Bugatti W16 Mistral Roadster Tops Out At 261 MPH, Rich Guys Going To Need Stronger Wig Glue


When Bugatti revealed the W16 Mistral back in August it claimed it was engineered to be the fastest convertible in the world. What it didn’t tell us is exactly how fast it could go.

But now we have an answer. Bugatti says the Chiron-based roadster tops out at 261 mph, which equates to a conveniently round 420 km/h, suggesting that speed might be electronically- rather than drag-limited.

Combatting drag has definitely been on the minds of Bugatti’s engineers and designers, though, particularly since the Mistral doesn’t come with a proper roof that can be clipped in place to effectively turn it into a coupe and cheat its way to fastest convertible glory.

To reach its 261 mph top whack the car has to be put into Top Speed Mode, which changes the angle of the rear spoiler to reduce drag and make the Mistral as slippery as possible. But Bugatti says that the $5m hypercar is still stable at high speeds thanks to the design of its diffuser, which offers plenty of downforce and does it without the drag penalty that comes with a wing.

Related: Bugatti’s Senior Test Driver Puts Finishing Touches On Silver Centodieci

Also playing its role in achieving that 261 mph top speed is the quad-turbo, 8.0-liter W16 engine from the Chiron Super Sport and record-breaking Super Sport 300+, which achieved 304.773 mph (490.5 km/h) at Volkswagen’s Ehra Lessien test track in 2019. The Mistral can’t get close to that figure, but it does eclipse the 254.04 mph (408.84 km/h) achieved by the old Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse roadster in 2013. That Veyron speed was officially verified by independent witnesses and we’d expect Bugatti to do the same with the Mistral very soon.

Bugatti has spun a few different models off the Chiron platform, including the Divo and Centodieci, but the Mistral’s lack of a roof means it’s likely to be the only one that offers a radically different driving experience (apart from the track-only Bolide). Which is probably one reason why all 99 units were quickly snapped up. If you’re lucky enough to be one of the 99 you can expect to take delivery of your Mistral in 2024.

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