Just don't expect to be able to keep up with a Chiron.
If you were to put an inexperienced 14-year-old behind the wheel of a new car, your first choice is unlikely to be a Bugatti, maker of some of the quickest hypercars in existence. Chances are, such an event would end in disaster. But believe it or not, Bugatti has commenced production of a new car designed for youngsters aged 14 and above: it's called the Baby II.
First unveiled at last year's Geneva International Motor Show, it's a tribute to the original Bugatti Baby which arrived in 1926. That car was a scaled-down version of the Bugatti Type 35, initially conceived as a one-off for Ettore Bugatti's son, but customers who saw it were interested enough that around 500 went on to be produced.
The new fully electric Baby II, produced in collaboration with The Little Car Company, was built at 75 percent scale so is bigger than the first Baby, allowing smaller-framed adults to also hop in for a ride.
Three versions are available and all power the rear wheels, with the Base using a composite body and a 1.4 kWh battery pack. The Vitesse has a carbon fiber body and a 2.8 kWh battery pack, while the Pur Sang is aimed at collectors with its hand-formed aluminum body. The Base model has a limited top speed of just 30 mph, but the Vitesse and Pur Sang can reach a top speed of 42 mph and sprint to 60 kph (just over 37 mph) in around six seconds if the driver hasn't had a heavy lunch.
Using the Bugatti Speed Key, the top two models can unleash up to 13.4 horsepower. The Baby II weighs a mere 507 pounds, so you'd need around eight of these to match a Bugatti Chiron's weight.
Much in the same way that Rolls-Royce applied its typically astonishing attention to detail when creating a Cullinan scale model, Bugatti went to great lengths to endow the Baby II with handling characteristics that the Type 35 would be proud of. A digital 3D scan was created based on an original Lyon GP car when designing the Baby II's suspension, and it even has adaptive dampers and a limited-slip differential. A turned aluminum dashboard is another clear nod to the Type 35, and a range of colors is available for customization.
"With the Bugatti Baby II, we invite a young generation of enthusiasts to fall in love with the wonderful world of Bugatti," said Stephan Winkelmann, the automaker's president.
They'll need to be a well-heeled younger generation, as the Baby II starts at €30,000 ($34,834 at current exchange rates) and goes all the way up to €58,500 ($67,927) for the Pur Sang.