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Future models - Bugatti - 16 C Galibier

First look: Bugatti rolls out Galibier super-sedan

Fashionably late: The four-door Bugatti Galibier 16C emerged after the Frankfurt media days, back home in Molsheim.

Bugatti unveils long-awaited four-door concept in France

Bugatti logo21 Sep 2009

By TERRY MARTIN

IT WAS expected to steal the show at Frankfurt, but the global premiere of Bugatti’s new super-sedan – “the most exclusive, elegant and powerful four-door automobile in the world” – was held over for an event at its headquarters in Molsheim, France, last weekend.

Initially dubbed the Bordeaux and later the Royale, the four-door four-seat sedan – which uses the same 8.0-litre W16 engine as the Veyron 16.4 coupe, albeit retuned and relocated from midship to the front end – has emerged as the Galibier 16C, a name Bugatti first used to mark the four-door version of its classic Type 57.

Galibier is also one of the most famous alpine passes along the Tour de France route.

A decision on Galibier production is due to be made before mid-2010, and providing Bugatti establishes that there is a business case to build around 300 units – with an anticipated price of at least $2 million – the four-door should go on sale worldwide in 2013, within 12 months of Veyron production ending.

The concept presented in France features all-wheel drive and the engine has twin superchargers, the latter replacing the quad-turbo arrangement in the coupe. It is also developed as a flex-fuel engine, allowing the use of ethanol.

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182 center imageverseas reports indicate that a power output benchmark of 800bhp (circa 600kW) has been set for the Galibier, and that a conventional eight-speed automatic transmission could be used rather than a dual-clutch DSG. The carbon-fibre-bodied concept also features ceramic brakes, a “new suspension design” and polished aluminium doors and wings.

Bugatti president Franz-Josef Paefgen emphasised that the Galibier was “one of several concept studies with which the company is considering for the future of the Bugatti marque”. Others are believed to be a more affordable sedan and a new-generation (perhaps front-engine) coupe.

In a statement, Bugatti said: “The Galibier’s design masters the challenge of uniting sportiness with the comfort and elegance of a modern four-door saloon.

“The basic architecture picks up on the torpedo-like character of the Type 35, which was already revived in the Veyron, and reinterprets it. With the typical Bugatti radiator grille, big round LED headlights and the clamshell running the length of the vehicle which became synonymous with the brand identity under Jean Bugatti in the Type 57, this car transports the Bugatti genes into the modern world.

“The interior reflects the elemental design of the exterior. The dash panel has been reduced to the essential: two centrally located main instruments keep even the rear passengers constantly informed of the actual speed and previous performance.”

The cabin also features a removable Parmigiani-made ‘Reverso Tourbillon’ clock, which has a leather strap to enable the owner to wear it on the wrist.

Bugatti used the Frankfurt motor show to again wheel out the Veyron Grand Sport Sang Bleu, which was first presented in August at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance in California. The Sang Bleu is reportedly the final limited-edition variant of the Veyron before production ends.

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