British luxury car maker Bentley has launched its most exclusive and expensive new car – the near-£2million, 200mph, Mulliner Bacalar.
And despite the high price, it doesn’t even come with a roof.
Only 12 of the luxury two-seater grand tourers will be built, each priced from £1.8million (including VAT). However, as each one will be individually customised and personalised, it is likely the final price will soar swiftly through the £2million barrier.
Most expensive Bentley ever! The £1.8million Bacalar is a roofless two-seat sports car that has already sold out
The dozen hand-made cars have already been allocated to their super-rich customers ahead of delivery early next year, said bosses at the luxury car firm based in Crewe.
At around £1million per seat, it is believed to be the most expensive brand new Bentley ever built – matching engineering power and prowess with hand-crafted luxury from the firm’s bespoke Mulliner arm.
It is also one of a crop of British luxury and supercars which would most likely have stolen the show at this week’s planned Geneva Motor Show, had it not been cancelled at the last minute because of the coronavirus.
Powered by an enhanced and mighty 6.0-litre W12 TSI petrol engine developing 659 horsepower linked to a dual-clutch, eight-speed automatic the new Bacalar accelerates from rest to 60mph in around 3.5 seconds up to a top speed ‘approaching 200mph’.
It has no fixed or convertible roof so occupants are open to the elements – though in the South of France or the sunshine of California this will likely be less of a problem than in rain-lashed Britain
For the price of one Bacalar customers could buy at least ten equivalent Bentley Continental W12 GTC convertibles – which do come with a fabric roof and cost from £179,500, though the exclusive Bacalar does also have an extra 24 horsepower over the convertible.
The dozen hand-made cars have already been allocated to their super-rich customers ahead of delivery early next year
The Bacalar is powered by an enhanced and mighty 6.0-litre W12 TSI petrol engine developing 659 horsepower
It can accelerate from rest to 60mph in around 3.5 seconds up to a top speed ‘approaching 200mph’
With its dramatic styling and wrap-around cockpit, the Bacalar was inspired by Bentley’s EXP 100 GT concept car launched last summer to celebrate the firm’s centenary and to give a clue to how electric zero-emissions Bentleys of the future may look, with elements of self-driving technology.
The firm described the Bacalar as ‘the rarest two-door Bentley of the modern era, and the ultimate expression of two-seat, open-air luxury’.
But it confirmed: ‘The Bacalar is a true roofless car and has no tonneau cover for static or driving.’
A semi-enclosed rear compartment has been specially created for bespoke fitted luggage from Italian luxury goods firm Schedoni.
The Bacalar takes its name from the Laguna Bacalar lake in Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula which is renowned for its breath-taking natural beauty. It continues Bentley’s strategy of naming cars after remarkable landmarks.
It will be only the second two-seat Bentley built since 1930.
As each one will be individually customised and personalised, it is likely the final price will soar swiftly through the £2million barrier
With its dramatic styling and wrap-around cockpit, the Bacalar was inspired by Bentley’s EXP 100 GT concept car launched last summer
The Bacalar takes its name from the Laguna Bacalar lake in Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula which is renowned for its breath-taking natural beauty
The two-seater Bacalar also marks an important return to bespoke coachbuilding for the firm’s specialist arm, Bentley Mulliner – the oldest coachbuilding company in the world whose history goes back to customising horse-drawn carriages 16th century – and harks back to a golden age of motoring when customers would buy a basic chassis and engine and have the body and coachwork custom-made on top.
Great attention to detail is at the heart of the new car, says Bentley: ‘From the use of precious inlays and unique finishes to the driver controls, to the 148,199 individual stitches needed to embroider the unique Bacalar quilt on each seat, owners will find details and parts not seen before on a Bentley.’
The firm noted: ‘The two-seat layout and wraparound cockpit of the Bacalar creates a luggage space behind the exquisitely stitched front seats, occupied by a bespoke pair of travel cases trimmed to match the interior materials, all of which are sustainably sourced.’
For those concerned about the environmental impact of such a thirsty gas guzzler – which will average only around 20mph with high CO2 emissions in excess of 300g/km – Bentley stressed that ‘sustainable and ethically-sourced materials’ are used throughout.
Bentley said the new Bacalar was a genuine roofless Barchetta-style luxury, two-seat, open-air performance car.
It was designed to deliver ‘the ultimate expression of open-top, driver-focused grand touring’.
‘Just 12 distinctive cars are to be designed, engineered and handcrafted to individual customers’ tastes.’
