Sport Cars

The Bugatti Mistral redefines the aerodynamics of a roadster

It is one of the automotive industry’s greatest engineering feats: developing a roadster that can travel at 400 km/h, that offers its occupants a truly luxurious experience and that celebrates the acoustic majesty of a legendary engine like never before. The W16 Mistral embodies Bugatti’s distinctive spirit of adventure and freedom and has been carefully refined to skilfully harness the full power of the wind. The result is a roadster that represents the perfect symphony of high speed, unrelenting performance and acoustic perfection.

The aerodynamic journey undertaken by Bugatti was instrumental in the development of the W16 Mistral. It is a journey that began in the field of simulation, where digital development allowed engineers and designers to create groundbreaking airflow designs that could be perfected in the real world. At such high speeds and such high demands, only empirical and careful experience can deliver the performance required by Bugatti.

After a very detailed technical analysis embedded in advanced Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) software, the critical wind tunnel phase awaited the W16 Mistral. The virtual development phase was worth it: the carefully refined aerodynamic body behaves almost exactly as expected; a balance of beauty, thermodynamics and stability between lift and downforce at unparalleled speed. For Bugatti, the top speed of a roadster – in this case over 420 km/h – should never compromise the comfort and luxury of the interior. Instead, these two core attributes must be seamlessly combined to create the ultimate roadster.

Therefore, the Bugatti team met this crucial challenge head-on by successfully developing a sophisticated, aviation-inspired design combined with highly advanced technical additions. Intelligent design directs air away from occupants while allowing the iconic 16-cylinder powertrain to breathe freely – it’s a delicate ballet of action airflow in real time and at high speeds.

The W16 Mistral’s roof spoiler guides this symphony of airflow, a central feature that combines the art of aerodynamics with the science of aeroacoustics. Positioned at the top of the windshield, the spoiler seamlessly directs airflow away from the driver and passenger while ensuring it efficiently reaches the rear wing to maximize full downforce.

At the request of the driver or passenger, the interior of Bugatti’s ultimate roadster can be transformed into a place of complete emotion, in perfect harmony with the legendary W16 Bugatti powertrain, which unleashes its incomparable sound – a symphony that many customers desire. But for quieter adventures, the W16 Mistral’s cabin can be a calming place, with a high-tech sound system delivering orchestral-quality sound.

The popular Bugatti horseshoe grille has been redesigned for the W16 Mistral and features wider proportions to direct air into the central radiator, providing crucial cooling despite the redesigned front end. The meshes in the air channels are 3D printed and specifically designed to align with the airflow direction to ensure minimal losses. True to Bugatti’s “form follows performance” ethos, beautifully sculpted air intakes behind the occupants suck in air to feed the powerful W16 engine. The air passes through the air filters directly to the four turbochargers of the 8.0-liter 16-cylinder engine; A sophisticated arrangement that helps create optimal conditions for the powertrain.

With the intakes positioned directly behind the occupants’ heads, the inner workings of the W16 engine – one of the industry’s best powertrains anywhere – can be heard more clearly than ever before. When the driver takes his foot off the accelerator, the turbos pop and hiss, and the rumbling exhaust note echoes unfiltered into the interior. It’s an aeroacoustic masterpiece that only W16 Mistral customers can experience; an unreserved homage to the legendary W16 Bugatti heart. At the same time, the scoops serve as an important safety feature for the occupants, embedded in a carbon fiber crash structure.

Intelligent air inlets on the side walls of the roadster – embedded in the famous Bugatti C-Line – serve to further maximize the W16 Mistral’s excellent dynamic pressure. The inlets process air and pressure simultaneously to cool oil for the engine, transmission and rear axle. The hot air exiting these radiators is directed through ducts to the rear, where vacuum draws the hot air through the taillights, just like smoke is drawn through a chimney. A larger and improved “ramp” design integrated into the diffuser further directs hot air away from the car and the W16 Mistral’s overall downforce, highlighting the roadster’s outstanding stability at high speeds.

At the rear, the W16 Mistral’s unique Inspired and inspired by its rich heritage and extensive technical expertise in producing performance-defining aerodynamic automobiles over the last century, the development of the W16 Mistral lives up to its namesake and resulted in the creation of Bugatti’s most aerodynamic and emotive roadster date.

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