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Wolfgang Schreiber replacing Durheimer at Bentley and Bugatti

Wolfgang Schreiber replacing Durheimer at Bentley and Bugatti

Not too long ago, we reported on how Wolfgang Durheimer, the former head of Bentley and Bugatti, would be leaving his role as CEO of these two companies under the VW branch and instead moving onto bigger and better things at Audi as part of a reshuffle to help reduce the average age of VW’s board members.

Just a couple of weeks later, we can confirm that an individual has been found to take over Durheimer’s old role as the boss of Bentley and Bugatti, with Wolfgang Schreiber recently being selected. This role change will put Schreiber into a vastly different role than his previous role in the VW group, as he’s currently the head of Volkswagen’s commercial vehicles unit, so it’s clear that the speed and luxury of Bentley and Bugatti will test him.

The changes will take effect on the 1st of September this year, meaning that Durheimer will remain at Bentley and Bugatti for the coming three months where Bugatti is said to be developing the new Galibier sedan, while Bentley is busy at work turning its EXP 9 F SUV concept into a production reality.

These changes co-inside with Volkswagen’s ambitious ‘Strategy 2018,’ where the group hopes to surpass General Motors and Toyota for the coveted title of ‘World’s largest automobile manufacturer’, leading the VW’s head Martin Winterkorn to say, “Our clear goal is to continue our successful course of recent years with great momentum and stability. I am convinced that now more than ever, the Volkswagen Group has the right people in the right positions to make our Strategy 2018 a success.”

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Wolfgang Durheimer to leave Bentley and Bugatti for new role at Audi

Wolfgang Durheimer to leave Bentley and Bugatti for new role at Audi

One could argue that Wolfgang Durheimer has the best job in the world as he runs two of the most prestigious and recognizable car companies in the world; Bentley and Bugatti. As we’re sure you know, both of these companies fall under the Volkswagen brand, but if Automotive News Europe is to be believed, changes are afoot within the mega-company.

Prior to being in charge of Bugatti and Bentley, Durheimer was Porsche’s development chief, and ANE believes that in a re-shuffle of Audi’s management board to reduce the age of its seven-board members, Durheimer will leave his current positions and take up the role as Audi’s development chief. He is said to be superseding Michael Dick, aged 60, in the role.

A selection of other positions throughout the Audi brand are expected to be replaced also, such as the brand’s sales chief and purchasing managers to again reduce the average age of the firm’s management board.

We’re not sure as to why Audi and Volkswagen are so keen to have young board members, as employees should be solely chosen on their abilities rather than their ages, but it’s likely Audi believes some of its current board members are losing their grasp on the ever-changing automotive industry, and perhaps believes bringing some youth to the team will help.

In saying that however, the new members aren’t exactly youthful as Durheimer is 53 and will be replacing a man just 7 years his senior, while Luca de Meo is 44 and expected to replace Audi’s sales chief, 60-year-old Peter Schwartzenbauer. As a result of this switch-up, the position as CEO of Bentley and Bugatti will be up for grabs but it’s unclear who’ll be promoted to that position in the near future.

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1994 Bugatti EB110 GT

1994 Bugatti EB110 GT

Believe it or not, Bugatti actually had a rather long and roller-coaster-like lifespan before the Veyron was ever a glimmer in Volkswagen AG’s eyes. In fact, Bugatti outdates its ownership group by roughly 28 years, as VW was founded in 1937 and Bugatti in 1909. Unlike VW, though, Bugatti never fully recovered from WWII, and fizzled away into automotive has-been in the 1950s, despite a few ailed comebacks in the late-`50s and early `60s.

When Romano Artioli bought the rights to the Bugatti name, his first release under the newly acquired name was the extremely advanced 1991 Bugatti EB110 GT. Unfortunately, the EB110 GT, despite its advancements, never really took off, which was mostly attributed to the global recession at the time taking its toll on the automotive industry.

The EB110 GT lasted through the 1995 model year, but only a total of 84 of them were ever built within those five model years. In addition to the 84 completed models, there were 11 incomplete models that were purchased by B Engineering during Bugatti’s bankruptcy proceedings, which later became the basis for the Edonis sports car.

As you can see, the EB110 GT had a storied and tragically short life that was chock-full of unrealized potential, due to economic woes. Well, RM Auctions is giving you a chance to own a piece of Bugatti history by offering up a 1994 Bugatti EB110 GT in Monaco from May 11th to 12th, 2012.

How does this one technical marvel stand up to today’s supercars and is it really worth picking up with all of the supercars available?

Click past the jump for the answers in our complete review.

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Rendering: 2013 Bugatti Galibier

Rendering: 2013 Bugatti Galibier

Bugatti has already built the last model of the 300 Veyron units planned, but they have been keeping themselves busy preparing and revising the future production version of the 16C Galibier concept unveiled last year.

Named after a famous Alpine pass featured in the Tour de France, the Galibier will be one of the most powerful luxury sedans currently available on the market. It is rumored that the engine will be powered by a detuned version of the 16-cylinder engine used in the Veyron. Expect to see at least 800 HP for the new sports sedan, just enough to sprint the hyper-sedan to an impressive top speed of 217 mph. The sedan will also be equipped with an all-wheel-drive system, an advanced reactive suspension, and carbon-ceramic disc brakes.

