New Bugatti CEO Stephan Winkelmann is looking to push through a second model line-up alongside the Chiron, with a potential SUV bodystyle favoured over the originally mooted four-door saloon.
Winkelmann, previously of Lamborghini and Audi Sport, took up his position as Bugatti’s chief executive in January, pushing the recently revealed Divo from a working project to a production reality in just eight months. Speaking to Autocar during the Divo’s unveiling at Pebble Beach, he confirmed the luxury brand is “ready to do more than one model”.
He said: “It’s clear that if we do something different from a super-sports car like the Chiron, then it would not be enough just to be in love with one type of car”.
When asked if a second model would be a saloon or an SUV, Winkelmann said: “We would look at every bodystyle and regional demand and not put our money into something that is fading.”
Prior to the new CEO’s arrival, Bugatti had previously worked on the idea of a four-door saloon under the Galibier name. But Winkelmann’s suggestion that such a bodystyle may be ‘fading’ is reflective of the decline in three-box saloon sales in more mainstream brands in favour of more desirable SUVs.
Winkelmann was in charge at Lamborghini during the conception of the Urus SUV, which has recently been launched. Ferrari is also set to bring an SUV to market next year, while luxury brand such as Rolls-Royce and Bentley also have high-riding models. Investment in a second Bugatti bodystyle has had to take a back seat behind the Volkswagen Group’s other priorities, such as electric vehicle and autonomous technology development. However, that could change as the profitability of cars like the Chiron proves high-end, low-volume models make money.