Bugatti W16 Mistral Puts A $5 Million Price On The End Of An Era

Bugatti may have given the W16 engine its marching orders, but the 16-cylinder behemoth isn't going out quietly. The outsized heart of the Chiron, and the Veyron before it, the powertrain is getting one final, road-going outing in the shape of the Bugatti W16 Mistral. Set to be produced in vanishingly small numbers, the new car not only gives the gas engine its swan song, but also acts as a surprising first in recent Bugatti history.

It's actually the first roadster in Bugatti's Chiron era, all previous versions of the hypercar being coupes. While traditionally there's a softening involved in going from hard-top to open, that's certainly not the case here — in fact, the W16 Mistral sets a hefty benchmark for Bugatti's future electric models to meet.

Unsurprisingly, the 8-liter, 12-cylinder engine — with its quad turbos — is the star of the show here. Based on the same variant as in the Chiron Super Sport 300+, it offers 1,600 PS (1,578 horsepower) and the capacity to drive the W16 Mistral to around 260 miles per hour.

Dramatic style and big scoops

It's set into a completely new monocoque, Bugatti opting to rework its core platform rather than simply slice off the top of the coupe's version. The curved windshield wraps around the A-pillars and into the side glass, the top line then flowing into the huge side air intakes. At the front, there's a sizable horseshoe grille wider than on other Chiron cars.

Two roof-mounted engine air scoops work alongside the oil cooler intakes that are mounted on the side. Separating them allowed Bugatti's designers to leave the side section of the W16 Mistral slimmer. The scoops have also been made from a custom carbon fiber structure, each of which is strong enough to support the entire weight of the roadster should it flip.

The lighting signature is where the W16 Mistral steps most decisively away from its coupe predecessors. The front has a quad-light signature that doubles as an aero aid, pulling airflow in through the clusters and then out of the front wheel arches. At the rear, the X-theme seen first on the Bugatti Bolide has been updated, here also working as a vent for the side oil coolers.

Only 99 Bugatti W16 Mistral units will be made

Inside, it's a combination of simplicity and luxury. After all, you probably don't want to be too distracted when you're chasing the W16 Mistral's top speed. Titanium and aluminum feature prominently, along with woven leather. The shifter is milled from solid aluminum with a wood and amber insert; that has a "dancing elephant" sculpture — a nod to Rembrandt Bugatti's own sculpture — embedded inside.

Though each of the W16 Mistral's buyers will get to choose their own color scheme, this first example comes in a finish inspired by the Bugatti Type 57 Roadster Grand Raid. That means a warm black, with truffle brown and yellow accents.

W16 Mistral owners won't have to worry too much about seeing a matching car, mind. Only 99 will be produced, Bugatti says, each priced at 5 million euros ($5.27 million), and all examples of the car have already been reserved. Deliveries are expected to begin sometime in 2024.