The Bugatti Mistral Is the Open-Top Send-Off For the Legendary W-16

·2 min read
Photo credit: Bugatti
Photo credit: Bugatti

Bugatti's W-16 will soon come to an end. The only one of its type, this 8-liter quad-turbo unit has powered all 21st-century Bugattis, from the original Veyron to the Chiron Super Sport 300+, where it generates a brutal 1578 hp. Not even Bugatti is immune to emissions regulations and the need to electrify, so the remarkable W-16 is going away, but not without a proper celebration. This is the Mistral, an open-top roadster derived from the Chiron, that provides the final home for the W-16.

"For the final road-going appearance of Bugatti’s legendary W-16 engine, we knew we had to create a roadster," Bugatti Rimac CEO Mate Rimac said in a statement. "Well over 40 percent of all Bugatti vehicles ever created have been open-top in design, establishing a long lineage of performance icons that—to this day—are revered the world over."

The Mistral uses a new carbon-fiber monocoque based on the Chiron's, yet the company points out that it's not just a Chiron tub with a big hole cut out where the roof would be. This new chassis allowed Bugatti designers to give the Mistral a very distinct look from the Chiron. Its engine is shared with the Super Sport 300+, and—as with all 16-cylinder Bugattis—it powers all four wheels via a dual-clutch transaxle.

Photo credit: Bugatti
Photo credit: Bugatti

Primary design inspiration was the Type 57 "Grand Raid" Roadster designed by Ettore Bugatti's son, Jean. The Grand Raid's distinctive V-shaped windshield inspired the Mistral's low, wraparound piece, while the black over yellow livery of the show car is inspired by a particular example of the car.

Photo credit: Bugatti
Photo credit: Bugatti

The engine breathes through two intakes just above the headrests. Those intakes double as rollover protection, carbon-fiber pieces able to support the weight of the car. Out back, the X-shaped taillight motif first shown on the Bolide is adapted here, giving the Mistral a distinct look while providing a lot of ventilation for the immense heat generated by the powertrain.

Inside, the interior is very much Chiron, though with some new details including quilted leather on the door panels, and a recreation of Rembrandt Bugatti's famous elephant sculpture within the shifter. Naturally, customization will be virtually limitless.

Bugatti plans to build 99 examples of the Mistral, with a price of €5 million (around $5.1 million at the time of writing). Naturally, all are sold out, and when production ends, so too will the 16-cylinder automotive engine. What a send-off.

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