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Bentley and Bugatti Run Out Last Of Their Epic W Engines

Updated: Feb 22, 2023

As World Looks to Electric, We Celebrate Two New ICE Age Titans

As we are only too well aware, the internal combustion engine is dead. Long live the electric vehicle.

Etc, etc.

Only ICE isn’t giving up its mantle without a fight. And while the latter might represent the new dawn - with lightening quick posterboys, Tesla and Polestar at its vanguard - the ICE crew aren’t without its historical heavyweights.

Doing anything but going out with a whimper.

And They Are?.....

Chief protagonists of sticking the internal combustion engine up and at EV’em, is Bentley and Bugatti as you probably expect. The former gifting the ever-decreasing world of fossil fuels its Batur, while the latter creating the Mistral. Seemingly mined from the molten core of the earth itself.

Now don’t get us wrong.

We are mahoosive advocates for EV’dom, and the required direction automotive is headed. It has to, and we embrace it.

However, we will conversely mourn the demise of the piston engine like so many. Especially when two leading lights of the VW Audi Group portfolio go all out with stark reminders of just what they can achieve. And underlining what we’ll all miss when it’s been fully outlawed.

Bentley Batur

As swansongs go, the Bentley Batur is certainly a high note for the Crewe manufacturer’s ultimate internal combustion engine to go out on. While simultaneously affording us a teaser of just how future EV underpinnings will do absolutely ZERO to dilute the full Bentley hit going forward.

To give it its full Sunday name, the Bentley Mulliner Batur is one of those curious vehicles which the Volkswagen-parented firm have been running out to very limited numbers of late. And follows on from the Bacalar speedster. Which itself was restricted to a trifling 12 examples.

Continuing the current theme of naming new, limited-edition models after obscure bodies of water in the sort of far-flung places where the odd Messrs Bezos or Branson probably own an island, the Batur has been inspired by a 290-feet deep lake in Bali.

You might recognise the ‘Mulliner’ part of its official title as the de facto coachbuilders by royal appointment which Bentley has been collaborating with since time began. Whilst Mulliner can’t take credit for inventing the wheel. They can conversely claim bragging rights when it comes to bespoke.

In the Batur, we’re talking top drawer levels of bespoke design too. As ONLY Bentley in cahoots with Mulliner could create a ‘laser-etched’ sound wave on the fascia, which is said to represent the ‘symphonics of’ the iconic W-12 power plant. Its bespoke features such as this ensure that the Batur comes with a Tom & Jerry-esque eyes on stalks £1.65 million price tag.

Which even by designer label standards might make some choke on their flat lattes.

But arguably THE most important thing is future direction. Less a would-be boyband, more a wink and a nod to the way things are going to be. At least as Bentley sees things. The Batur is - according to Bentley - a transitional vehicle. Yet one which ultimately showcases the design direction in which the British luxury brand is headed down as it develops its first full EV.

Incidentally, set to land in 2025.

Bugatti Mistral

Again, as a calling card from a time of automotive excess about to run its cause, the Bugatti Mistral is something special. Something poignant. And something reflective. But more than that, it’s something ruddy rapid.

Courtesy of the outgoing W16 power plant which is the stuff of absolute legend. Think Bugatti Veyron. Nuff said. The Mistral Roadster is afforded the very same tuned lump discovered in the Bugatti Chiron Super Sport 300+ model. Yup, that’s the engine with the 1,580bhp output and 1,180 lb-ft of torque. Ensuring its claim to be amongst the most powerful supercars available today.

And then there’s the taillights.

Nevermind the brutal grunt of the Mistral. Have you seen the distinctive X-Beam taillights?! Which are seemingly lifted directly from the pages of an American sci-fi comic from the 1950s.

So, we’re definitely onboard.

However, this is not simply a vanity project by Bugatti. And there’s very much some covert substance to this excruciatingly hip styling. It’s all about optimizing airflow, you see. The X-spaced taillights incorporate surface funnels which also help vent warm air out of the car.

Stick with us, we’ll explain it a bit better after the drop.

The Drop

The ergonomic design of the X-lights inspires the side oil coolers to operate more efficiently. Thus, creating a pressure drop between the side intakes. Subsequently ensuring the hypercar promotes mid-temperature cooling.

Now, all this tech-babble sounds cool. Of course, it does. But like us, we guess you’re more interested in the visual elements. Like for example, the ‘Bugatti’ name illuminated between the red X-shaped taillights. Which is one of the raddest bits of rear car design we’ve ever clapped our eyes on. Yes, we just said ‘raddest’.

Other Mistral Facts…

Designed by Jascha Straub, the Bugatti Mistral is much more than just a roofless Chiron. It’s a roofless Chiron without a roof.


Because one thing which won’t be coming free with this £1.65 million hypercar is a roof in any way, shape or occupant-protecting form. Straub is clearly a man not frightened by the spectre of inclement weather. “There will be a foldable soft top of some kind, for emergencies,” he concedes. Before adding incongruously, “we wanted a real roadster. And a real roadster has no top.”

OK, point taken.

There’s only 99 Bugatti Mistral’s in existence. And they have all been sold. Which means that there’s now 0 Bugatti Mistral’s available to buy. Oh, and it hasn’t actually been officially launched as yet. To paraphrase Mr Jay-Z, therein lies the problem.

Au Revoir Et Al…

Were you aware that approximately 40% of all Bugatti models have been roadsters? Shocking, but true. When we typically think Bugatti, we think sleek supercars. But of the tin top variety. Like the earth’s axis-spinning Veyron.

And it’s on the Veyron note we conclude this blog. As it was this iconic Bugatti which reinvented the company under the steerage of the VW Audi Group. And the engine which underpinned said Veyron was Bugatti’s legendary W16 lump. Hewn from Kryptonite. Might as well have been, such is the brute power.

Stretching all the way back to 2005, the W16 has been in constant development, with its very latest - and last - iteration brandishing some 1,580bhp and 1,180 lb-ft of torque. Which inhales a staggering 70,000 litres of air every minute at full chat.

The 99 fortunate owners of the 250mph-plus Mistral will enjoy incredible views of the run-out W12 engine, as the roadster has a very short rear overhang.

So long silky Bentley and Bugatti fossil fuel-burning powerplants. But hello to an equally exciting EV - and other alternate automotive power sources - future. It’s still going to be big, beautiful, brutal and brave…

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