Recently, Bentley Motors unveiled the new Bentley Mulliner Batur – a new, limited-series two-door grand touring coupé which signifies the start of a new design revolution at Bentley.
Director of Design Andreas Mindt and his team created the Batur to feature a new design DNA that will guide the design of future Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) from Bentley.
Only 18 series examples of the Balur will be produced in the latest project by Bentley’s in-house bespoke and coachbuilding division, Mulliner. It is the successor of the Bacalar, another limited series run of 12 individually specified, designed, and handcrafted Barchettas that relaunched the Bentley coachbuilding. Like the Bacalar, the namesake of the Batur is another beautiful natural body of water.
Lake Batur is 88m deep, 16 sq. km crater lake in Kintamani located on the island of Bali, Indonesia. It provides nutrient-rich water to both the local hot springs and agriculture.
Like its predecessor, the Batur, when released, will be the most powerful Bentley yet. It will be equipped with a 740+ PS version of the hand-assembled 6.0-liter twin-turbocharged W12 engine that has been the key to powering Bentley’s success for the last two decades – literally and metaphorically.
As part of Bentley’s Beyond 100 transformation journey to being fully electrified, the engine is naturally reaching its twilight years. The Batur is the first part in celebrating the extraordinary power, torque, and refinement of the W12. They will match the engine performance of the W12 to their most advanced Bentley chassis complete with electric active anti-roll control, Speed-tuned air suspension, four-wheel steering, eLSD, and torque vectoring.
All 18 examples of the Bentley Mulliner Batur has been reserved. Each Batur will be designed in close partnership with each customer with the guidance of Mulliner’s in-house design team. Practically every surface of the Batur can be customized by the client in terms of color and finish, which would ultimately result in a car that is as individual as they are. Handcrafted in Mulliner’s workshop at Bentley’s carbon neutral factory in Crewe, England, each Batur would take several months to finish and first deliveries are expected to start by mid-2023.
Bentley unveiled the Batur at their Signature Party at Monterey Car Week. With roughly 500 VIP guests in attendance, Bentley’s Chairman and Chief Executive Adrian Hallmark shared, “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.”
The Batur’s design was the product of Bentley’s Director of Design Andreas Mindt and his team which includes Head of Exterior Design Tobias Suehlmann and Head of Interior Design Andrew Hart-Barron.
Bentley’s design DNA which has greatly influenced the Continental GT, Flying Spur, and Bentayga families has been completely revamped for the Batur as they introduced new themes, details, and approaches. The new form language creates a new chapter in Bentley design as part of the Beyond 100 transformational journey of Bentley in their quest to become the leading sustainable luxury mobility company in the world.
The Batur is a preview of the design principles that are currently being developed for Bentley’s first BEV which is due in 2025, and the other cars that will sure follow.
Explaining the design, Andreas Mindt explained, “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.”
Next Exceptional Mulliner Project
The Bacalar – the predecessor of the Batur – is a limited series of 12 examples of Barchetta design that brought coachbuilding back to Mulliner. Mulliner has become an expert at delivering complex projects which includes the Bacalar and the Blower Continuation Series – the first continuation of a pre-war car in the world. Through both projects, the coachbuilding skills at Mulliner was reborn and together with their knowledge in generational handcraftsmanship, they’ll be able to deliver 18 Baturs that are going to be built purely and meticulously by hand.
Director of Mulliner Paul Williams stated, “With Bacalar, we proved the appetite of our clients for truly bespoke and individual Bentleys. We’re building on that story with the Batur, and the fact that all 18 cars are already reserved is testament to the fact that our design team is creating cars that our clients want to buy. Batur is not only a beautiful handcrafted Bentley – it is the next member of a distinguished line of cars coachbuilt by Mulliner, which include the W.O. Bentley’s favourite car in the 8 Litre and the now truly-iconic R-Type Continental.”
The in-house design team at Mulliner will co-create every Batur with their clients. For several hours, they’ll be working closely together using a specially-created Mulliner visualizer that will let them customize any part of the car in terms of color and surface finish. Practially unlimited samples of unique materials will bring texture to the project. The designs resulting from the activity will be truly unique and created by the customer, which is limited only by their own imagination. Each client will be able to specify even the smallest details of the Batur starting from the main exterior paint finish to the surface finish of the air vents.
Using handcrafted materials and exceptional colors, Mulliner’s team of automotive artisans will be creating the Bentley Balur and the whole process normally takes several months to finish each car.
Aside from the car’s exterior form, there is practically a limitless number of choices for the future owner of the Balur. In terms of paint choice alone, the client has practically unlimited options starting with the full Mulliner color palette. If none of them fits the client’s preference, there is the fully bespoke paint or even hand-painted graphics.
Other exterior aerodynamic features can also be added including the side skirts, front splitter, and rear diffuser. These features can be crafted in either carbon fiber or new, sustainable Natural Fiber composite.
The exterior brightware can be a combination of light and dark, gloss or satin or titanium. Like the first car, there is also the option of graduated contrast color to the front grille to give a vibrant ombre effect.
The Batur is equipped with unique 22-inch wheels. As standard, they are painted in Black Crystal and then surface bright machined and polished. There is a darker option that matches dark gloss faces with satin spokes. Clients also have the option to paint-match the wheels to the body with or without contrast finish. A completely different contrast color can also be picked.
The example that was unveiled in Monterey has been designed to showcase the form language of the Batur. Its exterior finish was a bespoke color of Bonneville Pearlescent Silver that gives flowing contrast across its curvaceous surfaces. Its bodywork is further highlighted with its carbon fiber front splitters, side skirts, and its Black Crystal-finished rear diffuser.
