Boasting 650 horsepower and 5,000-year-old wood, the Bentley Mulliner Bacalar is a masterclass in British luxury.
The world's oldest coachbuilding company, Bentley Mulliner, has returned to bespoke coachbuilding once again with the Bentley Mulliner Bacalar - a drop-dead-gorgeous roadster to be produced in numbers of just twelve. But don't bother whipping out your checkbook; all twelve examples are already spoken for.
Each will be handbuilt at Bentley Mulliner's workshop in Crewe, England to the customer's exact specifications, making them wholly unique and highly exclusive. The car is named after a lake in the Yucatan peninsula in Mexico, continuing a practice of naming vehicles after notable natural landmarks that started with the Bentley Bentayga, named for the Roque Bentayga in the Canary Islands.
The Bacalar is the first product of Bentley Mulliner's new Coachbuilt division, although many more Coachbuilt cars will follow in the years ahead. In a call back to the Barchetta sports cars of yesteryear, the Bacalar has just two seats and no roof; best to keep a pair of umbrellas handy.
The new coachbuilt model borrows a few tricks from last year's stunning EXP 100 GT concept, such as a selection of sustainable, ethically sourced materials like paint containing rice husk ashes, natural wool, and 5,000-year-old Riverwood.
That's all rather admirable, but now as ever, Bentley remains an icon of conspicuous consumption. To that end, the Bentley Mulliner Bacalar boasts a 650-horsepower twin-turbocharged 6.0L W12 engine, 8-speed dual-clutch transmission, and active AWD, capable of vectoring torque between the front and rear axles as needed. The system favors the rear axle under most regular conditions, maximizing efficiency and delivering superior driving dynamics.
Aesthetically, the Bentley Mulliner Bacalar again borrows from the EXP 100 GT, flaunting a similarly evocative design that shares no exterior body panels with any series-production Bentley model. In fact, the only exterior component shared with one of the more common Bentley models is the door handles, which were borrowed from the Bentley Continental GT.
Inside the cabin, Bentley Mulliner's designers were allowed to showcase their keen attention to detail with a unique new knurled pattern repeated throughout on components like the bullseye air vents, speaker frets, and center console controls. Dark Bronze and Midnight Black Titanium details add further complexity, and on the first demonstration car, a mix of Bentley's semi-gloss leather, fine Beluga leather, and natural wool create what Mulliner calls a "dark tone-on-tone character." The effect is understated, and yet dramatic.
Bentley Chairman and CEO Adrian Hallmark summarized the Bacalar best, calling the car "a rare and remarkable Bentley," and the company's "ultimate expression of an open-top, luxury grand tourer, and of the immense capabilities of our team in Crewe."