Bentley Mulliner Bacalar – a boon for the super-rich
Bentleys not exclusive enough for you? Then keep an eye on its new venture, the Mulliner Bacalar. Nicole Garcia Merida reports
This marks the beginning of a new chapter for Bentley, says Piers Ward on Autocar. The carmaker teamed up with coachbuilder Mulliner to launch “ever more exclusive cars” – and the Mulliner Bacalar was born. Everyone who signed up for the limited-production model in 2020 is still committed, and every one of the 12 cars being made “found a home within days”, despite sporting a hefty price tag of £1.5m – rising to something more like £2m after customers’ specifications. The exquisite details, though, “add up to more than the sum of their parts”. A push of the starter button and you’re greeted with the “muffled muscularity” of Bentley’s 626bhp W12 engine. The result is “a blisteringly rapid car” that feels “more than capable of the claimed 200mph-plus top speed”.
Though it “shares key hard points with the regular GT convertible”, the Bacalar is longer, wider and shorter, cruising closer to the road than its cousin, and is “all sinew and muscle under a tautly stretched skin like LeBron James in a Savile Row suit”, says Angus MacKenzie on MotorTrend. The engine and transmission deliver Bentley’s “trademark 12-cylinder thrust in a single smooth surge all the way to 6,000 rpm”, but the car is calm when it goes down the road, “light on its feet and surprisingly responsive”. Though fast, the Bacalar is not “for ricocheting from apex to apex with your hair on fire”. Rather it has been “perfectly pitched for a languid late morning run along the Grande Corniche, the blue waters of the Mediterranean sparkling in the distance, en route to lunch at the Hôtel de Paris in Monaco”.
The exterior is “striking”, says Stuart Gallagher on Auto Express, and the interior “a delight of details”. The cabin is “decked in 5,000-year-old riverbed wood” and surfaces are finished with an elegant golden tinge. The car is a “thoroughly precise and exact piece of design and engineering… Cocooned in the Bacalar’s strictly two-seater cockpit, you’re a world away from the normality of the day-to-day”. And on the road, it’s surprisingly agile for such a heavy car. “If any of the 12 owners find themselves away from a boulevard and on a more testing stretch of road, they won’t feel all at sea.” It’s “undeniably special”, agrees Kyle Fortune on motor1.com. If this is a preview of what’s to come from Bentley’s Mulliner division, “then the super-rich have got good reason to get very excited indeed”.