Bentley Motors has today unveiled the Bentley Mulliner Batur - a new two-door grand touring coupe limited to 18 series pieces that embodies the start of a design revolution at Bentley.
Created by Director of Design Andreas Mindt and his team, the Batur is a showcase of a new design DNA that will ultimately guide the design of Bentley's future range of Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs).
The collection of just 18 series examples of the Batur is the latest project by Bentley's in-house bespoke and coachbuilding division, Mulliner, and succeeds the Bacalar - a run of 12 individually specified, designed and handcrafted Barchettas that relaunched coachbuilding at Bentley. Like its predecessor - the Bacalar - the Batur is named after a beautiful natural body of water. Lake Batur is an 88m deep, 16 km2 crater lake in Kintamani on the island of Bali, Indonesia, and provides nutrient-rich water to both local hot springs and agriculture.
The Batur will also be the most powerful Bentley yet, with a 740+ PS version of the iconic, hand-assembled 6.0-litre twin-turbocharged W12 engine that has metaphorically and literally powered Bentley's success for the last two decades. As the engine enters its twilight years as part of Bentley's Beyond100 transformation journey to being fully electrified, the Batur forms the first part of a celebration of the W12's extraordinary power, torque and refinement. Engine performance will be matched to the most advanced Bentley chassis ever, with Speed-tuned air suspension, electric active anti-roll control, eLSD, four-wheel steering and torque vectoring.
All 18 examples of the Batur have already been reserved. Each one will be designed collaboratively with each customer, guided by Mulliner's in-house design team. Customers will be able to specify the colour and finish of practically every surface of the Batur, to create a car as individual as they are. Each one will then be handcrafted over the course of several months in Mulliner's workshop at Bentley's carbon neutral factory in Crewe, England, with first deliveries expected in mid-2023.
The Batur was unveiled at Bentley's Signature Party at Monterey Car Week, in front of almost 500 VIP guests, by Bentley's Chairman and Chief Executive, Adrian Hallmark, who comments:
"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."
A Design Revolution
The design of the Batur is the work of Bentley's Director of Design, Andreas Mindt, and his team including Head of Exterior Design, Tobias Suehlmann and Head of Interior Design, Andrew Hart-Barron. The Bentley design DNA that has driven the creation of the Continental GT, Flying Spur and Bentayga families has been revolutionised for the Batur, introducing new themes, approaches and details. The new form language defines a new chapter for Bentley design, as part of Bentley's Beyond100 transformational journey to become the world's leading sustainable luxury mobility company.
The Batur previews the design principles that are driving the development of the company's first BEV - due in 2025 - and the families of cars that follow.
Andreas Mindt explains the design:
"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 brings 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."
The Next Exceptional Mulliner Project
The Batur is the heir and successor to the Bacalar, the 12-off Barchetta design that brought coachbuilding back to Mulliner. Mulliner has become adept at delivering complex projects, including the Bacalar and the Blower Continuation Series - the world's first continuation of a pre-war car. The coachbuilding skills that have been reborn through both projects will combine with generational handcraftsmanship to deliver the 18 Baturs that are to be built, each one entirely and meticulously by hand.
Paul Williams, Director of Mulliner, comments:
"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."
Mulliner's in-house design team will co-create every Batur with its customer, working together for several hours through a specially-created Mulliner visualiser that allows any part of the car to be customised in colour and surface finish. Endless samples of unique materials bring texture to the process, and the resulting designs will be truly individual and created by the customer - limited only by their imagination. From the main exterior paint to the surface finish of the air vents, and literally everything in between, each customer will specify even the tiniest of details.
Through handcrafted materials and exceptional colours, each Batur will then be brought to life by Mulliner's team of automotive artisans in a process taking several months for each car.
Beyond the exterior form of the car lies an almost endless array of choices for each car's future owner to make. Paint choice is infinite - starting with the full Mulliner colour palette and travelling beyond into fully bespoke paint and even hand-painted graphics.
The aerodynamic additions of front splitter, side skirts and rear diffuser can be crafted in both carbon fibre or new, sustainable Natural Fibre composite.
The exterior brightware can be any mix of light and dark, satin or gloss or even titanium. As per the first car, another option is graduated contrast colour to the front grille, for a vibrant ombre effect.
The Batur sits on unique 22" wheels, with the 'standard' option being painted in Black Crystal and then surface bright machined and polished. A darker option combines dark gloss faces with satin spokes, while customers can also choose to paint-match the wheels to the body with or without contrast finish, or to choose a totally different contrast colour.
The car revealed in Monterey has been specified to showcase the Batur's form language. The exterior paintwork is a bespoke colour - Bonneville Pearlescent Silver - that provides flowing contrast across the curvaceous surfaces. The bodywork is underscored by carbon fibre front splitters, side skirts and rear diffuser painted in Black Crystal. The front of the car features a grille of exceptional art - with the main matrix finished in Gloss Dark Titanium, accented with contrast chevrons in a horizontal ombre pattern that flows from Hyperactive Orange in the centre and gradually darken to the sides to Black Crystal. The "endless bonnet" line is finished in Satin Titanium paint, as are the 22" wheels - with the spokes in Satin Dark Titanium to match the grille.
