14 September 2009

New Bugatti Galibier

Bugatti four-door concept revealed ahead of Frankfurt debut

Bugatti 16C Galibier

See more Bugatti Galibier concept pictures

This is the Bugatti 16C Galibier, a concept its maker describes as 'the most exclusive, elegant and powerful four door automobile in the world.'

Top Gear attended a hush-hush preview event in the grounds of the Molsheim factory in the company of Bugatti's top brass, all of whom remained tight-lipped about the car's specification and indeed its chances of making production.

But this much we do know. The Galibier - named after a Type 57 four door and Alpine mountain road - is powered by a twin-supercharged version of the 987bhp, 8.0-litre W16 engine that propels the Veyron to its 252mph top speed.

Both its chassis and body are made of carbon fibre, with the exception of the wings and doors which are polished aluminium. The car has a special nine-layer paint job which subtly highlights the weave of the carbon fibre when light shines on it. And it's a runner, not just on unleaded but also on bio-ethanol.

It's also a hatchback - or fastback - a decision Bugatti design boss Achim Anscheidt defends on the grounds that this was the best way to pay homage to one of the greatest Bugattis, the immortal Type 57 Atlantic.

A discreet 'spine' line bisects the full 5m-plus length of the car, including the windscreen, concluding with a vivid flourish just above the rear diffuser and eight exhaust pipes. The bonnet, meanwhile, opens in two separate panels, mimicking a butterfly's wings.

Inside, the vast oval dashboard is dominated by just two instruments, a power meter and a speedometer. There's a detachable Tourbillon clock by Parmigiani, and a television monitor that can also be detached. 'As with the exterior, the interior emphasises an elegant simplicity,' says Anscheidt.

Bugatti boss Dr Paefgen claims that no decision has been made yet on whether the Galibier has been given the green light. But it's the most finely executed show car we've ever seen, and is about to embark on a worldwide customer preview tour.

In other words, it's a go project. Expect it to go on sale in 2013, with prices pegged just below the Veyron's 900,000 pound price tag. Just the thing for celebrating the end of the recession...

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