The production version Galibier is expected to debut in 2013 and just like the Veyron, it will come with a huge price tag of somewhere around $1.5 million.

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Bugatti pushes back production of Galibier to 2015

Bugatti pushes back production of Galibier to 2015

All the hype surrounding Bugatti’s Veyron successor - the Galibier - is being put on the shelf for the foreseeable future. This latest development from the Bugatti camp comes as a serious blow to the supercar maker after plans were already in place to have the Galibier begin production in the coming weeks.

But ever since the company decided to hold back the release of the Galibier because "it wasn’t outrageous enough", the wheels have completely fallen off of the the Bugatti luxury supercar.

Apart from the expected performance enhancements on the Galibier, Bugatti has also decided to completely redesign the concept to make it more stylish and comfortable. The company has modified the rear end of the 5.36 meter long vehicle and have allowed for better accessibility via the rear doors, as well as more room in the rear seating area.

So what’s the latest surrounding the Galibier? Well, according to Auto Motor und Sport, production of the car has been delayed until 2015 at the earliest. According to Bugatti’s Chief Executive, Wolfgang Durheimer, the vehicle is still missing the release of the Group Board. The three-year delay behind the Galibier’s production is mighty significant, especially since the Veyron is on its last legs. Let’s just hope that Bugatti has something up their sleeves to expedite the car’s release.

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Production Bugatti Galibier will be "significantly altered"

Production Bugatti Galibier will be "significantly altered"

Bugatti should have known better than to let loose a supercar sedan concept without a concrete plan as to its production. Ever since the Bugatti Galibier Concept was unveiled in 2010, auto journalists the world over have been speculating on the vehicle’s production form and quite possibly rushing the French car manufacturer into releasing details a little ahead than necessary. Then again, who are we kidding? The more publicity, the better, right? So let’s give them some more.

Coming out of a rumor that the Galibier is dealing with a little setback in its release date of Fall 2012 because of the vehicle not being "outrageous enough," BugattiCEO, Wolfgang Durheimer, has now confirmed that the production Galibier is "in its second half of the design phase," but will be significantly altered from the concept car originally displayed.

"I will suggest we continue development, but there will be some remarkable changes from the original concept," said Durheimer. "The design will be different, especially from the B-pillar back, the ingress and regress to the rear seats will be improved, as will the legroom and ergonomics, the car will be a little longer, and the power of the engine will be at least four figures."

The decision to change up the car’s design comes from customer clinic held by the company and approved by Durheimer. “Half of Veyron owners have been in the car already,” he said. “You will still recognize the design from the concept, but now this is a design I can be 100% behind.” The new design will combine elements from the Veyron and the classic Atlantic coupe.

The production Bugatti Galibier - name still not confirmed - will be unveiled by 2013 and will be priced at 1.5 million Euros, or about $2.3 million at the current rates.

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Bugatti holds production of Galibier because it's still not a "conversation stopper"

Bugatti holds production of Galibier because it’s still not a "conversation stopper"

Trouble might be brewing within Bugatti with reports stating that the company might hold off on the production of the Galibier. Apparently, the brand’s head honchos are experiencing some trepidation over the vehicle not being powerful enough.

Clearly, 800 horsepower for a luxury sedan is a staggering output, but for the standards of Bugatti, it is, in the words of company CEO, Wolfgang Durheimer, "not outrageous enough."

The word comes from a source who talked to Inside Line, claiming that despite being the "most exclusive, elegant, and powerful four door automobile in the world," the Galibier is still falling short of the lofty expectations Bugatti has set for itself. The fear, at least according to the source, appears to be that the Galibier is still not the "conversation stopper" the Veyron was when it first came out.

According to the source, Bugatti wants to close the door on all of its competitors when their Galibier enters the market. "In his opinion, there should not even be a question about the best car in the world when you sit down to discuss it with your billionaire buddies," the source said.

"He doesn’t want to build it until it’s the car that finishes the argument, not the car that starts it."

For now, the plans are to hold off production of the Galibier for a later date, or at least until Bugatti figures out a way to improve on the luxury sedan’s performance capabilities. When that will be is still anyone’s guess. But at least Bugatti’s trying to nip the problem in the bud before the Galibier gets exposed.

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Bugatti targeting sales date of Galibier for late 2012

Bugatti targeting sales date of Galibier for late 2012

The ever changing timeline regarding the release of the Bugatti Galibier has changed again to an earlier date. In a recent interview conducted by Auto Motor und Sport with Bugatti President and VEO Wolfgang Durheimer, the latter has confirmed that the new Bugatti flagship will be scheduled to go on sale in the fall of 2012.

This latest timeline is much closer to previous rumors that have been widely reported in the past, including one that pegged a production date of sometime in 2013. Full details behind the car - it’s tentatively called the Galibier, although it’s reported to be designated as the ’Royale’ - are still being withheld, but you can expect it to be as powerful as any four-door luxury sedan the market has ever seen.

