The Bentley Mulliner Batur made a smashing debut at the 2022 Monterey Car Week in California, and it has a lot riding on its chiseled shoulders and bulbous flanks. Mulliner Batur is the most powerful Bentley in the automaker’s 103-year (and counting) history. It also has an updated design language that strays away from the familiar round-headlight configuration that started with company founder W.O. Bentley’s first car, the 3 Litre, which went into production from 1921 to 1929.
The Batur’s more modern, sportier façade is the new design direction for future Bentley cars, all electrified in the imminent future. The Batur represents the second coachbuilt Bentley from Mulliner, the world’s oldest coachbuilder that started as a branch of a family business established in the 1760s. Bentley Mulliner’s first car, the Bacalar speedster, was unveiled in 2020 and had styling elements inspired by the brand’s ultra-desirable EXP 100 GT, a concept unveiled in 2019 to celebrate Bentley’s centennial anniversary.
Last of The Breed
Moreover, the Mulliner Batur could be Bentley’s last production vehicle to carry the brand’s iconic W12 gasoline engine inherited from Volkswagen. But with electrification and software-defined cars entering the fray, Bentley’s W12 is heading towards the sunset. Before it fades into the history books, Bentley is sending it off as the most potent and advanced twelve-cylinder engine the world has ever seen. “Our W12 engine is easily the most successful twelve-cylinder automotive engine in history,” said Adrian Hallmark, Chairman and Chief Executive of Bentley. “As it approaches its retirement to make way for future hybrids and BEVs, we want to mark its accomplishments.”
We’re talking about a 6.0-liter twelve-cylinder gas engine in a W configuration, tuned to produce 730 horsepower and 737 lb-ft. of torque. Those numbers have made Mulliner Batur the most powerful Bentley vehicle in history, with more snap than Mulliner’s first modern Bentley, the Bacalar, with 650 horsepower and 667 lb-ft. of torque.
Handcrafted in Crewe, England, the Batur’s W12 has updated turbochargers, intercoolers, and a redesigned intake to pump out 40 percent more power while providing 25 percent better fuel economy. This monster of an engine sends grunt to all four wheels via an eight-speed dual-clutch gearbox with an electronic limited-slip differential (eLSD) and torque vectoring by braking.
The Bentley Mulliner Batur is a glimpse into the carmaker’s design idiom for its future range of battery-electric vehicles (the first is set to arrive by 2025). Mulliner Batur has a line stretching from its long hood to the rear, physically connecting the front to the rest of the car’s body.
The elongated stance and muscular proportions have given it what the Bentley design team calls a “resting beast stance” that makes the vehicle look like it’s traveling fast even when standing still. “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,” said Andreas Mindt, Bentley’s Director of Design.
Posh & Sustainable Cabin Materials
The Bentley Mulliner Batur is fully bespoke for each client. For instance, the exterior paint choices are “almost infinite,” and buyers can specify their choice of body color and embellishments (including hand-painted graphics, if so preferred). “Batur is not only a beautiful handcrafted Bentley, but it is also the next member of a distinguished line of cars coachbuilt by Mulliner,” said Paul Williams, Director of Mulliner.
Mulliner Batur is the first to debut Bentley’s Natural Fiber composite veneers, a more sustainable alternative to plain ol’ carbon fiber. The two-seat interior is available in low-carbon leather from Scotland, sustainable Italian tannage leather, or Dinamica. Other bespoke choices include bright or dark interior hues, titanium metal trim, and 3D-printed 18k gold if you fancy some genuine bling. And for the first time in a Bentley, the plush carpets are made from recycled yarn.
In short, no two Bentley Baturs will look alike. Mulliner’s in-house design team will work with each individual buyer to customize every nook and cranny of the vehicle, right down to the tiniest details. If you’re in a rush, tough luck since the artisan process of putting together a Mulliner Batur will take several months to complete.
Bentley Mulliner Batur Architecture
Like the open-top Bentley Mulliner Bacalar, the Batur rides on similar underpinnings derived from the Continental GT. And like Bacalar, Batur shares zero body panels with the Conti GT. What it does have is a collection of go-fast performance hardware befitting of a Bentley grand tourer. Besides its mighty W12 engine and trick driveline, the Batur has three-chamber air springs and a 48-volt active anti-roll control system to enhance comfort, sportiness, and handling. The latter can could decouple the wheels at either the front or rear axle to keep the shiny side up.
Hiding beneath the Batur’s gorgeous 22-inch alloy wheels (configurable to any color or finish, of course) are Bentley CSiC or Carbon-Silica-Carbide brakes with 17-inch front and 16-inch rear discs. Meanwhile, the all-titanium exhaust saves weight, while Bentley crafted the exhaust tips from 3D-printed titanium.
All Sold Out
Bentley Mulliner will only make 18 examples of Batur, a vehicle that perfectly embodies the ideology of W.O. Bentley’s famous quote, “to build a fast car, a good car, the best in its class.” The automaker had no trouble selling all 18 build slots to its deep-pocketed clientele at about two million each (not including options and taxes). Lucky buyers should receive their bespoke Bentley Mulliner Batur by mid-2023.
Alvin Reyes is an Automoblog feature columnist and an expert in sports and performance cars. He studied civil aviation, aeronautics, and accountancy in his younger years and is still very much smitten to his former Lancer GSR and Galant SS. He also likes fried chicken, music, and herbal medicine.