Time to Play

Bugatti Baby returns as an electrified ‘unruly teenager’

The Bugatti Baby II continues the lineage of the original Baby from nearly 100 years ago.

Photo courtesy of Bugatti

This year, Bugatti celebrates its 110th birthday. In honor of the occasion, the company is giving itself a present. Meet the Bugatti Baby II, a “reimagining" of the original Bugatti Baby, which was born 94 years ago.

The 1926 version came to be after Ettore Bugatti and his son, Jean, decided to build a scaled-down version of the company's Type 35 car for Ettore's youngest son Roland's fourth birthday. What they ended up with was a 50 percent scale version of the car.

According to Bugatti history, “Ettore and Jean had intended the present as a one-off car, however the feedback from customers visiting Molsheim was so positive that the Baby went into production and was sold between 1927 and 1936."

Bugatti Baby II

Bugatti Baby II

Photo courtesy of Bugatti

The size of the Bugatti Baby would barely fit the average eight year old today. So, in making the Bugatti II, The automaker decided to up the ante, designing a 75 percent scale model that is designed to fit the modern 14 year old.

"Ettore Bugatti himself was already interested in catering to the children of Bugatti enthusiasts and designed the Type 52 miniature car as a genuine Bugatti. That was a sensation at the time," says Stephan Winkelmann, President of Bugatti. "We are continuing this tradition with the new edition of the Bugatti Baby II, and I am delighted that we have found The Little Car Company, a partner that shares the same values as us. With the Bugatti Baby II, we invite a young generation of enthusiasts to fall in love with the wonderful world of Bugatti."

The electric car is sold in three models: Base, Vitesse, and Pur Sang. The Baby II Base has a composite body and is a powered by a 1.4 kilowatt-hour battery pack. The mid-grade Vitesse features a carbon fiber body and 2.8 kilo-watt-hour battery back as well as a Speed Key in a similar fashion as the Chiron1.

The Baby II Pur Sang is the ultimate expression of opulence. It has the same 2.8 kilowatt-hour battery pack as the Vitesse model but is enhanced by featuring aluminum bodywork. It is crafted using the same coachbuilding techniques as the original Bugatti Type 35, taking over 200 hours to create.

Bugatti designed the model by 3D scanning the originals Type 35 and giving the Baby II identical geometry and suspension. Bugatti says that the only “nod to modernity is the introduction of adjustable campers". Bugatti Test Pilot, Andy Wallace, was even involved in the final development of the tuning and setup of the Baby II.

The cockpit features replicas of the original Baby's gauges with slight modification on its turned aluminum dashboard - the fuel pressure gauge has now become a battery gauge. The four-spoke steering wheel now has a quick release feature. Adjustable machined aluminum pedals have the famous “EB" logo. The fuel pump handle has also been reproduced, but now serves as a s shifter with forward, neutral, and reverse options.

Developed in partnership with The Little Car Company, those that have driven the Baby II describe it as "more of an unruly teenager than a Baby." It features a limited slip differential, high performance hydraulic brakes, Michelin tires, and selectable driving modes. The Base model comes with two modes; Novice which is limited to 20 kph (12 mph) and one kilowatt (1.3 bhp) of power, and Expert which is limited to 45 kph (30 mph) and 4 kilowatts (5.4 bhp) of power.

The Vitesse and Pur Sang versions add Novice and Expert driving modes, allowing drivers to use up to up to 10 kilowatts (13.4 bhp). Those two models are able to reach up to 42 mph. Depending on the weight of the driver, that speed can be hit in as little as six seconds.

The Baby II Base can get 25 km of range out of a single charge. Mid-grade and top-tier models have more than 50 km of range, though that range is diminished if drivers go hard on the throttle. A replacement lithium-ion battery is available and able to be swapped with the original in just a few minutes.

Buyers can customize their model's exterior and interior in the same solid shades as the Chiron.

In addition, all owners of Baby IIs will receive membership of The Little Car Club and the Bugatti Owners' Club, and be able to attend events where they, their children and grandchildren can drive their cars at famous motor racing circuits.

