The 2024 Bugatti Mistral roadster is more than a roofless Chiron, as we learned from Bugatti designer Jascha Straub.
Bugatti says the $5 million Mistral will "become the fastest roadster in the world," and its unique wraparound windshield was designed for that.
The Mistral's other standout details include reworked body lines, distinct lighting elements, and special interior materials.
Bugatti has revealed its latest masterpiece, the Mistral roadster, which also serves as the send-off for the French automaker's famous W-16 engine. As a topless version of the Bugatti Chiron, the Mistral brings a wind-in-the-hair option to the marque’s privileged plutocrats—just in case their Gulfstream G800 Landaulet is in the shop.
"Our customers asked for this, something that has been missing in the Chiron line," said Bugatti designer Jascha Straub, as he walked us around a prototype mockup during an exclusive preview on the grounds of the Bugatti Château last month before the reveal. We also got an up-close look at five cool design elements, which are detailed below.
An Expensive Haircut
One thing that will not be available is an actual roof. "There will be a foldable soft top of some kind, for emergencies," Straub said. "We wanted a real roadster. And a real roadster has no top." Creating the $5 million Mistral roadster was not as simple as targa-ing the Chiron's roof panel. "That aero wouldn't work for our top speeds," Straub said. Such a workaday solution was a no-go aesthetically as well. "It would remove the Bugatti signature line," he added, referring to the delicate ovoid curve that ensnares the A-pillar, roofline, air intake, and rocker panel.
Staying in Character
The Chiron's "signature line" is one of its defining design features, and it echoes the designs penned by the company's founder, Ettore Bugatti, in interwar masterpieces like the Type 41 and Type 57. To preserve that important body line, the Mistral's designers created a visor-like, wraparound windshield and integrated a lower, wider, flatter character line, inspired by those seen on the track-only Bolide and the one-off Voiture Noire.
A Familiar-ish Face
There's no mistaking the Mistral's horseshoe grille, which is a Bugatti trademark. However, the rest of the roadster's face is more radical, with design language that looks to be derived from the ultra-limited Bugatti Divo and Bugatti La Voiture Noire. The Mistral's slat-like front LED lighting elements are another facial feature that makes it look unique.
Among the most eye-catching details on the Mistral are the red X-shaped taillights with Bugatti illuminated in between, so those who are inevitably passed by one of these rockets will instantly know what just blew by them at 250-plus mph. Along with quad center-mounted exhaust tips, the roadster has a very short rear overhang that provides an ideal view of the outgoing W-16 engine.
The Inside Scoop
The interior of the Mistral looks a lot like the Chiron's cabin because they're one and the same. The roadster gets special materials such as hand-woven leather that can line the seats and dash, and the aluminum and rosewood gearshift knob features a Bugatti standing elephant mascot housed in glass, like an ancient insect caught in amber.
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