Bugatti 16 C Galibier Concept
27th September, 2009
As the climax of its centenary celebration ceremonies,
Volkswagen-owned Bugatti Automobiles S.A.S. presented customers and opinion-makers with the Bugatti 16 C
Galibier concept, intended to be the most exclusive, elegant, and powerful four door
automobile in the world earlier this month in Molsheim. At the historic site where Ettore Bugatti once
laid the cornerstone of his company, Bugatti’s current president, Dr. Ing. Franz-Josef Paefgen emphasised
that the Galibier is one of several concept studies with which the company is considering for the future
of the Bugatti marque.
Art - Forme - Technique: those are the brand values to which Ettore Bugatti and his son Jean oriented
themselves in order to develop even more powerful engines and even more noble body designs for each new
model, which were without equal in quality, handling, speed and elegance. In the process, they
experimented again and again without compromise with new materials; thus was Bugatti one of the first
manufacturers to use aluminium parts for bodies, engine blocks and wheels.
Art - Forme - Technique are also the brand values to which the design and engineering team of Bugatti
Automobiles S.A.S. oriented themselves in the development of the Galibier. With this new four-door
concept car, Bugatti assumes a new and leading role in the use of new material combinations. Thus the
body is constructed of handmade carbon fibre parts coloured dark blue so that, when illuminated, the
woven structure shimmers through in a striking manner. Carbon fibre not only possesses unusually great
rigidity but is also especially light. The guards and doors are made out of polished aluminium.
The Bugatti 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 Bugatti Veyron, and reinterprets it. With the typical
Bugatti radiator grille, big round LED headlights and a 'clamshell' styling effect 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 optionally run on ethanol. Four-wheel
drive, specially developed ceramic brakes and a new suspension design enable the agile, always-sure
handling for a saloon of this size.
The interior reflects the 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, provided the removable
Reverso Tourbillon clock for the Galibier, which may be worn on the wrist thanks to a cleverly designed
“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.