Bentley Mulliner Bacalar: a concept car made real

Published: 03 March 2020

► Bentley reveals 'future of coachbuilding'
► Mulliner creation uses sustainable materials
► Limited-run GT car will cost £1.5m each

How does Bentley ready itself for its second century? The Mulliner Bacalar is a decent start, as the brand makes a grander focus on coachbuilding.

Just 12 of these barchetta-style drop tops will ever see the light of day and all are already spoken for. It’s a Continental GT Convertible that’s had one considerable makeover, taking styling details from the brand’s EXP 100 GT concept.

How much of this is Mulliner?

More than you’re usual creation from Bentley’s special arm. Bentley’s focus with the Bacalar is to further illuminate what it’s bespoke arm can do. The Bacalar has taken significant design inspiration from the EXP 100 GT; the headlights, grille shape and arrangement of the rear have all been pilfered from Bentley’s centenary concept.

Bacalar interior

Mulliner has taken the basis of a Continental GT Convertible, widened the rear track by 20mm, the rear clamshell is made out of aluminium and the doors and wings from carbonfibre. Massive 22-inch wheels bespoke to the Bacalar also feature.

Materials from the EXP 100 GT also make their way into the Bacalar; 5,000-year-old riverwood, dredged from the river beds of the East Anglian Fens is what you see on the dashboard’s wraparound veneer, while wool cloth, piping and yarns are all sourced from small, sustainable UK suppliers.

What powers the Bacalar?

Would you be surprised if we said there was a W12 under there? Of course not. Here, the 6.0-litre, twin-turbo engine makes 650bhp and 667lb ft and is mated to an eight-speed auto. Bentley’s 48v active body roll system is implemented, as is air suspension.

Bacalar rear tracking

How much?!

The Bacalar will set each of the 12 lucky people to sign up for one at the very least £1.5m before taxes.

Of course, given each one is a special project, that leaves the barn door wide open for that cost to rise, in order for Mulliner to carry out whatever they desire.

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By Jake Groves

CAR's staff writer, office Geordie, gamer, lover of hot hatches