Bentley is putting the Bacalar through some extreme tests to ensure it lives up to quality standards.
Nine months after its debut back in March, Bentley has built the first pre-production prototype of the exquisite Bacalar. Known simply as 'Car Zero,' the pre-production prototype has begun final testing and validation ahead of customer deliveries. The car will be put through as many as 40 validation tests to ensure it lives up to the high standards of Bentley's wealthiest clients.
As part of the 20-week testing program, the Bacalar has completed wind tunnel testing to finetune the car's aerodynamics, along with high-speed stability and top speed testing, handling and dynamics evaluations, noise, and vibration tests.
In the next stage, the Bacalar will rack up miles across Europe in a series of custom-focused tests before undergoing extreme weather testing in temperatures up to 176 degrees Fahrenheit along with electrical system validation assessments. These tests are crucial since the Bacalar has more than 750 new components that need to pass Bentley's stringent quality standards. Of these new parts, 40 are crafted in carbon fiber and nearly 100 are produced using "rapid additive manufacture techniques".
"Very much like Blower Car Zero that we unveiled last week, Bacalar Car Zero is the crucial prototype that we're using to sign-off the design, engineering and craftsmanship of this ground-breaking part of Bentley Mulliner's future," said Paul Williams, Bentley's Director of Mulliner.
"The Bacalar is a thoroughly modern iteration of the coachbuilt Bentleys of the past - extremely rare, entirely hand-crafted, totally bespoke to each customer and exquisite in its details. The whole team behind the car is thrilled to see the prototype shrugging off every test we throw at it, and we're really looking forward to starting the build of the 12 customer cars."
Limited to just 12 examples, the Bentley Bacalar is named after Laguna Bacalar in Mexico's Yucatan peninsula. Designed by Bentley's Mulliner coachbuilding division, its beautiful design is inspired by the stunning EXP 100 GT concept. Under the hood is a 6.0-liter twin-turbo W12 producing 650 horsepower and 667 lb-ft of torque, up from 626 hp and 664 lb-ft in the Bentley Continental GT Convertible it's based on. Power is sent to all four wheels through an eight-speed automatic. Unsurprisingly, every example has already been sold, each costing an eye-watering $1.9 million.