The 800-horsepower Bugatti Galibier 16C concept super-sedan got the putative green light earlier this year, and rumors of a plug-in hybrid option soon followed. Now it looks like the production Galibier may get a name change to Royale.
The news is a bit sketchy, but the Royale name does have a basis in Bugatti history. The Type 41, commonly known as the Royale, was a 21-foot-long, 7,000-pound, 12.7-liter straight-eight monster designed with the explicit premise of sales to royalty. The car didn't see the acceptance expected, however, seeing only six built in the late 1920s and early 1930s, half of which sold.
As for the modern Galibier/Royale, the theme of over-the-top opulence links it with its historical predecessor. An 8.0-liter turbocharged W-16 engine rated at 800-horsepower mated to a dual-clutch gearbox drives the sedan. The interior is so meticulously turned out that it makes the average executive Gulfstream look a bit cheap.
Should the Bugatti super-sedan make it to production, as the Royale or by any other name, it is not likely to be on sale--to a very limited, hand-picked client base--before 2012.