Bad news, car fans. Bugatti's parent company, Volkswagen, is ready to pull the plug on the all-conquering Veyron as its approaches the end of its 300-unit production run. The good news (we think) is that Bugatti's announced a cheaper, slower, uglier replacement known as the 16C Galibier. Rejoice! Or something.
The Bugatti 16C Galibier, named after one of the most difficult alpine passes on the Tour de France, was first unveiled as a prototype at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show where it underwhelmed and confused in equal measure. It's obviously tickled someone's fancy, though, as Volkswagen's given it the green light for full production by 2013.
Let's get the good stuff out of the way. The car is designed to be the fastest four-door saloon on the market. It'll use the same 16-cylinder, 8-litre W-16 engine as the Veyron, but swaps turbochargers for two-stage supercharging.
Bugatti's keeping schtum over exactly how fast it'll be, but it'll produce around 800bhp, which should be good for a 0-60mph time of below 3 seconds and a top speed north of 220mph.
It's a terrible shame then, that it's so frightfully ugly. Reports that the government is considering moving Halloween to this car's launch date are unconfirmed, but highly plausible given its repellent styling. The front end is inoffensive, but that gigantic backside is reminiscent of the Porsche Panamera and that's really not a good look.
The car's size really doesn't help it, either. The 16C Galibier measures nearly 5.5 metres long, so don't expect it to fit in any parking spaces this side of Texas.
The design redeems itself with all manner of cool detail, though. There are eight exhausts separated into two banks of four across the rear, its twin engine hatches open electronically like a butterfly's wings, and the entire nose of the car can be removed to provide access to serviceable components -- and the secret compartment where owners can keep their filthy wads of cash.
Unsurprisingly, the inside is a tsunami of leather and wood. The instrument binnacle is home to an all-new LCD display that shows your speed, vehicle settings, engine settings and navigation instructions. There's even a night-vision system.
Is that enough to make up for the fact it could turn Medusa to stone? We're not so sure. Have a gander through the photo gallery above and let us know what you think in the comments below.