It’s no secret that Bentleys are supposed to be fast, luxurious, and dripping with locomotive-like torque but the new Bentley Mulliner Batur is a step above. Easily the marquee’s most radical model yet, the futuristic-looking vehicle alters the core philosophy of the brand. Bentley has chosen this bespoke handmade car as a showcase of future ingenuity ahead of its electrification strategy, however, rather curiously, the British luxury car-maker chose to fit its 6-litre W12 in this car, rather than a plank of batteries and motors.
Much like Bugatti’s farewell to the W16 engine, the new Bentley is a last hurrah for the W12 engine as it would be confined to the history books soon but for one last blast, the Mulliner Batur gets a thoroughly revised iteration of this epic powertrain courtesy new intercoolers and upgraded turbochargers. As a result, the Batur is the fastest Bentley ever with 740 bhp and a colossal 1000Nm torque. All that power is fed to all four wheels via an 8-speed dual-clutch automatic while it has a sports exhaust for a (dignified) 12-cylinder roar. Along with straight-line speed, the Batur is also the sprightliest Bentley with a 48V electric active anti-roll control system cutting body roll while the suspension manages the tricky bit of reaching an amicable compromise between ride quality and outright sportiness.
Moving aside from all that power, there is plenty to talk about the new design language which Bentley is moving towards. Compared to the current GT, the Batur is certainly more athletic and the slimmer headlamps do give the car a sinister persona. A gloss black grille and a smattering of carbon-fibre parts also add in a lot of aggression. Similarly, the fastback-like rear and chiselled haunches suggest that this car has been to the gym for a lengthy workout.
An even bigger surprise awaits inside as typically Bentley cabins are all about leather and chrome while exuding an old-school vibe, but the Batur steers towards a more sustainable direction. Hence, the interior of the Batur uses sustainable tannage leather from Italy, dinamica suede, natural fibre composite and carpets made from recycled yarn. All this is juxtaposed with an 18-karat gold Bentley Dynamic Drive Selector and various 3-D printed gold accents but these are the only ostentatious bits about this cabin. Bentley will only make 18 of these cars at $AU2.8 million a pop but the significance of the Batur goes beyond numbers as it marks the beginning of a new chapter for this luxury car-maker and we do like what we see.