Bugatti, the ultra-luxury French hypercar manufacturer, has an utterly tumultuous history, but from its inception to the present day, the focus has been clearly on sports cars and (mostly) nothing else.
The company – now a subsidiary part of the Bugatti Rimac joint venture between Porsche Ag and the Rimac Group – is clearly at a crossroads. And that is pretty obvious from its product line, which recently showcased the 501st unit of the Chiron series – the Profilee one-off – as well as the Mistral roadster, aka the swan song for Bugatti’s crazy W16 engine. From then on, all signs point toward an electrified future, of course, under the guidance of Mate Rimac and co.
But what if the brand, which has been around since 1909, went in a different direction? Ever since it was founded by Italian-born industrial designer Ettore Bugatti in the city of Molsheim, Alsace, the cars produced by the company were known for their apparently surreal design beauty and elegance, as well as for their numerous racing victories. Sure, the fate of the enterprise is worthy of a Hollywood flick, as the founding fathers’ genius son Jean Bugatti died while testing a Type 57 racecar in 1939, and the first instance of Bugatti went extinct six decades ago, in 1963.
Sold to Hispano-Suiza, it laid dormant until 1987 when Italian entrepreneur Romano Artioli took over the reins, created Bugatti Automobili S.p.A. as the direct heir of the original Automobiles Ettore Bugatti, and only had enough time (until 1995) to present the world with the stunning EB110. After lots of quirky ownership movements, the modern installment called Bugatti Automobiles S.A.S. was finally set afloat in 1998 by the Volkswagen Group. And the rest is contemporary history, of course, to the tune of the Veyron age (2005-2015) and the current Chiron era that started in 2016 and may or may not end a bit earlier than the decade-long timeframe of its predecessor.
Of course, attempts at making something else other than feisty coupes have been made along the way, but no one has really thought that Bugatti could ever be turned into a luxury producer with an expansive model range as even Ferrari, Lambo, or Rolls-Royce feel like mass-market manufacturers in comparison. Well, one should not have ruled out the imaginative realm of virtual automotive artists from the race to make Bugatti an expansive make with coupes, RVs, semis, muscle cars, and even SUVs! At least if we are to trust the dreams (which may or may not have been commissioned by a car diva/socialite) of the digital car creator better known as flybyartist on social media.
Anyway, when we discussed this delicate subject in the past, I always pointed out that AI is still not on par with human car design, and in 99% of cases, you just felt that something was way off with the design. But now I have to almost take that back since these renderings are nothing short of excellent work and if not for the author’s explanations, I would have had trouble identifying these creations as AI-aided works.
As for the interesting exploration of Bugatti turning its attention and craftsmanship on other vehicle segments aside from hyper sports cars, I have to say that some of these concepts look cooler than I ever imagined. Sure, the cyberpunk and Mad Max-style inspiration is pretty obvious – but who wouldn’t love to see a Bugatti muscle car, a coach-door limousine, a minivan, or even an RV and semi-trailer truck?!
I know that most automotive enthusiasts would freak out at the sight of such a thing – either because they love them or because they started running amok crying aloud their outrage. By the way, do check out every idea in the gallery, some of them are pretty darn enticing while others are utterly bonkers – but all of them will most likely cause a sudden surge in your (and my) CGI addiction!