Car Culture

Bugatti revives the small-scale Baby with a $34,000 price tag

That's the average price of a new car -- a full-scale one.

Bugatti

The Bugatti Type 35 is an immediately recognizable car that has its place in motorsport history, but some folks might not know that it spawned a successful half-scale children's "toy." Now, it's back, and holy heck is it expensive.

Bugatti announced on Monday that it has revived the Bugatti Baby, a half-scale homage to the Type 35. Over the course of its nine-year sales run, 1927 to 1936, the automaker produced approximately 500 examples. The first was built as a present to 4-year-old Roland, son of company founder Ettore Bugatti. Now, to celebrate the automaker's 110th anniversary, it's back.

The new Bugatti Baby tries to capture that magic for a second time. Only 500 will be built, but they'll be bigger than before -- the original half-scale Baby was really only meant for kids, but this new one will be three-fourths scale, which means adults will be able to slide behind the wheel. Bugatti even digitally scanned an original Type 35 to make sure it's as perfect as possible.

The Bugatti Baby II was technically at the Geneva Motor Show, but since the automaker hasn't built one yet, it was just a 3D-printed proof of concept.

Bugatti

The Baby II packs an electric powertrain and rear-wheel drive, just like the original. However, the new one sports removable lithium-ion batteries and legit car technology like regenerative braking and a limited-slip differential. The baseline "Child Mode" offers up 1 kilowatt of power and limits the top speed to 12.4 miles per hour, but there's also a 4-kW "Adult Mode" that raises the speed limiter to 28 mph. The truly insane can use the optional Speed Key to boost output to 10 kW and remove the speed limiter entirely. Thank goodness it has actual brakes.

The quality is no lower than that of Bugatti's seven-figure cars. The dashboard is made of turned aluminum, the seat is real leather, the instruments are custom and the steering wheel is a faithful recreation of the original. The badge on the nose is made from 50 grams of pure silver, and there's a numbered plaque in each one.

And then there's the price. It's not three-fourths of a Bugatti's new price tag, but at 30,000 euro (about $34,000), it's still equivalent to the price of the average (full-scale) new car in 2019. Production starts in the fall, and you can reserve a spot in the build order by heading to Bugatti's website.