The Mistral is Bugatti's last W16

19th August 2022
Ethan Jupp

You’re probably thinking “oh no, not another Chiron-based ‘special’ Bugatti”. That would be fair, if not for the fact that the W16 Mistral is to be not only the last Chiron-based machine from Bugatti – save perhaps for the Bolide if that makes production – but the last 8.0-litre quad-turbo W16-powered Bugatti. This is the monster motor’s last hurrah, after a 17-year run of near enough dominating the pursuit of automotive speed.


It’s also the first production roadster based on the Chiron platform, with past leadership once insisting that there would be no open-topped Chiron to succeed the Grand Sport Veyrons. Indeed, this is the reality of the new Bugatti Rimac era manifest, with the arrival of a previously unsanctioned convertible signalling the end of the W16. A convertible was a priority, in fact, for Bugatti Rimac CEO Mate Rimac, who said “for the final roadgoing appearance of Bugatti’s legendary W16 engine, we knew we had to create a roadster”.

“Well over 40% 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. In the Chiron era there had, to-date, been no roadster, so the introduction of W16 Mistral continues this legacy, driven by enormous demand from our clients for an all-new way to experience the mighty performance of our iconic engine.”


It’s quite a pretty thing, too, in a landscape of Bugatti specials that have traded blows on which can be the most vulgar. There’s a bit of La Voiture at the front, a more curvaceous approach to the profile. At the rear, the sculpture of the Chiron has been reprofiled around a Bolide-style X-shaped rear light architecture. Perhaps that’ll be a Bugatti signature going forward? The whole thing has been aerodynamically optimised, too, including the Noir-style lights that also allow air through them and out through the wheel arch.

Obviously the big news is there’s no roof, with a curved windscreen leading up into a tumbling window line. There are two distinctive vents on either side for the engine, which is also once again exposed, with both elements evoking the Veyron that started it all for the W16. The overall design takes some influence from classic Bugattis too, including primarily the Type 57 Roadster Grand Raid. The Mistral debuts in a yellow colour scheme that was a favourite of Ettore Bugatti, too.


On the inside, per the other Chiron-based specials, this is the Chiron’s architecture but with bespoke touches and materials. No bad thing given how nice a place to find yourself a Chiron’s cabin is.

In terms of performance, the Mistral isn’t mucking about, borrowing the Chiron Super Sport’s 1,600PS (1,177kW) W16, the most powerful derivation of the long-serving motor. Bugatti has made no secret of its intention for the Mistral to be the world’s fastest roadster, though Hennessey has designs on that same record with the recently-revealed 300mph-capable F5 Roadster. All that said, no figures have been quoted, so a sub three-second 0-62mph time and a 260mph+ top speed are our best minimum guesses.


Happily, there will be a few more Mistrals than there were Divos or Centodiecis and certainly more than the single La Voiture Noir that was produced. That said, it won’t exactly be common, with 99 examples planned at a cool €5million each. Deliveries are expected to begin in 2024 and no, in spite of the healthy production number, you can’t have one. They’re all sold out.

  • Bugatti

  • Mistral

  • Monterey 2022

  • Monterey Car Week

  • Chiron

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