Whatever Happened to the Four-Door Bugatti Galibier?

Ever wonder what happened to the four-door Bugatti concept car that never ended up seeing production? Well, for a start, you should be glad that the company didn’t actually end up making one. Because here’s the story of the 16C Galibier, and it’s not exactly pretty.

The original concept was stunning. A long tail turning down directly into the bumper, and a four-door cabin that was an excellent extension, visually, of the design of the Veyron. A center strip, running from nose to tail and even through the front and rear glass, broke up the design. It was introduced privately at the company’s HQ in Molsheim, France, back in 2009 and looking ready for production. Hagerty has the story of what happened next.

“It was not originally the plan to make Bugatti a two-product brand. It was planned to phase out the Veyron after building 450 cars and come in with the Galibier,” Achim Anscheidt, the company’s chief stylist, told Hagerty. “That didn’t happen.”

Once the higher-ups got hold of the design, things started to change. The team was required to make it longer, 60-inches longer, Hagerty reports, and six inches taller. Along with those changes, a strange trunk was added in place of the hatch, and just about every tie-in to the Type 57 that inspired it was removed.

That’s what happens when you want a Veyron’s pace and a Rolls-Royce’s luxury and composure.

“The company tried to reimagine the Galibier project as an automotive jack of all trades, and it ended up sacrificing grace and the proportional commitment to the original idea,” Anscheidt explained, saying that “viewed from the side, the car looked like a dachshund. From the back, it was like looking at a bowler hat on wheels.”

In May of 2012, “a certain rather powerful and influential gentleman from Salzburg, Austria,” (read: Ferdinand Piech) came and the now hideous car was killed. Fortunately.

The same engineers and designers who saw what was happening to the Galibier had already started work on a secret successor to the Veyron. That car would become the Chiron, and it may have saved the company. Could Bugatti still make a four-door? They won’t rule it out, but it faces a steep uphill climb.

first published by fourtitude