Bugatti W16 Mistral 2023 is a Coupe Car. The W16 is named after a wind blowing from the Rhône River valley that also served as inspiration in the 1960s for a namesake coupe/convertible sold by Maserati (and a 1990s Nissan Mistral in Japan). Speaking of past cars, the roofless machine from Molsheim boasts design cues derived from the Type 57 Roadster Grand Raid.
Design inspiration came from the 1934 Bugatti Type 57 Roadster Grand Raid. The V-shaped, curved, wraparound windshield is cut in a way that makes it look like it’s part of the side windows. The Mistral loses the Chiron’s C-shaped silhouette from its side profile and gains two new engine air scoops on the roof—behind the passenger cabin—marking where the engine’s air intakes now sit. These scoops can apparently withstand the entire weight of the car in the event of a roll and are made from a "bespoke carbon fiber structure," according to Bugatti.Within, there are newly designed door panels with woven leather. Bugatti specifically calls out the gear shifter that’s not only made from a solid hunk of aluminum but also includes a wood-and-amber insert with Rembrandt Bugatti’s "dancing elephant" sculpture encased inside.
The car’s face is also unique; it certainly does not look like a Chiron at all. You can tell it’s a Bugatti thanks to its horseshoe-shaped grille, but the vertically oriented headlines are a departure from the Chiron’s horizontal ones. Each headlight features a stacked, four-light strip, which Bugatti says is a reference to the car’s four-wheel drive and quad turbochargers. If you’re at all familiar with the Bugatti Bolide, then you’ll recognize the X-shaped taillight design the Mistral also wears.
The 1930s influence can be seen in the curving windscreen as well as the roof-mounted dual air scoops to cool the engine. While the styling harkens back to a classic model, the Mistral does seem like a combination between the Divo and La Voiture Noire in a roadster package with an "X" motif for the taillights reminding us of the track-only Bolide. The rear light configuration has allowed Bugatti to install vents in between the X beams for cooling purposes. For the first time in a W16 Bugatti, woven leather was used on the door cards. In addition, the gear shifter machined from a solid block of aluminum has wood accents and an amber insert depicting Rembrandt Bugatti’s "dancing elephant" also found on the Type 41 Royale roadster’s hood. Of course, the cabin’s real highlight is removing the roof to hear the W16 and its four turbochargers at work.
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 ludicrously fast, Bugatti says that for the Mistral, "there can only be one goal in mind: to become the fastest roadster in the world once more." It would be a follow-up to the Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse and its 254.04 mph (408.84 km/h) performance in 2013.
The W16 found at the heart of the Mistral is the same one from the Chiron Super Sport 300+, meaning that it, too, produces a claimed 1,578 horsepower. Bugatti reminds us that the W16 in the Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse—the last time it made a roadster—made 1,184 hp. The more powerful version of the engine in the Mistral ought to maintain Bugatti’s title of producing the fastest convertible in the world.It’s highly plausible the Mistral will go faster than the Veyron GSV considering it has an advantage of nearly 400 horsepower. Whether an actual top-speed run will take place remains to be seen considering Bugatti said a while back it’s no longer interested in chasing records. We do know Hennessey wants some of that action with the new Venom F5 Roadster it unveiled this week.
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