Bugatti may finally put the Galibier in its production plans

After its introduction, in September 14, 2009, marking the centenary of Bugatti, many rumors of the production of the 16 C Galibier started to emerge. It even had a confirmation for a 3,000 unit production run. For good reasons: the VW Group was losing money in each Veyron unit it sold and Bugatti needed a bigger portfolio in order to make a profit. A uber luxurious sedan would be the perfect fit. But Bugatti postponed the plans of production indefinitely until very recently. What has changed? A lot, including the guy in charge of decisions.

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Wolfgang Dürheimer was the president of Bugatti when rumors got stronger about the sedan production. But he left in 2013 for Audi, exactly when the plans for the super sedan were shelved. When Dürheimer got back to Bugatti, he started checking new options for the brand. The Galibier would be one of four “strategic ideas” he is evaluating, according to an interview he gave to the British magazine Autocar.

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Sense means money

The strategic ideas are ways to make Bugatti profitable. This is a demand the brand did not have before the Dieselgate. In order to keep it in its portfolio, Volkswagen needs Bugatti to make sense. And that implies making money. Imagine selling 3,000 units of a car that may cost more than € 1 million? Have a look at this amazing video of the car.

In order to make it possible, the Galibier will probably use the MSB platform, the same one applied to the new Porsche Panamera. It will be a front-engine rear-wheel drive car, like its German cousin. Its engine will be the same 8.0 quad-turbo W16 used by the Veyron and the Chiron, as the 16 C in its name denounces. Even if with a little less power. Besides the Galibier, the other 3 strategic ideas would have to produce a competitor for the Rolls-Royce Cullinan (an SUV…), a bigger car to remind us of the Royale and a smaller and cheaper than the Chiron supercar, according to Autocar.

The original concept was 5.36 m long, what makes us believe in a production model as large or bigger than the concept. We will get to confirm this when the final car emerges. Dürheimer says Bugatti may wait the Chiron run end to start Galibier’s, but we believe this is just an excuse not to raise expectations. The Chiron will surely not rush to leave production lines for good (the Veyron did so only after 10 years). We expect the Galibier to appear in a matter of 3 to 4 years. If not sooner.

Gustavo Henrique Ruffo

I have been an automotive journalist since 1998 and have worked for many important Brazilian newspapers and magazines, such as the local edition of Car and Driver and Quatro Rodas, Brazilian's biggest car magazine. I have also worked for foreign websites, such as World Car Fans and won a few journalism prizes, among them three SAE Journalism Awards and the 2017 IAM RoadSmart Safety Award. I am the author of "The Traffic Cholesterol", a book about bad drivers that you can buy at Hotmart, Google Play, Amazon and Kobo.