t fault Koenigsegg for thinking the same thing.
Winkelmann’s comments shut down all the rumors about a possible SUV, which gained steam in 2018 when a report indicated that Bugatti was looking to add a second model to its lineup. At the time, an SUV was considered as a possibility, but now that it’s not in the equation.
Bugatti still has a few options left on the table, not the least of which is the long-overdue sedan that Bugatti previewed with the 16C Galibier Concept all the way back in 2010.
A production version of the Galibier would definitely spice up Bugatti’s lineup. Back then, it was presented as a fastback luxury saloon that featured an 8.0-liter 16-cylinder engine with a two-stage supercharging system. Engine output was pegged at a rather pedestrian 800 horsepower and to show how old this concept is; it came with an ethanol mode. A production version of the Galibier would make sense, in part because Bugatti has tried to push it to production numerous times in the past, only to scrap those plans for a number of reasons.
If an SUV and sedan aren’t in Bugatti’s future, Bugatti could turn its attention towards expanding its coachbuilding portfolio. The introduction of the Divo opened those doors for Bugatti. At the very least, it incubated the idea that a new body could be designed for an existing chassis, which is how the Divo was born. It had a body of its own, but it was also based on the chassis of the Bugatti Chiron. This option is Bugatti’s best bet for expansion, in part because it wouldn’t be as expensive as developing a new car with new bones and mechanical from scratch. More importantly, Bugatti can go to town with all the options it has on the table.
The timing would be perfect, too, for a new coachbuilt Bugatti to arrive this year.
The French automaker is celebrating its 110th anniversary — yep, it’s been around that long — and there’s no better way to commemorate that milestone than by rolling out a new coachbuilt creation as part of its celebrations.
Winkelmann already hinted that Bugatti’s got a few surprises up its sleeve for its anniversary. Wouldn’t it be something if at least one of those surprises is a new hypercar?
We can be certain, though, that it won’t be an SUV. Bugatti thought about it, and for a fleeting second, may have even considered it. But in the end, it smartly shut those plans down. Truth be told, a Bugatti SUV wouldn’t work. The marquee is so clearly defined by its place in the industry that an SUV would feel like a money grab. Sure, people will buy it because it’s a Bugatti, but it’s not the type of model that embraces the automaker’s history and identity in this business. Just because there’s a door in front of you, sometimes you don’t have to open it if you know what’s on the other side.
Read our full speculative review on the 2022 Bugatti SUV.
Source: Motor Authority