When Bugatti debuted the 2015 Veyron, it shocked the world. A monster W16 powertrain headlined an already stellar output, turning heads and shattering records in the process, but all good things must come to an end. With Bugatti eyeing an electrified future, the powertrain’s days are numbered and the automaker isn’t going quietly. The new Bugatti Mistral Roadster is the final model to feature the brand’s iconic W16 engine, marking the end of an era that’s been defined by power and performance. Hence, while it’s a teary-eyed goodbye from us, the specs of the Mistral are nothing short of mind-blowing, arriving with the 1,600 PS iteration of the W16, which is also found on the Chiron Super Sport.
In essence, the Mistral completes the Chiron range, arriving as a convertible version of this famed car but with a styling twist. It is not as classically beautiful as a Chiron but has a much more striking design language that blends nicely with the exuberance of an open-top hype car. The aesthetic is indeed an amalgamation of the Bugatti Divo and the Bugatti La Voiture Noire along with traditional design details like the horseshoe grille. The designers clearly went all out for this breed of Bugatti’s final hurrah. We especially love the way the windscreen wraps around the A-pillars along with a rounded visor design.
The chiselled character lines and the two roof-mounted air scoops are further design details that have been taken from Bugattis of yesteryear like the beautiful Type 57 Roadster Grand Raid along with a subtle nod towards the one that started it all: the Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport. As you peer closer you notice details like the four-light signature that’s a reference to the W16 Mistral’s four-wheel-drive and four turbochargers. However, along with that, the lights’ three-dimensional surface provides aerodynamic benefits too.
At the rear, the X-themed tail lamps are slimmer while seamlessly blending in with the lines of the car along with also serving a functional purpose of venting the side oil coolers through ducts. The Mistral is also a permanent convertible with the air scoops behind the headrests being finished in carbon fibre and supporting the entire weight of the car in case of a rollover.
Bugatti has also improved the acoustic abilities of the W16 with a new intake layout and more of a rumbling soundtrack that’s befitting this engine. Performance figures have not been released but it does not take a rocket scientist to figure out that the Mistral is going to be the fastest roadster in the world with a top-speed reaching 420 km/h. Yes, those kinds of numbers float around the speedometer when you have 1,600 horses galloping behind you.
The interior is subtle but beautifully finished with an attention to detail that makes its price tag somewhat digestible. Some design flourishes include a new aluminium gear shifter along with an insert of the Rembrandt Bugatti’s famous ‘dancing elephant’ sculpture. With Bugatti joined together with Rimac, the end of the W16 was very much in sight but this is indeed a glorious way to go out and with only 99 examples being made (at USD$5 million each) , don’t be surprised to find one displayed in the Louvre as a piece of art in the years to come.