“The car has a much higher value that the Veyron, with lot of trunk volume and a four-seat plus one configuration," Durheimer said. "We are taking into consideration various scenarios, from 500, to even 1,000 or 1,500 units produced."

The Galibier is expected to take the reigns from the Veyron as the latter ends its production in the tail end of 2012. Though not as powerful as the mighty supercar, the Galibier is still no slouch by any measure with a rumored output of 850 horsepower. That much performance will most definitely cost more than just an arm-and-a-leg and it’s looking to fetch a price tag in the vicinity of $1.5 million.

Anybody who’s interested in the Galibier will have at least a year to save up and break the bank. It won’t be cheap, so it might be best to start as early as you can, right?

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Bugatti Galibier will go into production as the Royale

Bugatti Galibier will go into production as the Royale

A leaked document about Bugatti’s future product planning revealed some very interesting facts about the company’s plans for the year. We already know that the final unit of the Veyron will be produced in December, but what we didn’t know was that the Galibier will be put into production as the Royale. That is, unless Bugatti is looking to unveil a entirely new supercar which we doubt. Look for the new Royale to be debuted in September at the Frankfurt Motor Show.

Bugatti’s first Royale was launched back in 1927 and was the automotive answer to ultimate luxury. The large luxury car was originally powered by a 12.7-liter straight-eight, but the modern reincarnation will carry the same W16 engine found in the Veyron, linked to an electric motor, and reduced to about 850 HP. This engine will be mated to a dual-clutch gearbox.

Only six units were built of the original Royale during 1927-1933, even though 25 were planned. For the next installment of the luxury vehicle, Bugatti plans on selling 3,000 units in less than six years, each priced at about 1 million Euros ($1.4 million at the current rates).

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Bugatti's future sedan to be built on Audi A8 platform

Bugatti’s future sedan to be built on Audi A8 platform

The maker that has brought us the famous record-breaking Veyron supercar is about to bite the hand that feeds them by ending its production. Instead, Bugatti plans on spending their time building luxury sedans. Right now, the child in us is blowing raspberries at the French company.

The new Bugatti luxury sedan is expected to debut sometime in 2014, but not much else is known about the model. Now, thanks to the German publication, Spiegel, we have just a couple of more details to share.

Now that Audi and Porsche are responsible for all the luxury models in the Volkswagen Group, the future Bugatti sedan will end up being built on the same platform as the Audi A8. Being a Bugatti model, it will be limited to only 300 units and will carry a price tag similar to the Veyron, meaning that only few of us will have the chance to actually drive one.

The sedan model will feature design elements from the Bugatti’s latest concept, the 16 C Galibier. The 16 C concept features the traditional Bugatti radiator complimented by big round LED lit headlamps and the clamshell running the length of the vehicle, which became synonymous with the brand identity under Jean Bugatti in the Type 57.

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Bugatti 16C Galibier will be less powerful but more luxurious than Veyron

Bugatti 16C Galibier will be less powerful but more luxurious than Veyron

Believe it or not, Bugatti’s successor to the vaunted Veyron supercar will be less powerful than its predecessor. That’s the word coming out of the Volkswagen’s exotic auto brand after Bugatti has made it clear that it wants a different direction for the 16C Galibier four-seater sedan: less power, more luxury.

The 16C Galibier, which was made entirely from carbon fiber and aluminum, is expected to go on sale sometime in 2013 where only 300 models will be built. The four-seater sedan will come with the same 8.0-liter W16 engine that powers the Veyron with the big difference being that unlike the latter, which employed turbochargers, the 16C Galibier will ‘only’ come with superchargers that will produce somewhere around 800 horsepower.

We’re not sure how 800 horsepower qualifies as ‘less powerful’, but given that the Veyron was once the fastest production car on the planet, we’re going to take their word for it – ridiculous as it sounds.

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Bugatti Galiber Touring car rendered

Bugatti Galiber Touring car rendered

Considering Bob Lutz’s recent challenge to take on any and all four door sports car competitors with a Cadillac CTS-V, it got us thinking about what four wheeled machine would be the perfect choice to bring to the Monticello Motor Club on October 29. At first we figured that a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution with its Audi R8 super car like handling might be able to keep up with the supercharged Cadillac sedan, but whereas the EVO X is only packing about 300 HP, the CTS-V is putting down a total of 556 HP. The next obvious choice would be a twin turbocharged V8 powered Porsche Panamera, however those aren’t scheduled to arrive until next year.

That is when it hit us, what would be better than a 1000 HP all wheel drive Bugatti super car to take on the bad boy from Cadillac. While this rendering displays a GT spec Galiber ready for the grid at Le Mans with its oversized rear wing and quad turbocharged 16 cylinder engine poking through the openings in the hood, the standard Bugatti super sedan will make use of the same 8.0 Liter W16 that powers its big brother the Veyron. Although it might be harder to get your hands on a Galiber than Naomi Campbell’s backside, it just might be the perfect street legal four door to take on GM’s Vice Chairman, that is as long as the straightaways are long enough.

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