Bugatti 16 C Galibier

It seems a long time ago that Bugatti first gave us details of the Galibier, but the French supercar maker is reminding us that they are working hard to perfect the production model. 

It is suggested that the Galibier will be built when the final Veyron leaves the factory. Reports suggest that 69 of the 150 planned Grand Sport models have been sold so far, which could suggest that production would begin before 2013.

The car photographed above is constructed of handmade carbon fibre parts. While the wings and doors are built out of polished aluminium which is said to be influenced by the famous Bugatti Type 57 Atlantique, this is why the Galibier is a hatchback, rather than a conventional saloon.

Also cleverly integrated is the central spine that runs down the back and over the rear glass, another homage to the Atlantiques of old.  “Galibier” is not only the name of one of the most difficult alpine passes along the Tour de France but was also a version of the four door Bugatti Type 57, a truly outstanding car.

Company boss Franz-Josef Paefgen quoted “This is what the Bugatti team wants to do now we have to convince customers and the [VW] group to make it”.  Technical boss Wolfgang Schreiber admitted he wanted the production Galibier to “be the world’s fastest, highest accelerating and powerful four-door” and hinted that maximum power would end up at around 800bhp.

Beneath the bonnet of the Bugatti 16 C Galibier there is a 16-cylinder, 8-litre engine with two stage supercharging.  The engine was developed as a flex-fuel engine and can be run on the more energy efficient ethanol if you have a green head on. 

Specially developed ceramic brakes and a new suspension design enable the responsive handling of a saloon this size. The Galibier is four-wheel drive and power comes from the same W16 engine as the Veyron with twin mechanical superchargers, rather than the four-turbochargers of the mid-engined sports car.