Introducing the incredible Bentley Mulliner Bacalar

With entirely bespoke styling, a limited run of 12 models and a top speed of 200 mph, could the Bacalar be Bentley's best ever car?

The Bacalar is a special car; but of course, you can see that. A hand-crafted, limited-edition, two-seater Grand Tourer, only a dozen will ever be built. And, unfortunately for those of you reaching for your wallets, all 12 have already been sold.

And we can see why. Exclusive and bespoke, each of the distinctive cars will be designed, engineered and hand-finished to individual customers’ taste — detailed with sustainable and ethically-sourced materials including rice husk ash paint and 5,000-year-old Riverwood. And this means handing it over to Bentley’s bespoke coachbuilding company; Mulliner.

A little history, then, before we dive any further into the Bacalar’s plush Beluga leather interior. Mulliner, founded in 1760 as a carriage hire company, is the oldest coachbuilding brand in the world. Over the years, it has been responsible for creating such exquisite, specialist models as the Bentayga Falconry and the exceptional Continental GT Aurum.

The Bentley Mulliner Bacalar, on the other hand, is not just a specced-up, kitted-out version of an existing Bentley. It is a new open-air, two-seat Luxury Grand tourer — and the British brand’s most exclusive vehicle of its modern era. It is also the cornerstone of the new Bentley Mulliner Coachbuilt portfolio — one of three new divisions of Mulliner, along with ‘Classic’ (creating continuations of classic Bentleys) and ‘Collections’ (customising existing cars).

But back to the Bacalar itself. Because it really is a thing to behold. Inside that luxurious cabin, the ‘wraparound’ cockpit design offers up something that we’ve never seen on a Bentley before; truly pure lines, sweeping from the steeply angled centre console into the dashboard and door panels.

And this set-up allows for an ingenious space behind the seats — where luxury Italian brand Schedoni has fitted bespoke luggage for Bentley. Schedoni has been creating luggage for travellers since the 19th century — and this latest set perfectly matches the trim and materials of the cabin.

Elsewhere in the interior, a new, knurled pattern has been created for the iconic ‘bullseye’ vents, the main controls have been given a dark, anodised titanium finish and a Bentley Rotating Display has been hidden behind a revolving Riverwood veneer. There’s also a new D-shaped steering wheel, unique leather door and seat releases and a gear shifter finished in Alcantara and accented with bronze.

The exterior is no less exquisite. Dynamically designed, and combining traditional handcrafted techniques with cutting-edge technology, the Bacalar is a genuine ‘roofless’ Barchetta. It shares no body panels with any other car produced by Bentley — and only one exterior component of any kind; the door handles of the Continental GT.

And it’s light. Really light — especially for a Grand Tourer. A kerb weight of just 2,414 kilograms is owed to the Bacalar’s aluminium and carbon fibre construction, with lightweight panels 3D-printed to create the car’s muscular, sporting stance. Add to that 22-inch tri-finish wheels, unique headlights and the ‘Bacalar’ name emblazoned across the rear, and you’ve got a motor unlike any other being built today.

So what can it do? It may talk the talk, but can Bentley’s Bacalar walk the walk? Thanks to its 650 horsepower, it most certainly can. At the heart of the car is Bentley’s renowned 6.0-litre, twin-turbocharged W12 — with a dual-clutch, eight-speed transmission channelling this power into rapid results thanks to efficient gear changes.

There’s also the brand’s magic Dynamic Ride System in the mix to guarantee comfort, air suspension and an adaptive chassis — all combining to carry the lucky owners up to a blazing top speed of 200 mph. But, even though all 12 Bacalars have already been homed, we’ll be keeping a keen eye on Bentley’s fortified Mulliner division. Refreshed, renewed and reinvigorated, we can’t wait to see what turbocharged tricks they conjure up next…

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