CEO confirms on-again, off-again Galibier as one of four models in consideration

Long thought to be a one-model brand, Bugatti is now considering the feasibility of building a second model to sit alongside the Chiron supercar with one of the models being the Galibier luxury sedan.

Speaking with Drive, Bugatti CEO Wolfgang Durheimer commented on Bugatti’s future plans, the most significant of which is a strategy that will make the French brand more financially independent from parent company Volkswagen AG in the wake of the diesel emissions scandal that has plagued the German auto conglomerate. One possible way for Bugatti to secure this financial and operations independency is to add another model to its lineup.

Durheimer confirmed that the Galibier is one of four models the company is considering. As for the other three, the Bugatti CEO said he still couldn’t talk about any of them, but the report indicates that another option is a luxury SUV that would compete against the Rolls-Royce Callinan. There’s also talk of an all-electric luxury car and the most intriguing of them all, an “entry-level” supercar that would sit below the Chiron.

Despite the rumors surrounding these potential models, Durheimer seems to have a soft spot for the Galibier because it has, in his own words, “some revolutionary approaches that no one to date has yet dared to place into production.” What those approaches are is anybody’s guess, but it is worth noting that Durheimer has been championing for the Galibier dating back to his first stint as Bugatti’s top boss. Now that he’s back in the company after spending some time running Audi, the possibility of (finally!) seeing the Galibier in the flesh is as big as it’s ever been. All that’s left is to see where this road Bugatti is leading us in ends up.

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Why it matters

I’m actually torn about this news. On the one hand, it’s nice to see no less than Bugatti CEO Wolfgang Durheimer himself essentially confirm that not only is the Galibier being considered as a production model, he also said that he’s personally championed for it. That’s a far better endorsement than what former CEO Wolfgang Schreiber gave to the model when he essentially cancelled it in favor of continuing down the hypercar route that eventually gave birth to the Chiron.

In fairness to Schreiber, he did spearhead the development for the Chiron and in some weird twist of fate, we might end up seeing the Galibier anyway to sit alongside the Chiron. So in the end, we get the two models that Bugatti’s last two CEOs wanted to build. It does sound a lot like fate intervening and working its magic, but to be clear, neither Durheimer nor any other Bugatti exec has officially confirmed production plans for the Galibier. Technically, it’s still one of four models that are being considered and I’d be remiss if I didn’t think any of the other three proposals aren’t interesting, especially that entry-level supercar.

The luxury SUV and an all-electric luxury car are nice, but I don’t think they capture the true extreme luxury and performance ethos of Bugatti. The Galibier is the perfect model for that considering that it represents one extreme (luxury) with the Chiron representing the other (performance). Whatever this model ends up being, it’s important to note that it won’t be built in the same space in time as the Chiron. If anything, Durheimer points out that given the nature of work that’s put into the Chiron by Bugatti’s engineers, production for the next model won’t begin until after the Chiron’s production run is complete.

On the flip side, we’ve been waiting for the Bugatti Galibier for the past five years. What’s another five more, right?

Source: Drive

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