Have you ever heard of the Bugatti Baby? Chances are those beyond Molsheim aficionados won't know - we certainly didn't. But back in 1926, Ettore made a toy for his youngest son Roland, with the help of Roland's brother Jean. It was a half-scale Type 35 (and sometimes known as the Type 52) and only ever intended as a one-off family heirloom; however, Bugatti customers loved the idea so much that around 500 were built between 1927 and 1936. And now, more than 80 years later, the Bugatti Baby has returned.
It was actually at the Geneva show, along with an original, which PH was given special access to in the Bugatti VIP customer enclosure - rest assured the trousers were as spectacular as you might expect. Even at a late prototype stage, there's a lot to be excited by with Baby II; now 75 per cent scale (to allow parents and kids to have a go), the car is electric with three drive modes: there's one for kids (with 1kw), one for adults (with 4kw) and one that unleashes 120 seconds of 10kw power for maximum mayhem (and a test of the standard LSD) that requires a top speed key. Yes, just like a Chiron - excellent. Oh yeah, and the handling is also being worked on by Pierre-Henri Raphanel - even more excellent.
By using digital scans of a Type 35 in the build - having gone from design to physical car in 23 days - the Baby II can be an exact 75 per cent replica. But now, of course, with 21st century updates: so what was the fuel pressure pump once upon a time is going to be the forward and reverse switch, the charge cable goes in where the petrol used to, and battery packs now reside where the Type 35 engine once did. But the handbrake on the outside stays, which should work nicely in conjunction with the most powerful drive mode. There are nods to more modern Bugattis as well, with a solid silver badge like a Chiron (albeit weighing just 50g, not 140g as in that car). And while not complete just yet, the interior will feature dials by Swiss Instruments and a removable steering wheel.
Just like the original Baby, there will be only 500 Baby IIs. However, unlike that car, the 21st century Baby won't cost you $100,000; an official Bugatti product being built in Britain, this car will cost €30,000 plus local taxes; production will begin in the summer, with first deliveries towards the end of the year. Fancy one? Course you do. Register your interest with a message to firstname.lastname@example.org. And just be careful with that top speed mode...