Bugatti may have given the W16 engine the boot, but the 16-cylinder behemoth isn’t going quietly. The powertrain, which was the outsized heart of the Chiron and the Veyron before it, is getting one final road-going outing in the form of the Bugatti W16 Mistral. The new car, which will be produced in extremely limited numbers, not only bids farewell to the gas engine, but also marks a surprising first in Bugatti history.
It is the first roadster in Bugatti’s Chiron era, with all previous versions being coupes. Unlike in the past, there is no softening involved in the transition from hard-top to open — in fact, the W16 Mistral sets a high bar for Bugatti’s future electric models to meet.
The 8-liter, 12-cylinder engine with quad turbos is, unsurprisingly, the star of the show here. Based on the same engine as the Chiron Super Sport 300+, it produces 1,600 PS (1,578 horsepower) and can propel the W16 Mistral to speeds of up to 260 miles per hour.
Dramatic style and big scoops
It’s built on a completely new monocoque, with Bugatti opting to rework its core platform rather than simply removing the coupe’s top. The curved windshield wraps around the A-pillars and into the side glass, where the top line flows into the massive side air intakes. The horseshoe grille at the front is larger than on other Chiron models.
Two roof-mounted engine air scoops work in tandem with the side-mounted oil cooler intakes. By separating them, Bugatti’s designers were able to make the side section of the W16 Mistral slimmer. The scoops, too, are made of a custom carbon fiber structure that is strong enough to support the entire weight of the roadster if it flips.
The W16 Mistral deviates the most from its coupe predecessors in terms of lighting signature. The front has a quad-light signature that also serves as an aerodynamic aid, drawing airflow in through the clusters and out of the front wheel arches. The rear X-theme, first seen on the Bugatti Bolide, has been updated and now serves as a vent.
Only 99 Bugatti W16 Mistral units will be made
It’s a mix of simplicity and luxury on the inside. After all, you don’t want to be distracted while chasing the top speed of the W16 Mistral. Titanium and aluminum are prominently featured, as is woven leather. The shifter is made of solid aluminum and has a wood and amber insert with a “dancing elephant” sculpture embedded inside, a nod to Rembrandt Bugatti’s own sculpture.
Though each W16 Mistral buyer will be able to customize their own color scheme, the Bugatti Type 57 Roadster Grand Raid inspires this first example. That means a warm black with hints of truffle brown and yellow.
W16 Mistral owners, on the other hand, won’t have to worry about finding a matching car. According to Bugatti, only 99 examples will be produced, each priced at 5 million euros ($5.27 million), and all examples have already been reserved. Deliveries are scheduled to begin in 2024.