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07-09-2022 | Automotive Engineering | News | Article

W16 Drive Ends with the Bugatti Mistral

Author: Christiane Köllner

2:30 min reading time

Bugatti bids farewell to the W16 engine with a roadster. The Bugatti W16 Mistral boasts 1600 PS, is limited to 99 units and can reach 420 km/h. 


The Bugatti W16 Mistral will be the final model to feature the W16 engine, the automaker has announced. Since the introduction of the Veyron in 2005, the W16 engine has been at the heart of every Bugatti hypercar. The 420 km/h fast W16 Mistral is based on the final version of the W16 engine with 1600 PS (around 1177 kW), which was first used in the Chiron Super Sport 300+. Only 99 examples of the W16 Mistral will be built, with deliveries starting in 2024. The Bugatti W16 Mistral was first unveiled at Monterey Car Week 2022 in California.

The inspiration for the W16 Mistral was the Bugatti Type 57 Roadster Grand Raid built in 1934. The Grand Raid is distinguished by its twin aerodynamic headrests that blend into the bodywork toward the rear and a cutaway V-shaped windshield. The W16 Mistral captures the essence of the Type 57 Roadster Grand Raid’s V-shaped windshield: a curved windshield that visually wraps around the A-pillars, seamlessly blending into the side windows and creating a "visor" effect.

X tail light serves as ventilation

To keep the side body panel slim while allowing optimal airflow to the W16, Bugatti separated the side oil cooler intakes from the engine air intakes. These now sit directly behind the occupants’ headrests. They also cite the Type 57 Roadster Grand Raid as well as the first open-top Bugatti of modern times: the Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport. 

The front end has also been completely redesigned, following the vertical layout of models such as Divo and La Voiture Noire. The vertically arranged headlights are bespoke and the horseshoe grille has been made more three-dimensional, deeper and wider. The rear features a version of the X-theme of the Bolide’s taillight motif. "The X taillight is used to vent the side oil coolers through channels that connect the triangular negative space between the X-beams to the side coolers. This creates a pressure gradient between the side intakes and the outlets at the rear of the W16 Mistral. This helps to control the medium-temperature cooling circuit of the mighty W16 as effectively as possible," explains Frank Heyl, Bugatti Deputy Design Director.

Interior designed along the lines of the Chiron

The headlights incorporate a four-light signature, a nod to the W16 Mistral’s all-wheel drive and four turbochargers. But their three-dimensional surface also serves as an aerodynamic aid. It channels air through the headlights and out through the wheel well to improve drag. "The wider horseshoe-shaped grille allows the high-temperature engine radiator to be fed exclusively through one inlet, so the two side inlets can focus exclusively on feeding the intercoolers," Heyl said. 

The designers modeled the interior of the W16 Mistral on the Chiron. In addition to the use of titanium, aluminum components and leather, carbon is used extensively. A quilted leather is used for the redesigned door panels. The shift lever, milled from a solid aluminum block, features wood and an amber insert.


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