A Cabin of Sustainable Bespoke Beauty
The two-seat interior space of the Batur is designed for ultimate personalisation and long-distance grand touring. Inspired by the success of the interior design of the Bacalar, the Batur builds on the core elements of the Bacalar's cabin design and adds new sustainable luxury features.
Every element of the cabin is tailored to the customer's specifications. Clients can choose from a variety of sustainable interior materials, including:
Low-carbon leather sourced from Scotland, which travels significantly smaller distance than leather sourced from outside the UK.
Sustainable tannage leather from Italy, in five different colours.
Dinamica, an alternative suede-like sustainable material to leather.
The range of veneers available for the fascias include a new material for Bentley - Natural Fibre composite, which is a sustainable alternative to carbon fibre. Available as a 2x2 twill weave and finished in satin lacquer, the Natural Fibre composite brings a new sustainable texture to the cabin. Regardless of the veneer chosen, the passenger fascia panel is finished with a unique etching of the audio signature of the W12 engine - and bespoke etching is also available.
The final sustainable elements are the carpets, which are matched to the leather and made from recycled yarn, in a first for Bentley.
Clients will choose between bright or dark treatments to the interior brightware and titanium options are also available. Certain controls - like the organ stops for ventilation - are even available in 3D-printed 18K gold.
The interior of the launch Batur has been trimmed by hand in a stunning combination of black, red and orange - specifically, Beluga, Hotspur and Hyperactive. Beluga main hide is contrasted with new, even more sustainable low CO2 Mulliner Hyperactive Orange leather. A complementary texture is provided through the use of Dinamica - a suede-like alternative to leather - in both Beluga and Hotspur. Unique "Batur Chevrons" to the outer wings of the seats are finely embroidered by hand in Snap Orange thread, whilst the remainder of the upholstery carries a white thread in contrast throughout. The soft elements are completed with a new feathered artisan piping in Beluga, with Hyperactive Orange piping to the seat centres and a Hyperactive Orange finish to the lower spoke of the steering wheel.
The veneers to the Instrument Panel, fascias and doors are Gloss Black painted, with a 'guitar fade' to Fine Brodgar that flows from the fascias to the doors, before fading back to black. The fascia is completed with a unique piece of art - a laser-etched sound wave, which represents the unique sound generated by the W12 engine. The metallic elements of the interior are a blend of Black Anodised Aluminium and Satin Titanium, completed with a hallmarked 18 karat gold Bentley Dynamic Drive Selector and '12 o'clock' steering wheel centre band.
The Mighty W12
The Batur features the most powerful engine yet fitted to a Bentley. The 6.0-litre W12 that started the rebirth of Bentley with the Continental GT in 2002 has been through several design iterations since, and is now the most advanced twelve-cylinder engine in the world. It has always been hand-crafted in Bentley's carbon neutral factory in Crewe, England.
For the Batur, a new intake system, upgraded turbochargers, new intercoolers and extensive recalibration more than 740 PS and 1,000 Nm of torque, to deliver exceptional performance for this new pinnacle grand tourer. This development of the engine is in celebration of its achievements over 20 years, over which time it has been developed to produce nearly 40% more power while fuel economy has improved by 25%. For the Batur, the W12 is paired with Bentley's eight-speed double-clutch transmission, and a sports exhaust to provide a soundtrack in keeping with the level of performance. The entire exhaust system is in titanium, while the finishers are 3D-printed in titanium in a first for Bentley.
As Bentley moves towards the era of electrification, the W12 is entering its twilight years. Before its retirement, this engineering masterpiece is worthy of commendation, and the Batur is the perfect home for the ultimate development of W12 performance.
A Chassis System to Match
As well as being the most power and most exclusive Bentley coupe to date, the Batur will also be the most dynamic.
Adaptive three-chamber air springs each have three switchable chambers, changing the volume of the air spring and so its effective stiffness. The driver can select the balance between ride comfort and body control using the four-mode Drive Dynamics Control in the centre console, choosing between Sport, Bentley, Comfort and Custom.
The Drive Dynamics Control also changes the behaviour of the 48V electric active anti-roll control system, which can provide up to 1,300 Nm of anti-roll torque in 0.3 seconds or completely decouple the wheels at either end of each axle. The anti-roll control system can also be used to adjust the roll stiffness front-to-rear, giving the Batur sharper turn-in and greater ability to balance the car on the throttle when in Sport mode.
Overall traction and cornering grip is maximised through the use of an electronic Limited Slip Differential (eLSD) that actively vectors drive torque across the chassis. This is complemented by torque vectoring by brake, whereby the car can lightly brake the inside rear wheel on turn-in for greater front-axle response, and also lightly brake both inside wheels on corner exit to move power across to the outside, loaded wheels for better traction.
Braking is via Bentley's CSiC (Carbon-Silicon-Carbide) braking system, with 440 mm front and 410 mm rear discs, matched with 10-piston front and four-piston rear calipers. The Batur rides on bespoke 22" wheels with Pirelli tyres.