The Bugatti Veyron had to be the most hotly anticipated car of all time. Fuelled by rumours of astonishing top speeds and frequently changing launch dates, the motoring press had to wait to sample what may be the most incredible car yet produced. The technological marvel that powers the beast – a simply outlandish W16 8 liter engine pushing out over 1000bhp – was not enough; it came clothed in a body like none ever seen.
Ultimately the Veyron – especially in later Super Sport form – swept all before it in terms of performance, and it still does. The only problem with the car, it seems, is that of a lack of practicality. It may do 267mph (430 km/h) and catapult its occupants to 60mph (100kmh) in the time it takes to scream, but it can only fit two people. Bugatti, historically, was known for its super-sedans as well as its sports cars.
Well, ladies and gentlemen, it appears that help may be on the horizon, help in the shape of the rumoured Bugatti Galibier, a car that promises to take a family to hitherto unchartered territories. Can this be real? It can, and we believe it soon will.
Bugatti Galibier – From Concept to Reality
The Galibier is by no means a new name to be reckoned with, or the original concept was unveiled as long ago as 2009. The idea is to take the Veyrons’ mechanics, revise them to give more pulling power, and fit a stunning body that will seat four people in comfort.
Comfort, in a Bugatti? Surely the aim is for superb performance and outstanding dynamics, not comfort? That’s why this car is so special, and it pays to take a look back in history at why Bugatti is such a revered brand.
For a start, Bugatti Galibier was a name first give to a version of the legendary Type 57. This amazing machine was produced in a variety of different styles, with the much favoured Atalante being the most popular. For the record, one of these was discovered recently in a garage in Newcastle upon Tyne after the death of the owner of the property. Untouched for almost 50 years, it subsequently sold for many millions.
Now, back to our Galibier, the modern one; it’s difficult to piece together too much information as very little has been confirmed, and the production model – expected in 2013 – is likely to differ from the original concept. That version sported an interesting hood, a two piece device that may make it to production, but who knows? There is so much speculation about the car that it is creating a mystique almost as powerful as that which accompanied the Veyron.
Bugatti Galibier – History Repeating Itself?
The Galibier is a four door Veyron in as much as such a machine can be imagined. The look and shape of the new model are similar, assuming what we see is what we will get, to the Veyron and it borrows the trademark dual colour scheme and replica grille. There is, however, one rumour that keeps coming back, and it’s an interesting one.
It concerns the name, and it is perhaps inevitable that it should come about: the Bugatti Galibier may not be called the Galibier at all. In fact, there are indications it may become the Royale. That would be fitting, for the historical implications, again, are interesting.
The original Bugatti Royale is an almost mythical vehicle, designed to take on the likes of Rolls Royce and other luxury brands back in the late 1920’s. A magnificent car with lines that were simply stylish – there were a number of different coachbuilders involved with the Royale, and all are very beautiful.
The story of the Royale is a poignant one, and it is perhaps advisory that the current Bugatti purveyors, the VW Group, consider it carefully. The Royale was intended to be sold to Royalty, and there were plans to build a couple of dozen. What Bugatti had not reckoned with was that even Royalty were influenced by the great depression that gripped the world in the late ’20’s and early ’30’s. This was a time when money was scarce, and austerity was the name of the game. If that sounds familiar, we are getting the point across!
Bugatti could not find buyers for the Royale and, as a result, only six were built. Furthermore, initially Bugatti could only sell three of them. All of them still exist, and are in museums across the world.
Who Will Buy The Bugatti Galibier?
That’s the question that should be asked, for modern royalty will not be the target for this quite astonishing automobile. The car will cost, it is said, somewhere in the region of £900,000 (($1.4million) and will therefore be affordable only to the very rich.
Rock stars, oligarchs, and perhaps the odd top level sportsmen may be tempted, but you have to ask why they would be so when there are better value luxury sedans on the market for a tenth of the price. The Veyron was – and is – something very special, very exclusive, for it offers performance that is simply untouchable, and while the Galibier promises scintillating speed and acceleration, that’s not what it’s all about.
Luxury limousines such as this are marketed on that basis, but the Bugatti appears to be trying to cross the floor and mix two different selling points. It remains to be seen whether it will succeed. In fact, it remains to be seen whether it will actually enter production, as it is said that approval has yet to be given. Perhaps the powers that be have taken a look back in history, and see this admittedly wonderful car going the same was as its illustrious forebear.
For more information on the Bugatti Veyron make sure you read our article on the fastest cars in the world.