VW-owned Bentley Motors has unveiled the Bentley Mulliner Batur – a new two-door grand touring coupé limited to 18 series pieces – that it say embodies the start of a design revolution at Bentley.
Created by Director of Design Andreas Mindt and his team, the Batur is described as a showcase of a new design DNA that will ultimately guide the design of Bentley’s future range of Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs).
The collection of just 18 series examples of the Batur is the latest project by Bentley’s in-house bespoke and coachbuilding division, Mulliner, and succeeds the Bacalar – a run of 12 individually specified, designed and handcrafted Barchettas that relaunched coachbuilding at Bentley. Like its predecessor – the Bacalar – the Batur is named after a natural body of water. Lake Batur is an 88m deep, 16 km2 crater lake in Kintamani on the island of Bali, Indonesia, and Bentley says it provides nutrient-rich water to both local hot springs and agriculture.
The Batur will also be the most powerful Bentley yet, with a 740+ PS version of the 6.0-litre twin-turbocharged W12 engine.
ll 18 examples of the Batur have already been reserved. Each one will be designed collaboratively with each customer, guided by Mulliner’s in-house design team. Customers will be able to specify the colour and finish of practically every surface of the Batur, to create a car as individual as they are. Each one will then be handcrafted over the course of several months in Mulliner’s workshop at Bentley’s carbon neutral factory in Crewe, England, with first deliveries expected in mid-2023.
The Batur was unveiled at Bentley’s Signature Party at Monterey Car Week, in front of almost 500 VIP guests, by Bentley’s Chairman and Chief Executive, Adrian Hallmark, who said: “The Batur is a significant car for Bentley. Far more than the heir to the highly successful Bacalar, the Batur showcases the design direction that we’re taking in the future as we develop our range of BEVs. Andi Mindt and his team have reimagined the classic Bentley design cues into a stronger, bolder design that remains both elegant and graceful.
“Beneath the beautiful exterior lies the most powerful engine we’ve ever developed. Our W12 engine is easily the most successful twelve-cylinder automotive engine in history, and as it approaches its retirement to make way for future hybrids and BEVs, we want to mark its accomplishments.
“The 18 lucky customers who have already reserved their Batur will enjoy an unrivalled co-creation experience with our Mulliner Design team in specifying their cars. The Batur is the next step in Mulliner’s expansion, demonstrating the demand for truly bespoke vehicles that combine luxury and performance in ways that only Bentley can deliver.”
‘Resting beast stance’
Andreas Mindt said of the design: “For any design team, the chance to redefine our own rules is the most exciting challenge. We have reimagined the Bentley design language, keeping some continuity to the past and present while also drastically changing key elements.
“The design of a modern Bentley should always be potent, inspirational and harmonious. The form has to be strong and muscular whilst remaining graceful – there must be both elegant flow and muscularity. The term we use is the ‘resting beast stance’ – picture a lion or tiger, laying low in attack position in long grass. That powerful shape – of ultimate power at rest, that looks fast even when stationary – is one that drives our new interpretation of the classic Bentley power line and haunch.
“A mark of power and prestige has always been a long bonnet. Our new design cues include a line that stretches from the bonnet along the whole length of the car, connecting the bonnet into the body, making the car long and lean and giving an elongated proportion to the front end. We call this feature the “endless bonnet”, and it’s the only accent highlight to the cleaner shape. Meanwhile the visual mass of the car is moved rearwards, giving the impression that the car is sat on the rear axle, which adds further depth to the haunches.
“At the very front of the car, we’ve modernised the famous Bentley grille and made it lower and more upright, to give a stronger face and a more dominant stance. This upright elegance bring self-confidence with a luxury stance. The grille is flanked by a new headlight shape and design, an evolution of the design used on Bacalar and maintaining the single large headlight either side. These are matched with all-new tail-lamps at the rear, that sit either side of a deployable spoiler.
“Overall, the form is cleaner and simplified, and we rely more on curvaceous surfaces bisected in the right places to reflect light and dark and bring more muscle to the design.”