Electric Bugatti Royale super-sedan coming in 2023?by Ronan Glon
The limousine will allegedly use a solid-state battery pack.
Bugatti recently hinted it's open to the idea of releasing a more affordable model that runs on electricity. While it didn't provide additional details, a report from England claims the French firm is preparing a super-sedan built on Porsche bones.
The model will resurrect the Royale nameplate used from 1927 to 1933, according to Car magazine. It will ride on a longer evolution of the J1 platform developed to underpin the upcoming Porsche Taycan as well as the production version of Audi's E-Tron GT concept. Carbon fiber will help keep weight in check.
The Royale won't arrive until 2023, nearly a century after the original, so Bugatti engineers hope they will be able to use solid-state batteries to power it. The technology is in its infancy, and it will still be expensive in the early 2020s, but Bugatti believes it will have an easier time passing the higher costs to customers than, say, Volkswagen. The battery pack will zap three electric motors to unleash about 870 horsepower. Through-the-road all-wheel drive will come standard.
Customers who don't want to experience nearly 900 horsepower themselves will have the option of getting driven thanks to level four autonomous technology. They'll be able to work hand-in-hand with the company to design a completely one-of-a-kind interior that suits their taste.
Pricing for the 2023 Bugatti Royale will start in the vicinity of 700,000 euros, a figure that represents about $800,000 at the current conversion rate. It will be a bargain compared to the Chiron (pictured), which costs approximately $3 million.
If the report is accurate, the Royale will signal a dramatic change of direction for a company known primarily as a purveyor of fast, high-horsepower exotic machines like the Veyron and the aforementioned Chiron. Bugatti hasn't confirmed it's working on an electric sedan, but its chief executive hinted the brand's image will evolve significantly during the 2020s.
"In Bugatti's future, maximum speed does not play the leading role any more. From now on, we are going to put an emphasis on ultimate overall vehicle dynamics, light weight and modern sustainable luxury," Bugatti boss Stephan Winkelmann told Car.
Photo by Ronan Glon.