£2m super-luxury, front-engined saloon is hotly tipped to be Bugatti's next production model
29 August 2016

Bugatti is poised to resurrect production plans for a luxury saloon in the mould of its Galibier concept car, which was first shown at the 2009 Frankfurt motor show.

The move is part of a long-term plan to secure the company’s future operations and financial independence in the wake of the diesel emissions scandal that has engulfed its parent company, the VW Group.

Read our full review of the Bugatti Chiron

The luxurious new four-seat saloon is one of four model proposals being looked at by Bugatti boss Wolfgang Dürheimer. It is intended to provide stiff competition for the upcoming replacement for the Rolls-Royce Phantom at a price comparable with the French car maker’s new £1.9 million Chiron, which will be delivered to its first customers this autumn.

However, unlike the mid-engined Chiron, the production version of the Galibier is set to hold true to the original concept by using a front-engined layout.

Although it is early days for the new Bugatti model, suggestions from within the VW Group’s engineering circles are that it could be based on a modified version of the Porsche-developed MSB platform — a structure that is set to play a prominent role in the future of its British sister company, Bentley.

Commenting on information obtained by Autocar about the brand’s plans for a second model along the lines of the Galibier, Bugatti boss Wolfgang Dürheimer said:  “At present, I am following up four strategic ideas. The Galibier is one. I can’t talk about the others.”

VW Group officials familiar with the Bugatti plan say the alternatives to the Galibier as a second Bugatti model include a Rolls-Royce Cullinan-rivalling luxury SUV, a highly formal, six-metre-long spiritual successor to the Bugatti Royale with an electric powertrain, and a less expensive supercar model to sit beneath the Chiron.

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However, Dürheimer leaves little doubt about his favourite among the four proposals. Commenting on the Galibier, he said: “My heart continues to beat for this car, because we had some revolutionary approaches that no one to date has yet dared to place into production.”

An original go-ahead for the Galibier was given in 2011. However, despite firm plans for a production run of up to 3000 cars over eight years, development of the luxurious four-seater was abandoned in 2013 when Dürheimer moved to Audi. Under his replacement, Wolfgang Schreiber, Bugatti decided to continue down the hypercar route with the Chiron.

On his return to Bugatti in 2015, Dürheimer wasted little time in resurrecting the Galibier.

“I have some technological ideas for the next car, for the Galibier, that I was following up hard when I was at Bugatti the first time,” he said. “I’m always walking around motor shows checking what the luxury field tells me — not only in terms of luxury but also in technology.”

Although all the signs point to the Galibier being the next Bugatti model, there are strong indications that it may not be launched until after the Chiron finishes production.

Dürheimer said: “There is an idea to keep on going [with model expansion], but we don’t need a line-up with multiple model lines. As an engineer, when you execute an idea, you then ask what is the next one.”

Despite the financial drain placed on the VW Group by the on-going diesel emissions scandal, Autocar has been told product strategists at Europe’s largest car maker have demanded that Bugatti establish a self-sustaining long-term business plan beyond the Chiron.

A person familiar with the situation at Bugatti said: “Part of the decision to keep Bugatti within the portfolio of brands overseen by the VW Group was tied to assurances that it would provide a suitable return on investment within its next phase of operation.”

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Comments
22

29 August 2016
How can someone moronic become rich enough to afford a Bugatti? And why would someone in the oil industry who is rich enough to afford a Bugatti herd goats?

29 August 2016
winniethewoo wrote:

How can someone moronic become rich enough to afford a Bugatti? And why would someone in the oil industry who is rich enough to afford a Bugatti herd goats?

Inheritance. Most extremely wealthy people are born into the money. Not many middle class people become billionaires.

29 August 2016
inherited

29 August 2016
Inheriting that sort of money doesnt make you a moron. Most people, and I am guessing you, just don't understand what its like to have that sort of money. Being a profligate spender a moron does not make.

29 August 2016
Its got to be a huge SUV. Makes the most commercial sense. It would be interesting to see Bugatti make the fastest possible vehicle in every category. 250mph SUV. 250mph large saloon. etc. Maybe rotate through them if they are only going to produce one model.

29 August 2016
winniethewoo wrote:

It would be interesting to see Bugatti make the fastest possible vehicle in every category.

Got to have an entry level vehicle too. The fastest electric-assist bicycle, perhaps?

30 August 2016
Scratch wrote:
winniethewoo wrote:

It would be interesting to see Bugatti make the fastest possible vehicle in every category.

Got to have an entry level vehicle too. The fastest electric-assist bicycle, perhaps?

Would probably cost 50k!

29 August 2016
winniethewoo wrote:

Its got to be a huge SUV. Makes the most commercial sense. It would be interesting to see Bugatti make the fastest possible vehicle in every category. 250mph SUV. 250mph large saloon. etc. Maybe rotate through them if they are only going to produce one model.

I can't see an SUV ever being that quick to be honest. I can only imagine what the elevated COG would do to high speed stability, can you imagine having to do any sort of correction at 200mpg +? That would certainly get the pulse racing!

30 August 2016
Yes and that would be the point. Raise the bar on what people think is possible. Quite a few Brabus Modified Merc SUV, do around 190mph with 650 bhp. What would a Bugatti SUV with 1500bhp do?

30 August 2016
winniethewoo wrote:

Yes and that would be the point. Raise the bar on what people think is possible. Quite a few Brabus Modified Merc SUV, do around 190mph with 650 bhp. What would a Bugatti SUV with 1500bhp do?

Is there a natural limit to the size of wheels that would safe for 200+ travel, SUV's tend to go big or go home? How would the under body airflow of a relatively high vehicle prohibit it's ability to cut through the air and more importantly stay stable at 200+? I've a lot more questions that could be answered and I guess that if the saloon proves a hit and the market for £1M plus cars is still buoyant I might get the answers.

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