With its first full EV due to be released in 2025, Bentley has now presented an example of its future design language in the shape of the Mulliner Batur.
Just 18 examples of the ultra-low-volume coupé will be made by Bentley’s coachbuilding arm Mulliner. All 18 are already accounted for at a rumoured price of £1.65 million (just over $2.53 million) and customer deliveries are expected to begin in mid-2023.
“The Batur is a significant car for Bentley,” company chairman Adrian Hallmark explains. “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.”
Revealed at the Monterey Car Week, the BEV-design-previewing Batur is, ironically, fully combustion-engined, featuring as it does a retooled version of the 6.0-litre twin-turbocharged W12. In fact, complete with a new intake system, new intercoolers, and upgraded turbochargers, the W12 produces “more than 740 PS [730 hp]” and 737.5 lb ft of torque – 40 per cent more than the original example that frst powered the Continental GT back in 2002 – meaning the Batur is, officially, the most powerful Bentley in history.
A fitting send-off, with the W12, as Bentley confirms, “entering its twilight years,” ahead of the brand’s ‘Beyond100’ transition to electrification.
The Charge’s attention though is on the new design DNA and “resting beast stance” showcased at Pebble Beach. The Batur, named after a volcanic lake in Bali, Indonesia, is also the first work of Bentley’s reshuffled design team, now headed by Andi Mindt who joined the company last year.
“Andi Mindt and his team have reimagined the classic Bentley design cues into a stronger, bolder design that remains both elegant and graceful,” Hallmark continues.
Based on “the most advanced Bentley chassis ever,” complete with four-wheel steering, an electronic limited slip differential (eLSD) and air suspension lifted from the Continental GT Speed, among the most notable elements of the two-seater grand tourer is the brand’s traditional enormous front grille – required for the potent W12 but which could well be swapped out entirely on future BEVs – and the slimmer headlamps that replace Bentley’s conventional twin round examples. Beneath the grille meanwhile is the wide air intake in the lower bumper that, together with the “endless bonnet,” is bookended with upswept blades for greater aerodynamic efficiency.
The wheel arches house bespoke 22-inch wheels on the Batur, accented with Satin Dark Titanium to match the grille, behind which are further air vents and a sharp bodyline through both the passenger and driver doors. At the rear meanwhile sits an an active aerodynamic spoiler and razor-thin taillamps indicative of EV design.
Bentley states that much of the Batur bodywork can be finished in carbon fibre, or the more environmentally friendly alternative, ‘natural Fibre composite.’
Inside, though there are green-friendly additions like carpets made from recycled yarn, the cabin design is even more reminiscent of the Continental GT, albeit with premium accoutrements like ‘a laser-etched sound wave’ – representing the Batur’s titanium sports exhaust – across the fascia. This being a Mulliner, and thus with endless opportunities for personalization, the drive mode selector and organ stops for the ventilation are even available in 3D-printed 18K gold.