Santa Baby! A drivable 75% scale replica of the Bugatti Type 35 goes on sale for a fraction of the real thing’s price, making it the best Christmas present ever for some lucky owners.
If you think Bugatti ownership is out of your reach, you could be in luck. This year marks the brand’s 110th anniversary. The number 110 is special to Bugatti – one of its best-known models, for example, is the EB 110. To commemorate this momentous occasion, the supercar maker celebrates with an homage to the original Bugatti Baby that was first made in 1926.
The company’s founder, Ettore Bugatti, along with his eldest son Jean, created the half-scale replica of the immensely successful Type 35 as a plaything for Roland, the baby of the family.
The first Bugatti EV
Soon, customers found out about the Baby and wanted one of their own. As a result, Bugatti produced a limited run of 500 cars. In doing so, Ettore unwittingly created the first Bugatti production electric vehicle (EV). It was powered by batteries connected to an electric motor that drove the rear wheels.
These ‘toy cars’ became instant collector’s items and are still highly sought after as they are genuine Bugattis, after all. For instance, one car was auctioned for as much as US$99,000 in 2017.
The new car, dubbed Baby II represents relative value as prices start at US$36,000. In addition, there is Vitesse version for US$53,000 and the Pur Sang, that features hand-beaten aluminium bodywork – just like the Type 35 – selling for US$71,400.
That’s right, the Bugatti Baby II is a replica, of a replica.
Bugatti Baby II
The Baby II, as Bugatti has christened the new car, is built in collaboration with The Little Car Company. This manufacturer is known for its highly detailed and well-made replica “junior cars”.
According to the British-based outfit, its scaled-down cars are meant to be enjoyed across multiple generations and can be driven by adults and children.
Although the Baby II is also an EV, the new car features technological advances. Some of the highlights include regenerative braking and adjustable dampers. The higher-end Vitesse and Pur Sang models also feature the famed Bugatti Speed Key. Just like on the Chiron, the Baby II’s Speed Key unlocks the car’s potential top speed of 68km/h.
Built on an electric rear-wheel drive platform, the Bugatti Baby II is offered with short and long range battery options. Under the right conditions and driving styles, the car can be driven for nearly 50 kilometres.
In keeping with tradition, Bugatti has launched another run of Babies, also limiting the production to 500 units. Existing Bugatti customers have a priority on booking slots. The rest of the allocation will be sold on a first-come first-served basis. If you’d like to apply for a build slot, click here or check with the local importer.
Those lucky enough to acquire a Baby II will receive automatic membership to the prestigious Bugatti Owner’s Club and The Little Car Club. Both offer the chance to drive their Bugatti Baby II on some of the world’s most celebrated racing circuits.
Bugatti Type 35
The Bugatti Type 35 is a thing of beauty. For a car built in the 1920s, it was ahead of its time. For example, this was the first car to use alloy wheels. Its eight-spoke wheel design wouldn’t look out of place on a modern car today. The Type 35 was a pioneer in aerodynamics, an indispensable aspect of car design in the modern era.
It was also considered the most successful race car ever with around 2,000 victories between 1924 and 1930. As only around 100 Type 35s were made, surviving examples are exceedingly rare and expensive. The most recently auctioned fetched US$3.3million.
If the Bugatti Baby II blows your Secret Santa budget, check out our other Christmas gift ideas here.