The Bugatti W16 Mistral is a very special roadster. The last model with the legendary W16 engine manages a maximum of 420 km/h thanks to the 1177 kW / 1600 hp. Impressive. The French marketing specialists only got it wrong when it came to the name.

With this car an era comes to an end. The Bugatti W16 Mistral will be the last with the powerful W16 engine. Even Ursula Piech stopped by Molsheim when the final W-16 model was presented internally, as it was her husband Ferdinand Piech, who died in 2019, who pushed through the 16-cylinder engine with all his authority. “It got emotional then,” says chief designer Achim Anscheidt, adding: “Bugatti wouldn’t be Bugatti without this engine.” A lot has changed since the VW patriarch no longer held hands over the luxury sports car brand. Mate Rimac is now in charge with Porsche as junior partner.

“It shows Mate Rimac’s foresight that he got involved with Bugatti and the W16 engines and didn’t just turn everything to the left immediately”; enthuses chief designer Achim Anscheidt. But the Croatian definitely should have vetoed one thing. By the name of Mistral.

In the 1960s, Maserati produced a sports car with the same name. When you say Mistral and automobile, you mean Maserati. It doesn’t help that the Bugatti managers keep emphasizing that the naming rights have expired and that the car is called the Bugatti W16 Mistral. Whichever way you look at it: This driving machine deserves a different name, not an Italo-French verbal infusion.

The Roadster is a very special bolide, which also breaks with the design vocabulary of its immediate predecessors and is much more angular. To underline the character of the W16 Mistral, we have redesigned the front end. Similar to our exclusive models like the Divo and the La Voiture Noire, the lines are more vertical,” explains Achim Anscheidt. The four-stripe light signature is a subtle nod to four-wheel drive. Otherwise the brute force of the roadster would not even come onto the road.

The aerodynamics are extremely sophisticated without putting too much stamp on the design language. The Air Curtains are integrated into the headlights and the upper intakes accelerate the air. The ducts and baffles integrated into the car ensure cooling of the highly bred machine and also generate contact pressure. The designers are particularly proud of the windshield. It is semicircular in shape and together with the retractable side windows forms a futuristic visor. “This semicircular line is the most important of the car,” says the chief designer. The tail with the active wing quotes the light signature of an X. Greetings from Star Wars. The oil cooler and the powerful diffuser are concealed by the elaborate LED spectacle.

The technology and the interior come from the Chiron Super Sport, but simply cutting it open would not be a worthy conclusion to the 16-cylinder era. So the 1177 kW / 1600 hp eight-liter engine catapults the topless rocket to 420 km/h.

The hurricane that rages at this hellish speed in the open passenger compartment of the wind groom is certainly impressive. Achim Anscheidt has a plausible answer to the question of why a 1700 hp limit was not set. “Have you looked at the turbochargers, they are as big as ship propellers. The engine concept is pretty much exhausted.”

If you want such a special car, you have to pay a lot of money accordingly. The Bugatti W16 Mistral costs 5.95 million euros and all 99 copies have already been sold. The lucky collectors are already rubbing their hands. But not all Mistrals will disappear into garages. The production formula is 99 plus one. “We’ll keep this one,” smiles Achim Anscheidt. And what if it rains. An emergency fabric roof helps. This at least protects against rain and can be stowed in the trunk at the front.

It’s no secret that Bugatti will continue to be electric. “The successor will be a hybrid super sports car, but no LaFerrari and no Porsche 918. Such concepts will not be enough,” says Achim Anscheidt. The Bugatti W16 Mistral has already set the performance bar quite high