Only 18 will own it, and each one will be unique, Mulliner be thanked: the Bentley Mulliner Batur. Ultimate in its power delivery. Visionary in its design. And a worthy closing act for Bentley’s W12.
That’s what we call gentlemanly: Bentley’s good old W12 is soon to be retired, because the young guns with electric power are vehemently pushing forward. In its latest incarnation, the twelve-cylinder not only shows its strongest side, but in the shape of the Batur it is also dressed in a design that on the one hand whets the appetite for the present and on the other increases the anticipation of its successors. Needless to say, this is an extremely exclusive affair – just 18 examples will be built.
But first things first: Bentley unveiled the Mulliner Batur in August at the Bentley Signature Party at Monterey Car Week in front of nearly 500 guests. Now it has celebrated its German premiere in Hamburg. It is the most powerful Bentley to date, with a 740+ horsepower version of the iconic hand-mounted twin-turbocharged 6.0-liter W12 engine. The engine power is combined with Bentley’s most advanced chassis ever, featuring speed-tuned air suspension, active electric roll stabilization, eLSD, four-wheel steering and torque vectoring.
“A long hood has always been a sign of power and prestige.”
So much for evolution. The revolution is in the design. For this, Andreas Mindt and his design team drew inspiration from the animal world: “Imagine a lion or tiger lying in attack position in the long grass. This powerful shape – the ultimate power at rest that appears fast even when stationary – is the basis for our reinterpretation of the classic Bentley power line and leading edge,” explains Bentley’s Director of Design. They call it “resting animal posture” in the Bentley design studio. It doesn’t take much imagination to conjure up the W12’s hiss in your mind.
But Mindt is not yet at the end of his remarks. There is, in fact, a second buzzword: “endless hood.” Mindt: “A long hood has always been a sign of power and prestige. Our new design features include a line that extends from the hood along the entire length of the vehicle, connecting the hood to the body, making the vehicle long and lean, and giving the front end a stretched proportion.” As a result, the center of gravity moves rearward, and the mass appears to rest on the rear legs, just waiting to heave them forward.
“Our new design features include a line that extends from the hood along the entire length of the vehicle, connecting the hood to the body, making the vehicle long and lean, and giving the front end a stretched proportion.”
The radiator grille has also been given a designer’s touch: It is lower and more upright, thus appearing more dominant, which in Mindt’s eyes expresses self-confidence and makes for a luxurious appearance. But in this respect, Bentley has always had the hood up front. The new headlights, a continuation of the Bacalar design, and the completely new taillights at the rear underscore this successful appearance. Chapeau!
Who now rummages for his checkbook to secure a Batur: You can leave them tucked away. There will only be 18 of this vehicle – and each one will be unique. Mulliner is responsible for this. The body artists of the traditional British manufacturer already had a hand in shaping the Bacalar. With the Batur, too, Mulliner’s in-house design team will individualize each vehicle with the customer in terms of color and surface finish.
From the exterior color to the finish of the air vents and literally everything in between, each customer can determine even the smallest details.
Countless patterns, handcrafted materials, exclusive colors are available. Materials bring texture to the process, and the resulting designs are truly individual and created by the customer – limited only by their imagination. From the exterior color to the finish of the air vents and literally everything in between, each customer can determine even the smallest details.
“The 18 lucky customers who have already reserved their Batur will enjoy an unparalleled co-creation experience with our Mulliner design team as they specify the details of their vehicles. The Batur is the next step in Mulliner’s expansion and demonstrates the demand for truly bespoke vehicles that combine luxury and performance in a way that only Bentley can offer,” enthuses Bentley’s Chairman and Chief Executive, Adrian Hallmark. It’s all perfectly gentlemanly – just like the W12.
If you want to get to the heart of the term glamour and add good-humoured joie de vivre, wit and really good fashion, it’s best to ask German photographer Esther Haase. The Calvert Studio in London served as the location. Plus THE new Bentley Batur and a really good model.
More about the exclusive shoot with star photographer Esther Haase
Text: Bernd Haase
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