Bentley Mulliner is completing the final stages of handcraftsmanship of 12 of the rarest Bentleys of the modern era – the exquisite Bacalar.
The Bacalar is the ultimate expression of two-seat, open-air luxury and was the first in a new series of pinnacle bespoke projects that have spearheaded a return to coachbuilding by Bentley Mulliner – the oldest coachbuilder in the world. The imminent completion of the Bacalars will allow the Mulliner team to focus attention towards their next project, which will be revealed soon.
Eight Bacalars – each in a unique colour designed by its customer – have now been handed to their owners around the world, with the final four cars in the last phases of preparation in Mulliner’s Crewe workshop for transport and delivery. With each car taking around six months to complete, the last tasks and quality checks mark the end of a long and incredibly detailed process to craft each Bacalar according to its owner’s wishes.
Bacalar has been brought to life by Bentley Mulliner to revive its specialism in providing rare coachbuilt cars to only a few discerning customers. A roofless Barchetta design with all-new and highly muscular coachwork, embracing a myriad of options and materials, each Bacalar is truly unique, the result of direct interaction between the Bentley Mulliner design team and each individual customer. As with every car in the series, strictly limited to 12 examples, all cars have had every detail specified by their owners, and as such are totally bespoke to them.
Each carbon fibre body is finished in a bespoke colour for each individual customer with no two cars being the same. The cars sit on unique 22” Tri-Finish wheels, with polished faces, dark grey satin spokes and accent highlights to complement the exterior.
Maria Mulder, Head of Colour, Materials and Finishes, comments: “Designing a Bacalar is an exercise in imagination, with the material, colour and finish of practically every interior and exterior surface being bespoke. Regardless of your personal style, whether it be to specifying your Bacalar with a bold Yellow Flame exterior paint synthesised with rice husk ash, or a more subtle Moss Green that reflects Bentley’s heritage, developing your own artisan piping, or co-create a unique fabric blend, the Bacalar has provided all of these opportunities.”
Uniquely designed details and features in the cabin emphasise the coachbuilt character of the car, with an almost infinite number of ways for the 12 customers to express their personal taste and commission a unique interior.
Sustainable, ethically-sourced materials previewed in the EXP 100 GT concept car have now become reality in a number of the Bacalars. These include paint containing ash from rice husks, which provides a sustainable way of delivering a rich metallic finish, natural British wool and 5,000-year-old Riverwood sourced from the ancient Fenlands of East Anglia.
From the use of precious inlays and unique finishes to the driver controls, to the 148,199 individual stitches needed to embroider the unique Bacalar quilt on each seat, owners will find details and components not seen before on a Bentley.
Due to the nature of these personal commissions, Bentley is not able to reveal the identity of the customers nor where the cars will be heading. However, each customer shares a love of driving, along with an avid appreciation for craftsmanship, authenticity & attention to detail, all deeply associated with Mulliner.
A Perfect Example
One of the finished Bacalars took pride of place on Bentley’s show stand at this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed, during which time it was handed over to its new owner by Bentley’s Chairman and Chief Executive, Adrian Hallmark. The specification of the car is a perfect example of how every detail of a Bacalar was chosen by its customer.
This Bacalar was finished in bespoke Sunset Orange, with customised tri-colour 22” wheels in dark grey satin with polished faces and gloss black highlights providing a bold contrast to the vibrant exterior. The centres of the headlamps were colour matched to the Sunset Orange bodywork, either side of a set of gloss black grilles and surrounds. The bonnet vents provided a textural difference being finished in satin carbon fibre, as were the wing mirrors. Satin carbon fibre also gave additional definition to the ‘power humps’ behind the front seats – accented with Sunset Orange brightware – along with the side skirts and rear diffuser, complemented by exhaust finishers with gloss black outers and matte black inners.
Side vents and the rest of the exterior brightware are in gloss black, as are the insides of the exterior door handles.
A white and black cabin with Mandarin Orange accents creates a striking contemporary interior theme. A satin carbon fibre technical finish encapsulates the occupants, sweeping from one side of the cabin to the other, matching the exterior technical details harmoniously. Every panel and detail of the interior was specified to the customer’s choice, through careful combinations of leather and Alcantara in white, black and orange, gloss and satin metals in black, dark tint and bright chrome finishes, and the twin usage of both gloss and satin carbon fibre.
Mandarin Orange leather accentuates the form of the top roll, the centre line in the steering wheel and both the door release and gear lever. This continues with further stitching details to the rear of the seats within the oval perforated Beluga piping and hand cross stitching along the door following the styling line around to the centre console.
The Bacalar is the extreme example of how the tiniest of details included in every Bentley can accumulate to form a cabin unlike any other. This customer’s car is no exception, and details include:
- The analogue clock faces of the Bentley Rotating Display provide a splash of contrast in Bacalar Blue.
- The carpets feature a ‘diamond carved’ pattern, with binding and stitching in Mandarin Orange.
- The split line between satin carbon fibre and gloss black in the luggage area – usually unseen and hidden by luggage – was specified to be in satin dark tint
- The bespoke luggage that fits behind the seats feature Alcantara uppers to match the car, along with embroidery in Mandarin Orange and oval-perforated beluga piping with a Mandarin Orange core – exactly replicating the finish to the back of the fronts seats
The specification of every Bentley is a voyage of discovery, with even a ‘standard’ model being configurable in literally billions of ways. The process of designing a Mulliner goes even further – with infinite combinations of materials, colours and finishes. The exquisite grand tourers that result are only bounded by the law of the land and the imagination of the customer. The next coachbuilt model from Mulliner – to be revealed soon – will be no exception.
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*all images courtesy of Bentley Motors