Bugatti 16C Galibier Concept Revealed

After months of speculation as to what Bugatti’s next model might be, the Bugatti 16C Galibier Concept has been revealed.

The 16C Galibier is one of several concept studies that the company is considering for its next model. It was first shown at the company’s headquarters in Molsheim, France, to gauge potential customers’ reactions to what’s intended to be the most powerful, fastest, and exclusive four-door sedan in the world.

This new four-door concept uses high-tech construction that features plenty of weight-saving carbon fiber and aluminum. Bugatti used unpainted, polished aluminum for the doors and front fenders and painted the carbon-fiber bits of the car dark blue, giving the 16C a look similar to that of the Bugatti Veyron Sang Bleu.

The exterior of the car features Bugatti’s traditional horseshoe-shaped grille with air vents on each side thathelp cool the massive engine. The 16C has a long hood to house the engine, with a curvaceous hatchback rear end to give an elegant overall shape. We can’t help but notice similarities to the Porsche Panamera’s silhouette as well. The dual-quad exhaust pipes peeking from below either side of the rear bumper are a particularly interesting touch.

Inside the car, passengers are coddled in an even more luxurious cabin than that found in the Veyron. The cabin features no techno-goodies like Audi’s MMI or BMW’s iDrive to possibly befuddle the 16C’s occupants; it instead surrounds the passengers with acres of serene leather and wood. Two gauges prominently featured in the center of the wood dash display the car’s speed (the speedometer goes to 390 kph, which is more than 240 mph) and previous performance.

Under the carbon-fiber hood of the 16C Galibier is the same 8.0-liter W-16 engine found in the Veyron, but with two superchargers in place of the two-door’s outrageous quad-turbocharger setup. Bugatti designed the powerplant as a flex-fuel engine so it can run on both gasoline and ethanol or any mixture of the two.

Bugatti hasn’t provided any details on power output, but sources suggest that it’s somewhere in the neighborhood of 800 hp. The company has revealed the engine is bolted to an eight-speed traditional automatic transmission instead of the seven-speed dual-clutch transmission found in the Veyron. The 16C Galibier has an all-wheel-drive powertrain like the Veyron, and to aid in the handling of the large sedan, Bugatti developed a unique suspension and affixed carbon-ceramic brakes.

Since the 16C is merely a concept right now, Bugatti hasn’t speculated on a production date or price. But if the concept does make it to production, expect it to be around 2013 — the Veyron officially ceases production in 2012 — and to carry an astronomically high price tag, just like the *** million Veyron.