Bugatti 16C Galibier might become the Royale when it will hit the market

Article by Christian Andrei, on June 22, 2011

By next year, the four-door Bugatti 16C Galibier – dubbed the Royale – is expected to arrive, according to a report from Autoblog.nl. The Volkswagen Group approved the production of this model last April. Offering a four-door vehicle would mean that Bugatti will be exposed to an entirely new market. It’s believed that the 800hp Bugatti Galibier 16C concept will have a different name when it arrives in the market in limited numbers.

In the late 20s, Bugatti built the Type 41, which was better known as the Royale – a large four-door saloon that was exclusively targeted at clients of high birth. Bugatti only made six examples and half of this number was sold back then.

Powering the upcoming Galibier/Royale is a front-mounted 8.0-liter turbocharged W-16 engine that can deliver 800hp and is coupled to a dual-clutch gearbox. The engine block will be kept by the successor to the Veyron supercar but it will use two superchargers rather than four turbochargers.

The Royale offers more torque than the Veyron, which will result to a jerky drive that’s expected from any hyperluxury saloon. Carbon fiber will be used extensively on the saloon. However, its doors and wings will use aluminum. As a result, the car will be able to keep its weigh low, making it have excellent dynamic capacities. Bugatti will produce only 50 samples of this model.

In Molsheim last weekend, Bugatti Automobiles S.A.S. marked the peak of its 100th anniversary celebration by introducing to the public and the pundits what they intend to be the world’s most powerful and exclusively luxurious four-door car, the Galibier Concept. Speaking at the place where Ettore Bugatti historically laid his company’s cornerstone, current president of Bugatti Dr. Ing. Franz-Josef Paefgen stressed that the Bugatti Galibier 16C is one of several concepts that the company will use to explore future possibilities for their brand.

Art - Forme – Technique is the expression of Bugatti’s brand philosophy, which Ettore and his son Jean formulated and worked under to guide the development of their car lines through history, all of which featured progressively improved engines within body designs that always embodied nobility, luxury, quality, handling and performance. Throughout this process, they repeatedly and uncompromisingly innovated with new materials and methods. In fact, Bugatti was among the first companies to adapt the usage of aluminium for automotive body components, engine parts and wheels.

The Bugatti Automobiles S.A.S. design and engineering team also developed the Galibier under the same brand doctrine of Art - Forme – Technique. Bugatti once again takes the lead in the use of innovative material combinations with the construction of this new four-door concept sedan. The body is composed of handmade carbon fibre with a dark blue hue that makes it gleam brightly under lights. This material was selected for its exceptional strength at a light weight. Polished aluminium, meanwhile, is used for the wings and doors.

The styling of the Bugatti Galibier fuses dynamism, luxury and comfort, which nowadays are much desired for a four-door saloon. The overall shape is derived from the torpedo-shaped Type 35, which was also previously adapted for the Bugatti Veyron. This iteration of the design is seen in the distinctive Bugatti front grille, large round LED headlamps and the clamshell line along the car’s side – a feature that became a Bugatti hallmark since it was first seen on Jean Bugatti’s Type 57 design. The Galibier may be considered as a modern carrier of the Bugatti genes.

The bonnet opens like two wings hinged from the centre axis and reveals a 16-cylinder, 8-litre engine with two-stage supercharging. Uniquely, this engine is a flex-fuel type that can optionally use either petrol or ethanol. For a considerably large saloon, its handling and agility are top notch, thanks to its four-wheel drive system, special high tech ceramic brakes and an innovative suspension system.

The automobile’s cabin also adapts the design aesthetic of the exterior. The minimalist dash panel features two main instruments at a central position, making them so clear that even passengers at the rear seats can monitor the car’s speed and performance. Swiss luxury watch maker Parmigiani created the Galibier’s Reverso Tourbillon clock, which can be removed and worn as a wrist watch with its ingenious leather strap.

The name "Galibier" comes from a particularly daunting Tour de France alpine pass. It was also the name of a four-door Type 57 model of unrivalled luxury and sportiness.

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