The Volkswagen Group seems to be quite adamant that more SUVs are what is needed to boost sales and increase revenue across its many subsidiaries. And this makes perfect sense for its more mass market brands like Skoda, Seat, and Volkswagen itself.
However, the past 18 months proves that the trend away from the traditional passenger car and toward the SUV form factor transcends the line high volume and premium. Everyone seems to choose the bulkier, high-riding alternative, regardless of price point.
The Bentley Bentayga and the Lamborghini Urus have quickly become the highest sellers for their respective automakers since their recent introductions, mirroring the success of the original Porsche Cayenne, the most recent version of which is a close mechanical cousin to the aforementioned Brit and Italian.
Another marque Volkswagen has under its wing is the ultra-premium Bugatti which, to date has only ever produced two cars under their ownership: the Veyron and its successor, the Chiron. Each one is hand built in very low numbers and are sold for astronomical amounts, but even then margins are rather slim.
The new directive set by Herbert Diess, chairman and CEO of Volkswagen Group, seems push had upon this SUV focus such that even a one model marque like Bugatti is beyond its influence. This echoes the sentiment by Bugatti CEO Stephan Winkelmann, who has said that a second model is on the cards. And it won’t be another two-door hypercar.
Automobile Magazine suggests that the French outfit is leaning most toward a fully electric crossover developed with Edag and built by Magna Steyr in Austria. This new model, while still considerably more expensive than most, will be more attainable than recent Bugattis as well as produced in higher numbers.
In terms of its powertrain, the move past internal combustion has led it to tap Croatian EV supercar pioneer Rimac, who has already inked partnerships to supply high performance electric powertrains to Karma Automotive and Automobili Pininfarina among others.
However, the Volkswagen brand are already deep into their own EV strategy and technology package, though they plan to deploy it first and foremost in their I.D range of passenger cars. A fully electric Bugatti could be the canvas they need to explore the upper limits of zero emissions powertrains, perhaps even forge a path to the next big breakthrough in that space.
After all, the innovation established with Bugatti could also help Porsche and Lamborghini as both companies are looking at new ways to surpass the flagship super sports cars they have have released prior. For Porsche, it’s the 918 Spyder; meanwhile Lamborghini is keen to replace the V12-powered Aventador.