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Bugatti shelves electric SUV to focus on ‘more exclusive’ cars

A second Bugatti model with a focus on practical, everyday use appears to have been shelved.

The car was first mooted by former Bugatti chairman Stephan Winkelmann, before the firm became part of Bugatti Rimac last year. The model was expected to take the form of an SUV or four-door GT and be one of the manufacturer’s first electrically powered offerings.

It was also tipped to share components with other brands under the umbrella of the Volkswagen Group, the marque’s former owner.

At the time, Winkelmann said the proposed model would be “a car to be used on a daily basis” and have “a different shape” to the then-flagship Chiron as well as a “different mission”, adding that the car wouldn’t house Bugatti’s famous W16 engine and instead “electrification would be the right approach”.

Now, however, design director Achim Anscheidt has revealed to Autocar that the brand is concerned that such a move could sell out its badge and make Bugatti a less exclusive manufacturer than it currently is.

“We always had an idea of what a second model line could be,” said Anscheidt. “But then we were also [thinking] at one point, are you starting to sell out the brand? What do you do with this precious logo? Will a step like this be too brutal, by selling that logo for some numbers? If one does [bring out an everyday/second model], I’m always a big fan of balancing this, not to forget the roots of the company or to [create] something more exclusive. This means that if you go into slightly more volumes, you should go more exclusive on the other side, so this remains the core product and it balances this.”

Exclusivity is something that Bugatti treasures. The brand has confirmed that the recently announced Mistral roadster – the last car to be powered by the W16 engine before the firm moves on to creating its first hybrid hypercar (see below) – will be limited to just 99 examples.

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