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Bugatti axes Galibier sedan, confirms Veyron successor


Bugatti has formally axed plans to build what was to become the world’s fastest and most powerful sedan, and officially confirmed a Veyron successor is being developed instead.

Bugatti boss, Dr Wolfgang Schreiber, told the UK’s Top Gear magazine: “There will not be a four-door Bugatti. We have talked many, many times about the Galibier, but this car will not come because ... it would confuse our customers.”

Dr Schreiber said Bugatti would instead focus its efforts on a Veyron replacement, and also said there would be no more higher-powered versions of the current Veyron.

“With the Veyron, we placed Bugatti on top of all super-sportscar brands in the whole world. Everyone knows that Bugatti is the ultimate super sportscar,” Dr Schreiber told Top Gear. “It’s easier for current owners, and others who are interested, to understand if we do something similar to the Veyron (next). And that is what we will do.”

Bugatti unveiled the Galibier sedan concept in 2009, just after the Global Financial Crisis took hold, but had been relatively quiet on its development since then. Bugatti has sold out of the 300 coupes it built since 2005 and just 43 of the 150 roadsters, introduced in 2012, remain to be built before the end of 2015.

When asked if Bugatti would send the Veyron out with a much-rumoured bang after it built a special edition capable of 431km/h in 2010 (up from the 408km/h top speed of the original) Dr Schreiber told Top Gear: “We will not produce a ‘SuperVeyron' or Veyron Plus, definitely. There will be no more power. 1200 (horsepower) is enough for the chapter of Veyron and its derivatives.”

Dr Schreiber said the new Veyron would have to “redefine the benchmarks … and the benchmark today is still the current Veyron. We are already working on it (the successor).”

Given that Ferrari, McLaren and Porsche have adopted petrol-electric power for their latest supercars, will the next Bugatti Veyron have hybrid power? “Maybe,” Dr Schreiber told Top Gear. “But it's too early to open the door and show you what we have planned. For now we have to keep the focus on the current Veyron, and help people to understand that this really is the last opportunity to get the car, which will have run for ten years from 2005-2015. Then we will close this chapter and open another one.”

The German Volkswagen Group bought the French supercar brand in 1998 and immediately commenced work on the Veyron. After several concept cars and numerous delays the production version was finally unveiled in 2005.

During the Veyron’s development, engineers struggled with cooling the massive W16 engine, which has four turbochargers. Despite having 10 radiators, one of the prototype cars caught fire on the Nurburgring racing circuit during testing.

The original Veyron, powered by an 8.0-litre quad-turbocharged W16 engine (two V8s mounted back-to-back), had 1001 horsepower (736kW) and 1250Nm of torque.

With power delivered to all four wheels via an all-wheel-drive system and a seven-speed dual clutch “DSG” gearbox, the Veyron could do the 0 to 100km/h dash in 2.46 seconds.

On the Veyron’s top-speed run it gulped 78L/100km, more than a V8 Supercar race machine at full speed, and ran the tank out of fuel in 20 minutes. By way of comparison a Toyota Prius sips 3.9L/100km.

The Bugatti Veyron claimed the Guinness World Record for the fastest production car with a top speed of 408.47km/h on Volkswagen’s private test track at Ehra-Lessien in northern Germany in April 2005.

In June 2010, Bugatti beat its own top-speed record with the Veyron SuperSport, which had the same W16 engine but with power increased to 1200 horsepower (895kW) and 1500Nm of torque. It managed a staggering 431.072km/h.

Of the production run of 30 Veyron SuperSports, five were named the SuperSport World Record Edition, which had the electronic limiter switched off to enable them to reach 431km/h. The remainder were limited to 415km/h.

The original Veyron cost 1 million Euros plus taxes, but the fastest Veyron of all time, the SuperSport, cost almost double: 1.99 million Euros plus taxes. None were sold in Australia as the Veyron was exclusively left-hand-drive.

This reporter is on Twitter: @JoshuaDowling