Bugatti has announced that the Veyron will cease production in 2012, so the question is, what will the company do for an encore? Or will there even be an encore?
Well, it seems there might well be. And that Bugatti is not content simply with making the world’s fastest sports car, because it intends to produce the fastest sedan as well. That’s the thinking behind the 16 C Galibier concept, named after both an Alpine pass and a handsome sedan built on the Type 57 chassis from the 1930s.
At an unveiling of the concept car at the company’s base in Molsheim, France, president Franz-Josef Paefgen said that “the Veyron was just the start of Bugatti’s revival. We are sure there will be a market for exclusive, high-end cars, even in the current economic climate. The concept we have shows one way ahead for the marque. There is no decision on production, but the car is going to be sent around the world to gauge reaction from potential clients.”
The 16 C is a large and impressive four-door hatchback, just like the Porsche Panamera. No dimensions were revealed, but it’s about 216 inches long and has a wheelbase of around 144 inches. The 285/35 Z-rated tires roll on 22-inch rims.
Underhood, there’s an 8.0-liter, supercharged W-16 engine making an undisclosed amount of power. One clue as to the actual grunt came from looking at the power gauge in the cockpit, which goes all the way to 800—since the Veyron’s goes just past 1000, we assume that means it will make 800 hp. This, and a speedometer reading 390 km/h (242 mph), seems to back up Bugatti’s aim for the Galibier to be the most powerful and fastest four-door in the world. It will be tuned to run on ethanol and gasoline, although we can’t imagine that running biofuel is much of a green statement in this car.
Interestingly, Bugatti personnel said that the engine’s superchargers will operate in a two-stage fashion, perhaps using differential gearing to run fast at low revs for torque and slower at higher engine speeds for power. The automatic transmission will have seven or eight speeds, but Bugatti hasn’t decided whether to use a conventional automatic, an automatic with a wet-plate clutch, or a dual-clutch arrangement like the one found in the Veyron.
All-wheel drive will be used, along with carbon-ceramic brakes. The fenders and doors are made of aluminum, with the rest of the panels and some of the front-end structure being formed from carbon fiber to keep the weight down. We understand that aluminum structural elements, most likely shared with the new Bentley Mulsanne, underpin the car.
We’re not totally sure about the styling, although it is certainly eye-catching. The front and rear LED lights are exquisite, along with eight tailpipes that pay homage to the type 57SC Atlantic from the 1930s. Other nice touches are the retro butterfly-wing hood and the horseshoe radiator that’s more successful on this car than on the Veyron.
There is lots of room for four adults inside, all of whom will ride in a cabin that looks like a luxury yacht’s, with acres of wood and leather, including some woven panels on the doors. Just like the Veyron, the interior is beautiful to look at and all the pieces are a joy to touch.
price 2 150 000 $
top speed 350 km/h, 217 mph
power & torque 800 hp, 588 kW
Nm @ rpm
0-100 km/h, 0-62 mph. 3 seconds