Bugatti Baby II: a plaything for young Master Toad

The Bugatti Baby II is a cut above your usual toy car, says Jasper Spires.

Things are often the size they are for a reason, says Adam Binnie for Car magazine. You don’t get ducks the size of horses as they lack the bone density required to support the weight. You don’t get horses the size of ducks as miniaturised horse lungs wouldn’t have the surface area required for efficient oxygen exchange. Toy cars fall into this trap – they look convincing enough, but are unable to provide an “authentically downsized driving experience”. Engine components are tricky to shrink, chassis rigidity is hard to achieve and the performance is lacking, even relative to the new proportions. The Bugatti Baby II, though, is no toy. It’s a three-quarter sized scale replica of the Bugatti Type 35 race car, and it is designed to “not only look identical to the real thing, but to drive like it too”.

It has a top speed of 42mph and is “bloody good fun” to drive, says Matt Bird on Pistonheads, “making you feel for all the world like a proper racing driver with a huge moustache and lots of middle names”. And despite the huge cost for what is basically a children’s toy, aimed at those aged 14 and over, if you buy one all concerns about what you have done will vanish on sight. It is “immensely appealing” and the quality “really shines through”. It costs “Caterham money”, but is “notably better built”. “The solid silver badge on the nose gleams, the paint shines, the aluminium dashboard and dials look plucked straight from the 1930s… Every detail from the filler cap... to the leather bonnet straps is of exceptional quality.” The Baby II is a “faithful homage to one of the world’s most iconic race cars without ever falling into pastiche or tactless imitation”. It is also “remarkably car-like in the way it drives”, even if you do feel like “Big Bird having carjacked Mr Toad”. It is an “enormous achievement”.

The initial 500-model run of the Baby II was first announced at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show, says Autocar, and it sold out three weeks later. Some clients have, however, pulled their orders, meaning a small number are now available on a first-come, first-served basis. The base car comes in at about £27,300, and has a 1.4kWh battery pack. The top-of-the-range Pur Sang model will set you back around £53,160, and comes with a 2.8kWh battery pack and an upgraded 13.4bhp motor. Buyers even receive membership of the Bugatti Owners’ Club and are invited to attend global events. See to place your order.

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Jasper Spires

Jasper is a former writer for the MoneyWeek and he wrote on an array of topics including travel, investing in crypto and bitcoin, as well as cars. Previous to that he freelanced at The Art Newspaper, PORT Magazine and The Spectator. Jasper is currently a freelance writer at FAD magazine and he has an English literature degree from the University of Exeter, and a Master's degree from UCL.