Bugatti is bidding adieu to its W16 engine in style.
The French marque unveiled its latest hypercar on Friday—the Mistral roadster. The open-top speed machine is based on the Chiron and will be the brand’s last road-going model to feature the brawny mill that’s been a hallmark of its lineup since the Veyron’s introduction in 2005.
The Mistral may be the first roadster of the Chiron era, but Bugatti has been building roofless models since the very beginning. In fact, 40 percent of the vehicles the automaker has produced over the last 113 years have featured open top designs. Turning the company’s current-generation hypercar into a roadster wasn’t as simple as just chopping off its roof, though. The entire body had to be reengineered and reshaped. The resulting vehicle has a rounder silhouette than its predecessors, which should boost performance.
The design of the new model, which is named after the powerful wind that blows through the Rhône River valley, was heavily inspired by one of Bugatti’s greatest roadsters—the 1934 Type 57 Roadster Grand Raid. Its influence is best seen in the Mistral’s windscreen. It’s not V-shaped like the Grand Raid’s; it features a unique curved design that wraps around the A-pillar creating a visor-like effect for the driver. The engine scoops positioned behind the headrests offer another call back, this time to first open-top Bugatti of the modern era, the Veyron roadster. The bespoke, vertically stacked headlamps are all new, while the X-shaped taillight motif is a more refined version of that seen on the track-only Bolide. The Mistral debuts in a warm black with hints of truffle brown and subtle yellow accents, but, as with other Bugattis, buyers will have a near limitless palette of colors to choose from.
Inside, the roadster doesn’t look radically different from other Chirons. The driver-centric cabin is done up in the same high-end materials—blemish-free leathers, lightweight titanium and aluminum milled from a single block—but offers a couple new flourishes. These include woven-leather door panels and an amber insert in the gear shifter that houses Rembrandt Bugatti’s famous “dancing elephant” sculpture.
Powering the Mistral is the definitive version of the company’s W16 engine. It is the same 8.0-liter mill found in the Chiron Super Sport 300+, which is capable of pumping out a hair-raising 1,577 hp. Thanks to this, the Mistral promises to offer performance few other open-top cars can match. Bugatti is doing nothing to rein in expectations, either. The brand says its aim is for the car to be crowned the world’s fastest roadster.
“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,” Bugatti CEO Mate Rimac said in a statement. “The W16 Mistral opens the next chapter in the Bugatti roadster story, inspired by over a century of open top legends.”
In typical Bugatti fashion, the Mistral carries a sky-high price tag of around $5 million. Only 99 examples will be built, all of which are already spoken for, according to the brand. Don’t worry, though. We have a feeling it won’t be long before one hits the secondary market. A build slot may even go up for grabs. It’s happened before.
Click here to see all of the photos of the Bugatti Mistral roadster.