The W16 era ended when Bugatti offered a quad-turbo, 8.0 liter engine with the Mistral. The Chiron-based roadster is named after the winds blowing from the Rhône River valley that were also the inspiration in the 1960s for the namesake coupes/converters sold by Maserati (and the 1990s Nissan Mistral in Japan). Speaking of cars of the past, the roofless engine from Molsheim offers design cues derived from the Type 57 Roadster Grand Raid.
The 1930s influence can be seen in the curved windshield as well as the double roof-mounted air scoops to cool the engine. While the styling reverts back to the classic model, the Mistral does look like a combination of a Divo and a La Voiture Noire in a roadster package with an “X” motif for the taillights reminiscent of the track-only Bolide. The taillight configuration allows Bugatti to install vents between the X-beams for cooling purposes.
For the first time in the Bugatti W16, woven leather is used on the door cards. Additionally, the solid aluminum block gearshift engine has wood accents and a yellow insert depicting Rembrandt Bugatti’s “dancing elephant” is also found on the hood of the Type 41 Royale roadster. Of course, the main highlight of the cabin is removing the roof to hear the W16 and its four turbochargers working.
At the heart of the Mistral is the same 1,577-horsepower engine found in the Chiron Super Sport 300+, which hit 304.773 mph (490,484 km/h) in 2019. Speaking of going really fast, Bugatti says that for the Mistral, “there can only be one goal in mind: to become the world’s fastest roadster once again.” It will be the follow-up to the Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse and a performance of 254.04 mph (408.84 km/h) in 2013.
It makes perfect sense the Mistral would go faster than the Veyron GSV considering it has a nearly 400 horsepower advantage. Whether the actual high-speed run will happen remains to be seen given Bugatti said some time ago it was no longer interested in chasing records. We know Hennessey wants some of that action with the new Venom F5 Roadster launching this week.
Bugatti will only make 99 Mistrals and plans to start deliveries in 2024 when the first 40 Bolide track cars will also reach their rightful owners. While Bolide is available for €4 million each, Mistral has a sticker price of €5 million. “In the past” because everything has been proposed.