A Bugatti W16 Mistral is the ultimate roadster

The mastery of incredible speeds and unassailable forces in a timelessly elegant design has always been a key part of the Bugatti DNA...

by Faruk Imamovic
A Bugatti W16 Mistral is the ultimate roadster

A Bugatti has always been characterized by its mastery of incredible speeds and unassailable forces in an elegantly timelessly designed vehicle... In celebration of the symbiotic link between design and engineering, the W16 Mistral is the brand's most extreme roadster.

Emilio Scervo, Bugatti Rimac Chief Technology Officer, said:

“Managing both thermodynamics and aerodynamics effectively is key to achieving more than 420 km/h in an open top car, even with 1,600 PS from perhaps the most advanced automotive engine ever created.

We have to think very carefully about how we shape the W16 Mistral1 to guide air through the car and around the car to delicately balance both cooling and aerodynamics. But, of course, we must do all this with a sense of elegance befitting a Bugatti roadster.

A car that is both designed for purpose, but simultaneously evokes a sense of timelessness”. The Bugatti engineering and design teams combine pure artistic vision with a masterful understanding of physics. It is clear from the front of the W16 Mistral that Bugatti has improved its famous horseshoe radiator grille by making it wider, deeper, and more three-dimensional.

This allows the radiator to be fed by a single intake, allowing the side intakes to provide air exclusively through the intercoolers. Intakes are located next to the wheel and within the headlights, respectively, to increase airflow around the front corners.

The air is further directed from the high pressure area into the low pressure area in the wheel well, which would previously cause turbulence and drag, and adversely affect the W16 Mistral model's performance.

Achim Anscheidt, Bugatti Rimac Design Director, said:

“The frontal appearance of the car is dominated by these large intakes, and while recognizably Bugatti, we take a number of cues from the few-off models; Divo2, Centodieci3 and La Voiture Noire4.

The windscreen wraps around in an elegant visor motif and the front becomes more vertical to create a design that is both shaped for speed and beauty at the same time”. “To get it right we needed to separate the air intake for the engine from the air intake for the oil cooler,” continued Achim.

“If we kept them together, the intake on each side of the car would have had to have been enlarged out of proportion. So, instead, we hark back to the Veyron 16.4 Vitesse and the Type 57 Roadster Grand Raid by incorporating engine air intakes behind the occupant headrests.

This solution is both elegant, functional and safe; the svelte side intakes are proportionally perfect and feed air purely to the oil coolers, while the headrest engine intakes create a huge sense of aural drama, while also working to protect occupants in the event of a rollover”.