The grille at the front of the car is an exceptional art in itself. It has a main matrix that was finished in Gloss Dark Titanium, with contrast chevrons done in a horizontal ombre pattern that goes towards the Hyperactive Orange in the center, while it gradually darkens towards the sides to aa Black Crystal finish. To match the grille, the wheels are finished in Satin Titanium paint while the spokes got Satin Dark Titanium.
Sustainable and Bespoke Cabin
The Batur has a two-seat interior space that was designed to private the ultimate personalization as well as long-distance grand touring. Inspired by the Bacalar’s interior design, the Balur took some inspiration for the interior design of the Bacalar building on the core elements of their cabin design.
Every part of the cabin can be specified to the client’s specifications. Clients also have several options including a number of sustainable interior materials which includes:
– Low-carbon leather from Scotland. These leathers are transported in a shorter distance compared to the leather that were sourced from outside the UK.
– Sustainable tannage leather from Italy which are also available in five different colors.
– Dinamica, which is an alternative to leather, made from alternative suede-like sustainable material.
There are also a number of veneers that can be used on the front fascias and in includes a new material from Bentley, the sustainable alternative to carbon fiber, the Natural Fiber composite. Bringing a new texture to the cabin, it is available as a 2×2 twill weave and finished in satin lacquer. Whatever veneer that the client picks, the passenger fascia panel will have a unique etching of the audio signature of the W12 engine. Bespoke etching is also available.
A first in a Bentley, the carpets are also made using sustainable elements. Made from recycled yarn, the carpets are made to match the leather in the interior.
Clients are given the option between bright or dark treatments to the interior brightware. Titanium options are also available. There are also specific controls, like the organ stops for ventilation, which are available to be 3D-printed in 18k gold.
The interior of the Batur that was presented was trimmed by hand in a beautiful combination of black, red, and orange, namely Beluga, Hotspur, and Hyperactive. New and more sustainable low CO2 Mulliner Hyperactive Orange leather goes in contrast with the Beluga main color. A suede-like alternative to leather – the Dinamica – provides a complementary texture in both Beluga and Hotspur. The seats are designed with unique “Batur Chevrons” to the outer wings and are embroidered in Snap Orange thread which were done completely by hand. The rest of the upholstery used a contrasting white thread throughout. New feathered artisan piping in Beluga completes the soft elements of the interior, matched with Hyperactive Orange piping to the center of the seats, and a Hyperactive Orange finish on the lower spoke of the steering wheel.
Gloss Black paint was used on the veneers of the Instrument Panel, door, and fascias, matched with a ‘guitar fade’ to Fine Brodgar that naturally flows from the fascias to the doors and fades back to black. Completing the look of the fascia is a unique piece of art in the form of a laser-etched sound wave that represents the unique sound produced by the powerful W12 engine. Interior metallic elements are a mixture of Black Anodized Aluminum and Satin Titanium, with 18 karat gold Bentley Dynamic Drive Selector and ’12 o’clock’ steering wheel center band.
Powerful W12 Engine
The Batur is equipped with the most powerful engine that has ever been fitted to a Bentley. It has a 6.0-liter W12 which kicked off the rebirth of Bentley with the Continental GT back in 2002. Since then, the W12 has had several design iterations and is currently the most advanced twelve-cylinder engine in the world. Since the beginning, it has been hand-crafted in Crewe, England in Bentley’s carbon neutral factory.
For the Balur, it has been upgraded with a new intake system, new intercoolers, upgraded turbochargers, and numerous recalibrations of the more than 740 PS and 1,000 Nm of torque to be able to deliver exceptional performance for the newest grant tourer. This latest iteration of the engine is a tribute to its achievements for more than 20 years wherein over time it has developed to have almost 40% more power while also improving fuel economy by 25%.
For the Batur, they W12 engine is matched with Bentley’s eight-speed double-clutch transmission, and a sports exhaust to give it a soundtrack that perfectly matches with its level of performance. The whole exhaust system was made from titanium. And as another first for Bentley, the finishers are 3D-printed in titanium.
With Bentley moving towards electrification, it is understandable that the W12 is entering its last years of production. Before it is finally retired, this latest iteration is clearly an engineering masterpiece worthy of praise. The Batur is definitely the perfect car for the ultimate development of the W12.
Aside from being the most powerful and the most exclusive Bentley coupe to date, the Batur will also be the most dynamic.
It is equipped with adaptive three-chamber air springs and each have three switchable chambers which changes the volume of the air spring and hence its effective stiffness. Using the four-mode Drive Dynamics Control in the center console, the driver can choose the balance between ride comfort and body control and can choose between Bentley, Comfort, Sport, and Custom.
The Drive Dynamics Control is also capable of changing the behavior of the 48V electric active anti-roll control system, which has the capability to completely decouple the wheels are either end of each axle or provide 1,300 Nm of anti-roll torque in 0.3 seconds. The anti-roll control system can also adjust the roll stiffness front-to-rear, allowing the Batur sharper turn-in and better ability to balance the car on the throttle when it is in Sport mode.
An electronic Limited Slip Differential (eLSD) actively vectors drive torque across the chassis maximizing overall traction and cornering grip. This feature is complemented by torque vectoring by brake, where the car lightly brake the inside rear wheel on turn-in so the front-axle response is greater. It also lightly brake both inside wheels on corner exit so that the power is moved to the outside loaded wheels for better traction.
Braking power is provided by Bentley’s CSiC (Carbon-Silicon-Carbide) braking system. It has 440 mm front and 410 mm rear discs matched with ten-piston front and four-piston rear calipers. The Batur sits on bespoke 22-inch wheels wrapped with Pirelli tires.