Bentley is inching closer to finally realising the production of its $2 million coach-built Bacalar. After revealing the first Blower Continuation Series prototype, the Bacalar comes as the first of new bespoke creations under the Bentley Mulliner Coachbuilt portfolio. The company has already built an engineering prototype which is now being subjected to the so-called Bacalar Zero to various validation programs. The prototype unit was spotted testing for the first time wearing an all-white paint job.
For the unaware, the validation programs are aimed at ensuring that the final customer cars are up to the highest of standards. The process which will span around 20 weeks will be held across multiple locations in Europe, not just to accumulate mileage, but also to undergo quality tests. So far, the Bacalar Zero has completed wind tunnel-based aerodynamic evaluations, high-speed stability assessments along with top-speed testing. In addition to this, the car has also completed handling and dynamics evaluations, thermal measurements, and appraisal of noise and vibration.
Bentley suggests that the ongoing programs for the first member of the Bentley Mulliner Coachbuilt portfolio include customer-focused mileage accumulation and durability work. Then, the car will undergo climate cycle testing (up to 80 °C) as well as an intensive electrical system validation. Once all the programs are completed, Bentley will then ensure that all of the car’s components have passed its quality standards for quality, functionality and durability.
Only 12 examples of Bentley Bacalar will be ever built and will be exquisitely tailored to the discerning wishes of the customers who pre-ordered them, ensuring that each is a one-off unit. Production of the dozen is expected to commence in 2021.
The design of the unit spotted testing suggests that the Bacalar is unlike any other Bentley we have ever seen and is a welcome demise from typical statesman, elegant and straight-line design language of the British luxury car maker. The Bacalar looks rather sporty, modern and a typical coupe, much like the BMW Z4, having a large grille upfront and sleek tail lights.
The new Bentley Bacalar is powered by a boosted version of the 6.0-litre, W12 TSI engine that produces 650 hp and 904 Nm of peak torque. Thanks to an advanced Active All-Wheel-Drive System, the Bacalar is on rear-wheel-drive setup as much as possible during a typical drive.