When Bugatti first announced that the Galiber sedan would be the follow-up act for their million-dollar Veyron
exercise in decadence supercar back in 2009, the company saw fit to make the concept flex-fuel capable, and included the line “… extolling the virtues of Earth… and speed.” in their launch/promo video (included, below.) I claimed that it signaled a sea-change in thought, and concluded with “it is no longer socially acceptable to build a powerful, luxurious car without a nod to the green car movement.”
It's been over a year since we've heard from the Galiber, but according to the May 2011 issue of the English rag CAR, the new super-sedan's development is well under way … and, when it hits the market next year, it will be a hybrid.
Bugatti's bosses aren't yet ready to call themselves white elephants, but they do claim to have a good business reason to offer the big Bug as a hybrid. Wolfgang Durheimer (Bugatti's CEO) says that “when the mayors of cities know we can make cars that run silently, I don't expect they will allow cars that pollute into city centres … but I can't imagine a Galibier owner leaving their car at the park-and-ride and catching a bus. That's why we need to offer a hybrid with this car, so owners drive up to the hotel silently in EV mode.”
So, it's not about “green”, because you still can't sell excess and responsibility in the same package … but the nod is there, and – if Bugatti wishes to remain relevant in a world where both East and West are embracing green tech, it'll have to be a heck of a nod.