£1.5m Bentley Bacalar revealed in six new designs

Bentley’s exclusive Mulliner brand is returning to low-volume manufacturing with the striking Bacalar convertible

The new Bentley Bacalar is the first low-volume special edition from the brand in recent history, designed and built by Mulliner inside its Crewe HQ. Limited to just 12 units at a price of £1.5m apiece, the Bacalar is already sold out, proving demand is there for a very special Bentley.

Following its reveal last month, the marque’s design team has shown six new interior and exterior designs, showcasing the two-seat roadster’s customisability potential. Designs range from the Brooklands-inspired ‘Clerkenwell’, with new ‘Honey Larch’ veneer and 'Dark Bronze Glass' brightwork, to the ‘Fulton’ with 5000-year-old open-pore Riverwood trim.

Subscribe to evo magazine

Subscribe today to have every issue of evo delivered straight to you. You'll SAVE 39% on the shop price, and get evo for its original cover price for a whole year!

> Bentley EXP 100 GT Concept reveals Crewe’s take on the future of GT motoring

The Bacalar is based on the MSB-derived underpinnings of the Continental GT, but features completely bespoke bodywork, drawing parallels with the EXP 100 GT concept revealed last year. Despite its close connection to the GT, the Bacalar’s aggressive aesthetic and surfacing quality likely preview the design language destined for mainstream Bentleys of the near future.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

The most striking aspect of the Bacalar is its completely open cabin, without any form of roof hiding under the dramatic cowling behind the seats. Without the need to connect to a roof mechanism, designers have been able to lower the windscreen, which is ensconced in a single piece of carbonfibre, and increase its rake to create a sleeker silhouette. The wings and door panels are also constructed in carbon – a manufacturing technique that not only reduces weight, but also the cost of parts per unit when manufacturing in the tens and not thousands. The rear deck and clamshell are of aluminium.

The aggressive new nose is also bespoke, combining the traditional Bentley grille with an aggressive lower bumper and a single-roundel headlight design intersected by a horizontal bar that bleeds out to the wheelarch. This is a design element that we expect to appear on future production Bentley models. The vented bonnet, wing-mounted breathers and motorsport-inspired clip details by the bonnet shut line all sit within a more muscular and complex surfacing language than that of current Bentleys, culminating in the massive rear haunch that dominates the silhouette and drives the fastback-like rear.

The stretched tail, floating Bentley badge and sculpted rear lighting structures also reference the EXP100 GT, and like the front lighting units give us a look to Bentley’s next-generation design language. The aggressive rear valance and diffuser, the latter punctured by trapezoidal exhaust pipes, contrast against the elegant ovals usually associated with Bentleys. Its overall proportions are close to that of the Continental GT Convertible though, with only a subtle 20mm widening of the rear axle, while the 22-inch wheels are an identical size to the largest wheel option currently available on the standard car.

The interior is a mix of bespoke materials and finishes applied to a dash borrowed from the Flying Spur saloon, while there are unique door cards and panelling behind the seats. Replacing the rear seats is a luggage set – very Bentley. But less so is the contemporary palette and material application that combines fine, semi-gloss leathers, reclaimed timbers and the finest wool fabrics. Rather than being a set collection of finishes, owners will be able to specify both the interior and exterior to their own taste.

Under the skin is the same twin-turbo W12 engine as found in other Bentleys, here rated at 650bhp and 667lb ft of torque, 24bhp and 62lb ft more than the standard W12 Continental GT. The rear-biased all-wheel-drive system, eight-speed dual-clutch transmission, 48V anti-roll system and three-chamber air suspension also remain.

This type of low-volume manufacturing is core to the Mulliner brand, as it can trace its roots back nearly 500 years, designing and manufacturing luxury horse-drawn carriages. No other manufacturer can rest on quite such a historic foundation, so the Mulliner brand’s revitalisation into a more substantial part of the Bentley business is a welcome addition.

Advertisement - Article continues below
Advertisement

Recommended

Visit/bentley/201705/iconic-blower-bentley-recreated-in-12-car-continuation-series
Bentley

Iconic ‘Blower’ Bentley recreated in 12-car continuation series

8 Sep 2019
Visit/mercedes/e-class/e63-amg
Mercedes E63 AMG

Mercedes-AMG E63 S review

4 Jun 2020
Visit/bmw/m5
BMW M5 saloon

BMW M5 Competition F90 review

15 May 2020
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/review/202972/aston-martin-dbx-review-the-first-performance-suv-to-deliver-on-its-promise
Reviews

Aston Martin DBX review - the first performance SUV to deliver on its promise

Aston Martin's first SUV is more than a good SUV, the DBX is the best car the British firm makes
10 Aug 2020
Visit/bugatti/21646/new-bugatti-divo-deliveries-begin-ps44m-hypercar-hits-the-road
Bugatti

New Bugatti Divo deliveries begin - £4.4m hypercar hits the road

The very first examples of Bugatti’s Divo hypercar have rolled out of its Molsheim HQ gates
7 Aug 2020
Visit/maserati/ghibli/202975/maserati-ghibli-trofeo-revealed-sober-dressed-bmw-m5-rival-finally-arrives
Maserati Ghibli

Maserati Ghibli Trofeo revealed – sober-dressed BMW M5 rival finally arrives

Some seven years after the launch of its executive saloon, Maserati has given it a V8 – with 572bhp
10 Aug 2020
Visit/bmw/m4/22869/new-2020-bmw-m4-throws-off-more-disguise-ahead-of-reveal
BMW M4

New 2020 BMW M4 throws off more disguise ahead of reveal

BMW’s next M4 coupe promises much, but will it deliver? Here’s everything we know so far
7 Aug 2020