Two forces of nature come together as Bugatti’s ultimate roadster meets the mistral, a unique and powerful wind that swirls across southern France. The W16 Mistral glides over beautiful twisting roads in the foothills above the Côte d’Azur, with the evocative soundtrack of its W16 powertrain reverberating off the scenery. From all around – below and above, head on and sideways – is a unique southern France airstream, matching the W16 Mistral’s characteristics in perfect harmony.
This is where the W16 Mistral channels the full force from nature. This is the moment when the hyper sports car becomes at one with the elements, encountering the wind that lent this car its name: the mistral. One of the eight dominant winds that envelop the Mediterranean Sea, the mistral, much like this Bugatti roadster, is known for its unrelenting power. The wind blows from the Rhone River valley through the chic towns of the Côte d’Azur and into the Gulf of Lion in the northern Mediterranean. For those living in southern France, the mistral is a year-round presence, but as it grows in intensity towards the end of winter it heralds the coming of spring.
Pure power and the intense movement of air are the two defining characteristics of the mistral; they are also at the nucleus of the Bugatti W16 Mistral. The roadster’s power derives from Bugatti’s legendary W16 powertrain, in this incarnation producing 1,600 PS, carrying its passengers up to incomparable speeds just as the mistral effortlessly accelerates through the foothills and into the Mediterranean Sea. The W16 Mistral delivers a performance, unlike any roadster that has gone before, capable of reaching 420 km/h while also allowing its driver to experience the freedom of nature and the full intensity of the W16 engine.
To truly stand side-by-side with the mighty wind of southern France, the W16 Mistral must not only harness colossal power but also glide through the air, intelligently using innovative designs to ensure optimum flow with the aerodynamic complexities of a roadster. It is shaped by the wind, balancing powerful forces to create stability, performance, and beauty.
Two intakes mounted behind the driver and passenger feed a rush of air into the mighty W16 engine every second, while a new wider, deeper, and three-dimensional iteration of the famous Bugatti horseshoe grille allows the high-temperature engine radiator to be fully fed from one intake. Airflow around the front corners is managed by two intakes; one by the wheel and one seamlessly integrated within a new three-dimensional headlamp design. All air taken through the sides gets channeled across the two radiators – one on each side – over the rear wheels and then out through the W16 Mistral’s ‘X’-shaped taillights.
Keep in mind that all 99 units of W16 Mistral were sold immediately, even before the car was shown during Monterey Car Week, later this year we’ll be seeing the first cars in this limited production run being built by Bugatti.