Bentley Mulliner completes the final stages of hand-crafting 12 of the rarest Bentleys of the modern era – the exquisite Bacalar. The ultimate expression of the luxury two-seater convertible, the Bentley Bacalar was the first in a new series of ground-breaking bespoke projects spearheaded by a return to coachbuilding by Bentley Mulliner – the oldest coachbuilder in the world. The imminent completion of the Bentley Bacalars will allow the Mulliner team to focus their attention on their next project – the soon-to-be-revealed Bentley Batur.
Eight Bacalars – each in a unique color designed by their customer – have now been handed over to their owners around the world, with the last four cars in the final stages of preparation at the Mulliner workshop in Crewe for transport and delivery. With each car taking around six months to build, the final tasks and quality checks mark the end of a long and incredibly detailed process to craft each Bacalar to its owner’s wishes.
Bacalar was created by Bentley Mulliner to revive its specialty of supplying rare coachbuilt cars to a select few customers. A roofless Barchetta design with an all-new, highly muscular body that includes a myriad of options and materials, each Bacalar is truly unique, the result of direct interaction between the Bentley Mulliner cdesign team and each individual customer. As with all cars in the range, strictly limited to 12 examples, all examples have had every detail specified by their owners and as such are completely bespoke to them.
Each carbon fiber body is finished in a custom color for each customer, no two cars are identical. The cars sit on unique 22-inch Tri-Finish wheels, with polished faces, dark gray satin spokes and decorative accents that complement the exterior.
Maria Mulder – responsible for color, materials and finishes – said: “Designing a Bacalar is an exercise in the imagination, with the material, color and finish of virtually every interior and exterior surface tailored. Regardless of your personal style, whether you want to spec your Bacalar with a bold Flamme Yellow exterior paint synthesized with Rice Husk Ash, or a more subtle Moss Green that reflects Bentley’s heritage, develop your own handmade piping or co-create a unique fabric, Bacalar delivered all these options. »
Unique design details and features throughout the cabin emphasize the coachbuilder character of the car, with an almost infinite number of ways for the 12 customers to express their personal taste and obtain a unique interior.
Sustainable and ethically sourced materials previewed in concept car Bentley EXP 100 GT has now come true in a number of Bacalar. These include paints containing rice husk ash, which provides a durable way to achieve a rich metallic finish, natural British wool and 5,000-year-old riverwood from the ancient Fenlands of ‘East Anglia.
From the use of precious inlays and unique finishes for the driver’s controls, to the 148,199 individual stitches required to embroider the unique Bacalar upholstery on each seat, owners will find details and components never seen before on a Bentley . .
Due to the nature of these personal orders, Bentley is unable to disclose the identity of the customers or the destination of the cars. However, each customer shares a love of driving, as well as a passionate appreciation of craftsmanship, authenticity and attention to detail, all deeply connected to Mulliner.
A perfect example
One of the completed Bacalars took pride of place on Bentley’s display stand at the 2022 Goodwood Festival of Speed, where it was handed over to its new owner by Bentley Chairman and CEO Adrian Hallmark. The car’s specification is a perfect example of how every detail of a Bacalar has been chosen by its customer.
This Bentley Bacalar has been finished in custom Sunset Orange, with custom 22-inch tri-tone wheels in Dark Satin Gray with polished faces and gloss black highlights that provide a bold contrast to the dynamic exterior. The headlight centers were color-matched to the Sunset Orange body on either side of a set of gloss black grilles and surrounds. The hood vents offered a difference in texture with a satin carbon fiber finish, as did the exterior mirrors. Satin carbon fiber also gave added definition to the “power bumps” behind the front seats – highlighted by Sunset Orange light elements – as well as the side skirts and rear diffuser, complemented by exhaust finishes with gloss black exterior and matte black interior.
The side vents and the rest of the exterior lighting elements are in gloss black, as are the insides of the exterior door handles.
A white and black cabin with tangerine accents creates a striking modern interior theme. A technical satin carbon fiber finish wraps the occupants and sweeps from side to side of the cabin and matches the exterior technical details. Every panel and detail of the interior has been specified to the customer’s choice through careful combinations of leather and Alcantara in white, black and orange, high-gloss and satin-finish metals in black, dark shade and high-gloss chrome finish, and the dual use of gloss and satin carbon fiber.
Mandarin orange leather highlights the shape of the upper roll, the center line of the steering wheel and both the door opening and the gear lever. This continues with additional stitching details on the back of the seats in Beluga perforated oval tubes and hand cross stitching along the door following the styling line around the center console.
The Bacalar is the extreme example of how the finer details included in every Bentley can add up to form an interior like no other. This customer’s car is no exception and details include:
– Bentley’s analogue dials with rotating display provide a splash of contrast in Bacalar Blue.
– Mats feature a “diamond cut” pattern with tangerine orange binding and stitching.
– The dividing line between satin carbon fiber and glossy black in the boot – normally invisible and hidden by luggage – has been specified to be a dark satin color
– Bespoke luggage that fits behind the seats has Alcantara tops to match the car, as well as Mandarin Orange embroidery and oval perforated Beluga piping with a Mandarin Orange core – exactly replicating the finish on the rear front seats.
Specifying each Bentley is a journey of discovery, even a ‘standard’ model can be configured in literally billions of ways. The design process for a Mulliner goes one step further – with endless combinations of materials, colors and finishes. The resulting exquisite grand touring cars are limited only by the law of the land and the imagination of the customer. Mulliner’s next drive-over model – the soon-to-be-revealed Batur – will be no exception.