Bugatti has revealed the ultimate roadster: the W16 Mistral. Swansong for one of the most ambitious automotive powertrains ever created – Bugatti’s 8.0-litre quad-turbo W16 engine – the Mistral has 1,600hp, a completely bespoke design and is limited to just 99 editions worldwide. All are already sold out.
Named for a powerful wind that blows from the Rhône River valley, through the chic towns of the Côte d’Azur in southern France and into the Mediterranean, the W16 Mistral takes the powertrain of the Chiron Super Sport 300+ and clothes it within an elegant roadster body with an entirely different character to the Chiron.
Styling is inspired by one particular example of the 1934 Bugatti Type 57 Roadster Grand Raid, a sporting roadster that represents the pinnacle of elegant design. Marked out by its dual aerodynamic headrests, flowing backwards into the bodywork, and a cut down V-shaped windscreen, this particular Grand Raid – on display at the Louwman Museum in The Hague – is effortlessly sophisticated with an understated sportiness.
The W16 Mistral captures the essence of the Grand Raid’s V-shaped windscreen and evolves it into a modern-day work of art. A curving windscreen that seemingly wraps around the A-pillars, blending seamlessly into the side windows and creating a ‘visor’ effect that hints at the motorsport levels of performance W16 Mistral offers. The windscreen itself is a marvel of engineering, curved just enough to create the rounded visor design, without distorting the driver’s vision.
The top line of the windscreen and side windows flows purposefully around the side air intakes. This character line then flows back underneath the side glass to shoot through all the way to the front horseshoe grill creating a new three-dimensional character for the famous Bugatti C-line introduced on Chiron.
Developed with careful attention paid to Bugatti’s ‘Form Follows Performance’ design language, the W16 Mistral’s headlights are intricately shaped to function as an aerodynamic aid that funnels air through the light and out through the wheel arch to improve aerodynamic drag. The wider horseshoe grille allows the high temperature engine radiator to be fully fed purely from one intake, leaving the two side intakes to focus only on providing air to the intercoolers.
The new ram induction air scoops behind the headrests were designed from the very beginning with stringent rollover tests in mind, so each is made from a bespoke carbon fiber structure that can support the whole weight of the car in case of a roll over. This new intake layout also enriches the driver’s W16 experience, emphasising the orchestra between the low down, mighty, rumbling 8-litre displacement intake noise at throttle on and the blow off valve whistle from the four turbo chargers at throttle lift. It is an unmatched aural sensation in the automotive world.
In the interior, an intricate woven leather used on newly designed door panels, meticulously tested and produced to Bugatti quality standards with a vision of regular use over a hundred years into the future. And in a nod to the W16 Mistral’s illustrious forebears, the gear shifter – machined from a solid block of aluminum – features a touch of wood and an amber insert with Rembrandt Bugatti’s famous ‘dancing elephant’ sculpture locked within. Iterations of this sculpture adorned the bonnet of the legendary Type 41 Royale; the most luxurious roadster ever created.
Only 99 examples of the W16 Mistral will be built, priced at 5 million euros net, with deliveries due to begin in 2024. The entire production run of W16 Mistral is already sold out