Bacalar is one of a crop of British luxury supercars which would most likely have stolen the show at this week’s planned Geneva Motor Show, had it not been cancelled at the last minute because of the coronavirus
It has no fixed or convertible roof so occupants are open to the elements – not that any of its super-rich buyers will be keeping it outside
The rotating digital dashboard display with 40 moving parts revolves the Riverwood veneer when the engine is started to reveal the high-resolution touchscreen
Among the ‘green’ elements are paint containing ash from rice husks ‘which provides a sustainable way of delivering a rich metallic finish’ , natural British wool and 5,000-year-old Riverwood sourced from the ancient Fenlands of East Anglia.
Bentley said:’ A focal point of the cabin is the wraparound dashboard cut from rare Riverwood, a sustainable wood from naturally fallen trees that has been preserved for 5,000 years in peat bogs, lakes and rivers found in the Fenlands of East Anglia, England.
‘This exquisite wood was chosen for its striking black aesthetic, the result of lying untouched in wet earth for thousands of years. The wood has been air-dried in a controlled environment over a long period of time to prevent damage and conserve its unique, natural characteristics’.
Each car also features a unique clock face badged with the car’s individual number from the 12 produced.
The Bacalar rides on huge bespoke 22-inch wheels and shares no body panels with the Convertible GT. The rear clamshell and top deck of the Bacalar are crafted from lightweight aluminium, while the doors and wings are carbon fibre.
The D-shaped steering wheel features Alcantara inserts and these sport seats are a combination of the finest leather
Each Bacalar will be hand-crafted in Mulliner’s dedicated workshop at the Bentley factory in Crewe – the world’s first certified carbon neutral factory for luxury car production
‘Combined with the use of three-dimensional printing, it has allowed designers to create an even more distinctive car.’
Instead of a traditional badge, the Bacalar name appears on the rear panel, ‘hidden’ behind the lacquer of rice husk paint, with the capital ‘A’s influencing the contours of the lower bumper area.
Finest Beluga leather is carefully sewn together with Bentley’s heritage semi-gloss leather and natural wool to create a dark ‘tone-on-tone’ character. On the first production car, Mulliner’s ‘Khamun’ accent leather highlights the wraparound cabin theme and matches the Yellow Flame exterior paintwork.
A new, knurled pattern was created for the iconic bullseye air vents and repeated on the steering wheel controls, media and climate controls and speaker frets. Each element has a fine, dark bronze detail to enhance the finish, with Midnight Black Titanium detailing.
Bentley Bacalar: Will it fit in my garage?
Built: Crewe, England
Price: From £1.8million (but likely £2-plus give high degree of bespoke personalisation)
Width (with mirrors): 2203mm
Width (without mirrors): 2069mm
Engine: Enhanced 6.0-litre W12 TSI petrol
Power: 659 PS (650 bhp). (An increase of 24PS on the Bentley Continental W12 GTC).
Gears: dual-clutch, eight-speed automatic.
Top speed: ‘approaching 200mph’.
0 to 60mph: 3.5 seconds
Wheels: 22 inch
MPG: circa 20mpg (estimated)
CO2 emissions: 320g/km plus (estimated)
The D-shaped steering wheel features Alcantara inserts.
The rotating digital dashboard display with 40 moving parts revolves the Riverwood veneer when the engine is started to reveal the high-resolution touchscreen.
‘From the use of precious inlays and unique finishes to the driver controls, to the 148,199 individual stitches needed to embroider the unique Bacalar quilt on each seat, owners will find details and parts not seen before on a Bentley, ‘ said the firm.
Bentley Mulliner has also collaborated with a traditional British textile mill using centuries-old methods to produce bespoke natural wool cloth blends akin to a fine tailor’s suit: ‘This traditionally-produced textile is used in the seat inserts, seat backs and the side of the head restraints.
‘Following the interior styling lines, it also flows from the side of the centre console and lower instrument panel into the doors.’
There are Wilton-woven pure wool deep pile carpets and piping to show customer’s signature or special, individual customer motifs.
The instrument cowl has 144 diamonds.
Each Bacalar will be hand-crafted in Mulliner’s dedicated workshop at the Bentley factory in Crewe – the world’s first certified carbon neutral factory for luxury car production.
The Bacalar launches the new Bentley Mulliner Coachbuilt division – one of three new divisions of the Bentley Mulliner organisation.
The other two are Classic and Collections. Last year Bentley Mulliner Classic announced that Bentley’s 1929 Team Blower is to be reborn with a new build of 12 supercharged 4½-litre examples of the iconic car.
Adrian Hallmark, chairman and chief executive of Bentley Motors said: ‘The Bentley Mulliner Bacalar is our ultimate expression of an open-top, luxury grand tourer, and of the immense capabilities of our team in Crewe.’
Bentley employs around 4,000 people at Crewe building four main lines of Continental, Flying Spur, Bentayga and Mulsanne.
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