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Bugatti Galibier 'will be a hybrid' - Wolfgang Durheimer

By Tim Pollard (photography by Mark Bramley)

Motor Industry

18 April 2011 16:40

Bugatti 'will continue to produce the worlds fastest car'

Bugatti will launch the 16C Galibier limousine shown in 2009 as a concept car, the new president and CEO Wolfgang Durheimer has confirmed to CAR. The Galibier will eventually be part of a two-strong Bugatti range, meaning there's life in the hypercar brand post-Veyron.

In a wide-ranging interview in the new May 2011 issue of CAR Magazine, Durheimer revealed that the Galibier would carry over the Veyron's monstrous W16 engine and transmission, but that Bugatti is developing a hybrid option to make sure its big limo retains social acceptability.

Bugatti Galibier project: what we know

Edited highlights of the full interview, which you can read in the May 2011 issue on sale on Wednesday 20 April, include:

The Galibier project is go
Sales of 3000 Galibiers versus Veyron's 300
Mulsheim's factory being expanded to cope
Design freeze expected in autumn 2011
The Veyron's W16 engine will be carried over to the Galibier
Galibier will pack a new hybrid option
Dual-clutch gearbox appears again
£1 million + price tag
Interior to feature porcelain trimmings

Bugatti's future product: two models

With the final Veyrons being built, Bugatti's hypercar is coming to the end of the road. Durheimer confirmed there would be a place for a sports car in the mould of the Veyron, as well as a more luxo-oriented limo such as the Galibier and said all Bugattis for the foreseeable future would use the W16 engine.

'We can have one car biased more towards racing, and one for the road,' he told CAR. 'We are looking not to the floor but to the ceiling... We want to see how far we can push this brand. The Galibier will fulfil all the demands of Ettore Bugatti: the best car in the world, very luxurious, the best materials, the best surfaces.'

Durheimer admitted the programme was still quite fluid. 'My next meeting with [VW Group chairman Martin] Winterkorn will be to set the dimensions of this car,' he told CAR. 'Only then can we finalise the design, but we will have that in the third quarter of 2011. And we still must decide if it is a carbon monocoque like the Veyron, or an aluminium spaceframe.'

Why Bugatti is developing a hybrid

Durheimer said the company was developing a hybrid option for the new Bugatti. 'When the mayors of cities know we can make cars that run silently, I don't expect they will allow cars that pollute into city centres,' he said. 'But I can't imagine a Galibier owner leaving their car at the park-and-ride and catching a bus. That's why we need to offer a hybrid with this car, so owners drive up to the hotel silently in EV mode. But not every Galibier needs to be a hybrid - in places like Dubai it is not what the market wants.'

Don't miss the full interview in the May 2011 issue of CAR.

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