Automakers will reveal several exquisite, high-priced cars this week of the unconventional Geneva Motor Show, but perhaps none fit that description more than the all-new Bentley Mulliner Bacalar.
The $2 million, two-seat open-air coupe was revealed at the company’s home base in Crewe, England, rather than on a stand at the Palexpo in Geneva, but it’s no less impressive.
Made of ethically sourced, sustainable materials previewed on the EXP 100 GT last year, this handcrafted coupe moved from concept to production in just eight months. However, don’t run to the nearest Bentley dealership, the company is building only 12 of them — and they’re all spoken for, the company says.
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“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,” said Adrian Hallmark, chairman and chief executive of Bentley Motors, in a statement.
“In Bacalar, we have created a fully bespoke Bentley, orientated towards a two seat open top experience, and carrying a number of the forward-thinking elements of future luxury, first heralded in our EXP 100 GT as part of our Centenary celebrations last year.
“Bacalar is a rare and remarkable Bentley, and whilst clearly defined, will be an extraordinary and collaborative experience for just 12 discerning people who will now co-create, collect, drive and treasure one of twelve being built.
The advantage of this kind of hyper-limited run of vehicles is that the lucky dozen owners will have a hand in creating their specific model — it is “bespoke” after all. What they won’t get to choose is the roofless Barchetta design and the two seats.
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No question that the Bacalar is one of the more dramatic looking offerings from the British brand. With tapered cowls at the rear creating a very muscular look, it certainly recalls Barchetta sports cars of the past where driver and passenger were enveloped by the car and the focus was primarily on the driver.
Bacalar’s wraparound cockpit flows from a new, steeply angled center console seamlessly into the dashboard and doors. These then wrap rearwards towards the semi-enclosed luggage compartment behind the two seats, the company says.
Also, not up for discussion is the 6.0-liter, W12 TSI engine that produces 650 brake horsepower and 667 pound-feet of torque. That’s mated to an advanced Active All-Wheel-Drive System varies the torque split between front and rear wheels. The system is designed to allow the Bacalar to use rear-wheel drive as much as possible, allowing for that rear-drive feel customary among sports cars.
The Bacalar also continues the luxury marque’s strategy for naming vehicles after landmarks around the world, which began in 2015 with the company’s first-ever SUV, the Bentayga. The newest model is named after Laguna Bacalar in Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula, a lake renowned for its breath-taking natural beauty, officials noted.
Bacalar also signals a shift in the “Bently Mulliner operation,” the company said. This change in strategy will now result in three different units: Classic, Collections and Coachbuilt.
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“Our customers are as excited as we are about Bacalar, as it brings our team and discerning enthusiasts together, to create the finest bespoke, hand-built cars, and push the boundaries of our imagination and capabilities,” Hallmark said.