Frankfurt 2013: We're All Still Waiting for a Bugatti Hybrid

Bugatti Galibier Hybrid

The car you see above is the Bugatti Galibier. When it was introduced to the world as a concept back in 2009, it was one of the first high-horsepower, mega-dollar hybrids to break cover. The car itself was classically styled, promised uncompromising luxury and performance, and several miles of utterly silent, zero-emissions, “pure” electric car range.

Indeed, Bugatti’s CEO Wolfgang Durheimer actively made a case for the car, explaining 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 centrs … 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.”

The car was promised to hit the road in 2012, as a 2013 model. As I write this, we are swimming in news from the Frankfurt auto show. The 2014 model year is fast-approaching. Instead of a sexy, sumptuous hybrid, however, Bugatti is poised to deliver something so played out that it was already a cliché when the Galibier broke cover four years ago: another special edition Veyron.

You read that right: Bugatti has revealed plans to separate a few more more wealthy suckers from their hard earned inheritance money at the upcoming 2013 Frankfurt auto show with a new, “special edition” Bugatti Veyron that will cost a few hundred thousand dollars more than the standard, million-plus dollar hyper-exotic. For that money, buyers will get the same W16 engine that’s been in the car since 2005. With different paint.

No KERS. No hybrid option. No EV mode. Not even a super-high-horsepower ethanol version like you can find in the also-Volkswagen-built Bentley Continental Supersports. Different paint.

Maybe nicer leather.

::YAWN:: This will be something between the tenth and hundredth “special” Bugatti to roll off the line, and about the fifth one since anyone gave a damn. All of which sort of begs the question: with so many special editions, are any of the Veyrons really that special?

Bugatti Syndrome

That question was asked in Pixar’s excellent movie, the Incredibles, where the villain, a husky kid that calls himself “Syndrome”, aims to “even the score” with the film’s super-powered “supers” by giving everyone technology-based superpowers. In his “epic villain speech”, Syndrome sums up his plan with the phrase “When everyone’s special, no one is.” Ignoring the fact that film basically teaches kids that the only way to be special is to be born special, that’s a solid point.

You are unique, just like everybody else.

So, let’s look at some of the other “special” Bugattis as we await this new one, which will give any eco-conscious enthusiast plenty of reasons hate it before realizing that, for that million bucks, you basically end up with something that’s still slower than plenty of motorcycles that can be had for 1% of the asking price. Oh well, maybe it’ll help this guy compensate for whatever it is he needs to compensate for, you know?


Bugatti Veyron PurSang


What makes this Bugatti special? It’s got super-reflective dark paint, or lack of paint, or something.


Bugatti Veyron Sang Noir


What makes this Bugatti special? It’s got non-reflective black paint, and the shiny parts are really black.


Bugatti Veyron Par Hermes


What makes this Bugatti special? It’s a special shade of “Volkswagen executive doo-doo brown” and comes with matching luggage. Expect to pay several hundred thousand dollars for the privilege of driving the world’s fastest shiny poop-mobile.


Bugatti Veyron Centairre


These Bugattis are special because of their unique color-combinations, celebrating 100 years of something-or-other related to Bugatti and the old, pre-war “international racing colors”. It’s worth noting that Bugatti builds every car to order, and will build you a car that looks exactly like these, if you specify it, but you won’t get the little plaque that says it’s special. You have to pay for that.


Bugatti Veyron Bleu Centairre


As above, but in blue. Sorry- I mean “bleu”, as in “Sacre bleu! Ah ‘ad no idea zees people were so easy to rip off!”


There are more special edition Bugattis, still. Grand Sports, Super Sports, ceramic ones, chrome ones, and there are still rumors circulating about the hybrid Bugatti luxo-sedan, though. It might still see the light of day, which would be really cool, if the company had customers that weren’t paying in petro-dollars. You can check them out in the photo gallery at the bottom of this article.

What do you guys think? Are these Bugattis actually special? Would you pay $10,000 more for a “Sang Noir” Honda Accord if it was like, really Really REALLY painted black? Am I missing something? Let me know, in the comments.


Sources | Photos: Autoexpress, Bugatti, GT Spirit, Pixar.

Jo Borrás

I've been in the auto industry 1997, and write for a number of blogs in the IM network. You can also find me on Twitter, at my Volvo fansite, out on two wheels, or chasing my kids around Oak Park, IL.