Bugatti’s Last Street-Legal W-16 Supercar Could Top 260 MPH in Final Testing

Bugatti’s storied W-16 engine is finally nearing the end of the road.

The French marque has announced that the Mistral has entered the final stages of testing. The exclusive hypercar, which is related to the Chiron and limited to just 99 examples, will be the final street-legal Bugatti to leave the factory with the quad-turbocharged mill.

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The Mistral has undergone all manner of testing since it was first announced back in the summer of 2022 in an attempt by the marque to deliver the ultimate roadster. Bugatti engineers have put the open-top speed machine through its paces to make sure that aerodynamic performance and crash safety are at their best. Now, though, the car has made it to the fun part of the process: road testing.

The Bugatti Mistral from the side
Bugatti Mistral

Prototypes are now being tested on- and off-track with a focus on safety, emissions, endurance, and drivability performance. One of the test vehicles has already racked up nearly 20,000 miles, with at least 3,000-plus to go. By the time it’s finished the testing cycle, it will have more miles on the odometer than most modern-day Bugatti will come close to traveling.

The company will also verify the Mistral’s top speed during this phase of testing. Its engineers are currently trying to identify a track suitable for the proper speed runs. Bugatti has previously said the car could top 260 mph, which would make the Mistral the world’s fastest roadster.

A rear 3/4 view of the Bugatti Mistral
A rear 3/4 view of the Bugatti Mistral

“From the initial validation stages to the intensive endurance tests, every aspect of the Mistral’s development is precisely planned and executed,” Bugatti Rimac CTO Emilio Scervo said in a statement. “The Mistral is the ultimate example of our dedication to setting new standards in roadster design.”

While Bugatti has chosen to move on from the W-16, it hasn’t given up on the 16-cylinder mill completely. Not even close. Earlier this spring, the company unveiled a completely new naturally aspirated V-16 that will power the company’s latest vehicle, the Tourbillon. The three-foot-long mill produces 1,800 hp. Deliveries of Tourbillon, which starts at around $4, are expected to begin in 2026. The $5 million Mistral, meanwhile, will go into production later this year.

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