Bugatti is giving a glimpse of its future beyond the Veyron with this W16-powered four-seat limousine.
Like its two-seat stablemate, the 16C Galibier aims to be the ultimate: the fastest, most powerful, most elegant and expensive car in the world.
Officially it’s a concept car, but Bugatti has started showing the Galibier to customers and opinion-makers, last weekend in Molsheim.
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.
Beneath the bonnet, which folds back from both sides, there resides a 16-cylinder, 8-litre engine with two stage supercharging.
What makes this engine special is that it was developed as a flex-fuel engine and can optional be run on ethanol.
Four-wheel drive, specially developed ceramic brakes and a new suspension design enable the agile, always-sure handling of a saloon of this size.
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.
Parmigiani, the Swiss maker of fine watches, created the removable Reverso Tourbillon clock for the Galibier, which may be worn on the wrist thanks to a cleverly designed leather strap.
“Galibier” is not just the name of one of the most difficult alpine passes along the Tour de France but, in its time, was a version of the four door Type 57 unequalled in sportiness and elegance.