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Bugatti Baby II: carmaker resurrects 1920s mini race car for 110th anniversary

A 3D printed design model of the 3/4 scale race car was presented at the Geneva International Motor Show

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Well if this isn’t just the cutest thing I’ve seen all month: French car manufacturer Bugatti has re-invented a half-scale model of the Bugatti Type 35 race car that was originally created in 1926 as a birthday gift for Ettore Bugatti’s four-year-old son. A 3D printed design model of the appropriately named Bugatti Baby II was recently presented at the Geneva International Motor Show.

The original Bugatti Baby was conceived by car designer Ettore Bugatti and his son Jean in the 1920s as a one-off piece for Ettore’s youngest, Roland. The half-size racing car proved so popular, however, that it went into production and sold for nearly ten years (from 1927 to 1936). With only about 500 units ever produced, it is no surprise that collectors have placed a special importance on the vintage automobile for tots. This ongoing popularity and legacy are what led today’s Bugatti engineers to recreate the small car using 3D printing.

Bugatti Baby II 110th anniversary
The original Bugatti Type 35

Fittingly, the new Bugatti Baby II was unveiled in celebration of the car manufacturer’s 110th anniversary. And, just like the original Bugatti Baby, only 500 cars will be produced. With collectors and grown car enthusiasts in mind, Bugatti opted to scale up the Bugatti Baby slightly (to 3/4 scale of the original Type 35) so that both children and adults can drive it.

A new twist on a classic car

The Bugatti Baby II is the perfect mix of old and new, combining elements from the original Bugatti Baby vehicle and cutting edge techniques like 3D scanning. For instance, the car’s design is based on a precise digital scan of an original Type 35 race car, which was built for the 1924 French Grand Prix in Lyon, while the car’s production relied on more traditional manual techniques.

Bugatti Baby II 110th anniversary
The original Bugatti Baby made for Roland Bugatti’s fourth birthday

The Baby II, like its predecessor, integrates a rear-wheel-drive battery-powered electric powertrain—though it’s been updated with a removable lithium-ion battery back. Other new features include a limited slip differential and regenerative braking. For safety, the car has two power modes: a 1kW child mode with a top speed of 20 km/h and a 4kW adult mode with a top speed of 45 km/h. For the speed demons among us, Bugatti is also offering an optional “Speed Key” upgrade which will up the power to 10 kW and lift the speed limiter.

Despite its size, the Bugatti Baby II is still very much a Bugatti vehicle, with the brand’s signature turned aluminum dashboard and luxury leather seat. The kid-friendly car also comes with a scale recreation of the Type 35’s four-spoke steering wheel and custom Bugatti instruments. The vehicle’s eight-spoke aluminum alloy wheels are themselves scale replicas of Bugatti’s signature 1924 design, though they’ve been fitted with modern brake systems.

Bugatti Baby II 110th anniversary

Finishing touches, like the Macaron badge made from 50g of solid silver and limited-edition numbered plaques elevate the small car even more. Collectors who placed their orders for the Bugatti Baby II in 2019 will also receive a car with a special 110th anniversary badge.

The miniature Bugatti Baby II is available to order now starting at €30,000 per unit. Though the 3D printed design model was displayed last week, the actual production for the car will start this autumn.

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Tess Boissonneault

Tess Boissonneault is a Montreal-based content writer and editor with five years of experience covering the additive manufacturing world. She has a particular interest in amplifying the voices of women working within the industry and is an avid follower of the ever-evolving AM sector. Tess holds a master's degree in Media Studies from the University of Amsterdam.

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