Amongst the many classic cars of Monterey Car Week, the Bentley Mulliner Batur will make its global debut Saturday during a party thrown by the automaker for several hundred guests. The exclusive, hand-crafted customizable grand touring car for the 1% is the successor the Bacalar, a run of 12 Barchetta Bentleys.
The car’s name comes from Lake Batur, a volcanic crater lake in Kintamani, on the island of Bali, Indonesia.
A new design, an ironic mission
While the new Batur is meant to celebrate Bentley’s iconic 12-cylinder engine, its new design language will actually foreshadow that of Bentley’s battery electric vehicles, the first of which will launch in 2025.
Although the British automaker has only revealed teaser images thus far, it did reveal that the brand-new look, developed by Bentley Director of Design Andreas Mindt, cleanly reinterprets the company’s classic design cues to create a new Bentley design DNA that will adorn the forthcoming Bentley BEVs.
The company also said the new model will be extensively customized for each buyer, who will select the color and finish of every surface, with choices including natural fibers, leather and 3D-printed 18-carat gold.
The car will be displayed among other Mulliner models, including the Blower Car Zero, Mulliners first vehicle from its Continuation Series. The Bacalar, the car that the Batur is replacing, is also getting its first showing in the United States. There will also be Mulliner versions of the Continental and Flying Spur, as well as displays from Bentley’s new home furnishings line, and Bentley Residences Miami, developed with Dezer Development.
What the Bentley Batur is replacing
The Batur replaces the rarified Bacalar, a two-seat drophead that takes its design cues from the Bentley EXP 100 GT Concept. The model initiated the return of more extensive customer customization by Bentley Mulliner. Although customization has been available at Bentley for some time, the Mulliner program goes further.
It can be seen in the Bacalar, which uses unique carbon fiber coachwork, each finished in custom color so that no two are alike, and wear 22-inch polished satin wheels. Each Bentley Bacalar takes six months to complete.
The Bacalar was revealed in 2020, and was sold out before anyone got to see it, starting at $1.9 million.
The move to more extensive customization among the world’s leading automakers is a new trend, with Bentley rival Rolls-Royce creating Rolls-Royce Coachbuild, a new venture that provides the automaker’s most well-heeled customers with the ability to collaborate in the design of a completely unique vehicle.
Luxury manufacturers like Rolls-Royce supplied a rolling chassis. The actual body and interior were then custom designed and built by one of a myriad of custom coachbuilders, including H.J. Mulliner, Park Ward, Le Baron and Louis Labourdette. Rolls-Royce didn’t make its own bodies until 1946.
Bentley is also seeking to tap this vain by increasing the customization of low-production models such as the Batur.
What shape and form that will take will become apparent by week’s end.