Weekend Wheels: The Bugatti W16 Mistral

January 23, 2024
2 mins read

Bugatti has always pushed the limits of what a street-legal car can be, and their latest roadster, the W16 Mistral is a parting gift to the automotive universe. A masterpiece that blends performance, luxury, and innovation in a way that is incomparable to anything else on the road today.

“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 – CTO of Bugatti.

If you are in the market for a statement vehicle, the W16 Mistral should have been at the top of your list (back in 2022), with a starting price of around $5 million, it is in a league of its own. However, all 99 were pre-sold, so your only hope of getting one is on the secondary market. Customer deliveries are scheduled to start in early 2024, so one or two might become available. I am sure the team at Bugatti of Houston, the only Bugatti dealer in Texas, would be eager to help you find the Bugatti of your dreams, but you might be disappointed if you ask for the Mistral.

What makes the W16 Mistral so special:

A Storied Legacy of Open-Top Artistry: Bugatti’s illustrious history of crafting open-top performance icons is celebrated with the W16 Mistral. From Jean Bugatti’s creations in the 1920s to the iconic Type 57 Roadster Grand Raid Gangloff, the Mistral emerges as a tour-de-force, representing Bugatti’s commitment to engineering excellence in the realm of roadsters.

The Grand Finale of the W16 Engine: Serving as the swan song for Bugatti’s legendary W16 engine in road-going models, the Mistral boasts a 1,600 PS incarnation. Beyond sheer performance, this roadster is a bespoke masterpiece, breaking away from the Chiron to set new standards in design and engineering.

Unparalleled Craftsmanship and Luxury: The Mistral’s design and engineering transcend convention. The monocoque is re-engineered to meet stringent crash regulations, showcasing Bugatti’s dedication to perfection even in the absence of a roof. Emilio Scervo, Bugatti’s CTO, emphasizes that the Mistral is not just a convertible Chiron but a tribute to the brand’s roadster history and the W16 engine.

Engineering Marvels for Performance and Safety: To achieve a top speed of 420 km/h, Bugatti embraced the ‘Form Follows Performance’ mantra, ensuring each component contributes to both aesthetics and performance. The use of ultra-high performance lightweight composite materials and advanced structural design enhances the Mistral’s driving dynamics while prioritizing safety features.

Sensory Symphony Inside and Out: The Mistral introduces an advanced air intake system and ram induction air scoops designed with rollover safety tests in mind. The unique carbon fiber structure of the scoops can support the car’s weight in a roll-over scenario. The roadster’s soundscape is a symphony, blending the W16 engine’s visceral signature with a high-end sound system, creating a delightful sensory experience for occupants.

Intricate Details and Homage to Tradition: Inside the Mistral, intricate woven leather adorns newly designed door panels, maintaining Bugatti’s highest quality standards. The machined aluminum gear shifter pays homage to Rembrandt Bugatti’s famous ‘dancing elephant’ sculpture, connecting the Mistral to Bugatti’s historic Type 41 Royale. This attention to detail seamlessly continues the brand’s tradition of crafting roadsters that have been admired and revered for decades.

The Gentleman Racer by Michael Satterfield

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