The Base model starts at €30,000, the Vitesse at €43,500 and the Pur Sang starts at €58,500.

Bugatti is making just 500 examples of the Baby II. Though most slots are filled, a few still remain open. Visit bugattibaby.com today to reserve yours.

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Updated EV

2023 Nissan Leaf pricing announced

The Leaf got a mild facelift for 2023.

Nissan

Nissan is nearing the release of the Ariya, its first new EV in several years. Even so, the brand hasn't forgotten about its first mass-market EV, the Leaf. It was an early entrant in the space, and has been an efficient, affordable, commuter car for over a decade. The car got a mild facelift for 2023, with updated wheels and exterior styling accents. Today, Nissan announced pricing for the Leaf, which starts at just under $29,000.

2023 Nissan LeafThe Leaf feels lively, despite middling power numbers.Nissan

The base Leaf comes with a 40-kWh battery capable of delivering a 149-mile range. Its 110-kW electric motor produces 147 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque. The Leaf SV Plus features a 60-kWh battery for a range of 212 miles. It comes with a 160-kW motor that makes 214 horsepower and 250 pound-feet of torque. Nissan backs all Leaf models with an eight-year/100,000-mile battery warranty.

ProPilot Assist comes standard for the Leaf SV Plus, and brings a full suite of advanced driver aids that include adaptive cruise control, driver alertness features, and a surround-view monitor. All Leaf models get Nissan Safety Shield 360, which includes automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane departure warnings, blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alerts, automatic high beams, and rear automatic braking.

2023 Nissan LeafThe Leaf SV Plus offers up to 212 miles of range.Nissan

The new Leaf starts at $28,895, which includes a $1,095 destination charge. The Leaf SV Plus starts at $36,895. The 2023 Nissan Leaf is on sale now, and may be eligible for federal tax credits of up to $7,500. Depending on where you live, you may also be able to receive a state tax credit or other incentives.

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The Ascent got updated styling and fresh tech.

Subaru

Subaru's lineup is full of useful, adventure-ready vehicles, but most are not accommodating for full-size families. The Ascent solved that issue for the automaker a few years ago, and has been a popular family option since. It got a mild update for 2023 with a facelift and new tech. The Ascent comes in five trims: Base, Premium, Onyx Edition, Limited, and Touring. It's expected to go on sale in fall 2022.

The Subaru comes with a new front fascia design that adds a new grille and aggressive styling up front. Lower air ducts help improve aerodynamics, and in higher trims the components come with chrome trim. The SUV's C-shaped taillights got a refresh as well, and now feature a sharper shape to better match the vehicle's overall styling.

2023 Subaru AscentThe new front fascia design is more aggressive than before. Subaru

The Ascent's powertrain remains in place, which is a turbocharged 2.54-liter four-cylinder making 260 horsepower. It sends power to all four wheels through a continuously variable transmission that offers a simulated eight-speed manual shifting mode. Subaru's X-Mode driving mode comes standard, which alters throttle response and other vehicle behavior to maintain traction in slippery conditions. Torque vectoring, which allows the vehicle to shift torque between wheels that need it most, also comes standard.

A new Onyx Edition trim joins the Ascent line for 2022. It brings a standard 11.6-inch touchscreen with navigation, a Harman Kardon sound system, power seats, and a panoramic sunroof. The base Ascent comes with features such as 18-inch wheels, USB inputs, tri-zone automatic climate controls, three rows of seating, and a whopping 19 cupholders. Subaru also offers an optional Cabin Connect system, which allows the driver or front passenger to communicate to people behind them through the stereo using a front-cabin-mounted microphone.

2023 Subaru AscentThe Ascent's interior is available with great tech, such as an 11.6-inch touchscreen infotainment system. Subaru

Subaru EyeSight safety equipment comes standard with every Ascent. The system is improved for 2023 with a wider field of vision and new software. A new wide-angle camera joins EyeSight's existing two-camera setup to provide better pedestrian and cyclist detection when approaching intersections. Blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alerts, and lane change assist are available.

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