Bugatti’s latest creation, the W16 Mistral, heralds a new era in the brand’s storied history of open-top performance vehicles. This roadster, a culmination of over a century of engineering excellence, marks a significant milestone in Bugatti’s lineage, renowned for producing some of the finest roadsters ever seen, such as the Type 40 A, Type 41 Roadster Esders, Type 55 Roadster, and the iconic Type 57 Roadster Grand Raid Gangloff, crafted under the meticulous eye of Jean Bugatti.
The W16 Mistral represents the brand’s bold foray into modern roadster design since the Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse in 2012 and is notably the last road-going model to feature the legendary W16 engine. This roadster is a testament to Bugatti’s dedication to pushing engineering boundaries beyond the conventional, demanding more than just a simple reimagining of the Chiron.
At its core, the W16 Mistral embodies the pinnacle of performance and luxury. Powered by a 1,600 PS version of the W16 engine, its design and construction are bespoke. The monocoque has been expertly re-engineered to create a rounded silhouette that meets stringent crash regulations, despite lacking a roof. This engineering feat required a blend of performance, comfort, safety, dynamics, handling, and drivability.
The Chiron family was never intended to have a roadster model. That is why we had to start afresh when we decided to build the W16 Mistral, the ultimate tribute to our rich roadster history and our legendary W16 engine. A Chiron without a roof might be an amazing car for many others, but it wouldn’t meet the uncompromisingly high standards that Bugatti adheres to. No matter what type of hyper sports car it is, a Bugatti model must be incomparable in every respect to anything else in the automotive world. – Emilio Scervo, Chief Technology Officer
The W16 Mistral’s doors are a focal point of its development, featuring an innovative architecture that significantly enhances side-impact protection. The roadster’s new exterior necessitated a unique air intake system. Innovative ram induction air scoops, located behind the headrests and crafted from bespoke carbon fiber, can support the car’s weight in a rollover, while accentuating the auditory experience of the W16 engine.
The interior of the W16 Mistral is just as thoughtfully designed, with intricate woven leather on the door panels and a high-end sound system that ensures an auditory delight, even at high speeds. The gear shifter, machined from solid aluminum, features a tribute to Rembrandt Bugatti’s ‘dancing elephant’ sculpture, a nod to the Type 41 Royale and a symbolic connection to Bugatti’s latest roadster masterpiece.
The development process of the W16 Mistral focused heavily on achieving a harmonious balance between aesthetics and performance. Following Bugatti’s ‘Form Follows Performance’ principle, each component was crafted for beauty and performance enhancement. The goal was to create a roadster with a top speed of 420 km/h that still offered a luxurious and refined cabin experience. To achieve this, the team utilized ultra-high-performance lightweight composite materials to maintain rigidity and minimize weight, ensuring driving dynamics comparable to the Chiron.
The Bugatti W16 Mistral not only marks the culmination of the brand’s legendary W16 engine era but also sets a new benchmark in the ultra-luxury roadster segment. As the final road-going model to feature the iconic W16 engine, the Mistral is a masterpiece of engineering and design, blending unparalleled performance with the exclusivity and luxury that Bugatti is known for.
With its production limited to just 99 examples, all of which have already been accounted for, the W16 Mistral continues Bugatti’s enduring legacy and its commitment to automotive excellence. As deliveries are set to begin in 2024, the W16 Mistral is poised to become a new icon in the automotive world, embodying the pinnacle of open-top driving and cementing Bugatti’s place in history as a creator of extraordinary vehicles.