Bugatti W16 Mistral roadster bids adieu to 8.0-litre engine

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Car fans and lovers of quirky engineering, it’s time to shed a tear as the just-unveiled Bugatti W16 Mistral “brings the W16 era to an end”.

Like recent specials from Bugatti, the Mistral has a unique body, but is clearly a Chiron derivative. This last spin-off from the Chiron is also the first to be an open-top roadster.

Up front the Mistral features a new iteration of the brand’s horseshoe grille that’s deeper, wider, and more three-dimensional. The vertical stack of LED lighting strips gives the car a distinctive appearance day or night.

The windscreen wraps around just enough to create a visor-like appearance, but doesn’t distort the driver’s vision.

To improve airflow into the W16, the rear side intakes are exclusively for the oil cooler, while the engine’s ram induction intakes are positioned behind the headrests. These carbon-fibre units can support the entire weight of the car in the case of a roll-over accident.

At the rear, the striking X-shaped tail-lights are not only striking to look at, but the empty space also features cooling ducts to help keep the W16’s temperature in check.

Named after the “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 Mistral is powered by the same version of the 8.0-litre quad-turbo W16 that made its debut in the Chiron Super Sport.

In this tune, the 16-pot serves up 1176kW and 1600Nm to all four wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.

Although Bugatti has yet to release performance figures for the Mistral, the company is confident it will retake the crown of the world’s fastest roadster, a title once held by the Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse, which had a mere 883kW to its name and was capable of a top speed of 409km/h.

The cabin is the clearest link, if you needed one, between the Mistral and Chiron. In standard form, the Mistral’s interior has been largely stripped of brightwork, and has a black and yellow combination that’s a nod to both the Type 57 Roadster Grand Raid and Ettore Bugatti’s preferred interior colour combination.

The Mistral features new woven leather inserts for the door panels, while the gear shifter is milled from a single block of aluminium, and features a a small wood inlay and an amber insert with Rembrandt Bugatti’s dancing elephant sculpture locked within.

Bugatti will make only 99 Mistrals, each priced from €5 million ($7.2 million), with deliveries beginning some time in 2024.

If you’re interested, but don’t already have an order in the book, it’s too late – the W16 Mistral is already sold out.




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