2021 Bentley Mulliner Bacalar: A 650-HP Coachbuilt Convertible for Crewe’s Favorite Clients

Only a dozen will be made—and they’re all spoken for.

byJames Gilboy|
Bentley News photo

Climbing the pecking order as a one-percenter is no longer as simple as buying the latest Lamborghini—everyone's got one of them now. No, to stand out in the parking lot of your wine cave political fundraiser, you need to spend six, seven, or even eight figures on a more personalized set of wheels, and that exactly is what Bentley just offered a dozen of its best clients in the form of the 2021 Mulliner Bacalar.

Bentley Mulliner Bacalar, Mark Fagelson Photography

The Bacalar is an ultra-exclusive barchetta—a nautical-derived term meaning a convertible two-seater—styled after Bentley's EXP 100 GT concept car, built to flex the might of Bentley's coachbuilding and personalization wing, Mulliner. Extant since the 1500s and a subsidiary of Bentley since 1959, Mulliner is the world's oldest coachbuilding firm, and thus has the expertise to turn the delightful Continental GT Convertible into the Bacalar, which it named after a famed lagoon in the Mexican Caribbean.

Save for the door handle, not a single one of the Bacalar's aluminum or carbon fiber body panels is shared with another car, the result being the prettiest Bentley in living memory. Its stance is 20 millimeters wider than that of the Continental GT, and its paint glistens with silicon dioxide, sourced sustainably from rice husk ash. Within is a similarly socially responsible interior, but that doesn't mean plastic bottle-based fabrics. In the Bacalar, that means a dash made from 5,000-year-old wood preserved in peat bogs and quilted seats that each has exactly 148,199 stitches. No more, no less.

All this floats down the road on Bentley's active air suspension, propelled by a 6.0-liter, twin-turbo W-12 that produces 650 horsepower and 667 pound-feet of torque. These forces of nature flow to the wheels via an eight-speed transmission and an all-wheel-drive system that favors the rear axle, meaning the Bacalar can kick its back out like the boats that prowl its namesake. Be careful not to crunch that bespoke back end into a guardrail, though; as you'll damage the Bacalar's fitted Schedoni luggage.

Bentley Mulliner Bacalar, Mark Fagelson Photography

Only 12 Bentley Mulliner Bacalars will be built, and every last one has already been allotted to favored Bentley clients. If you feel you missed out by being Bentley's 13th or 14th favorite, though, fret not; the Bacalar is a showpiece meant to build interest in Mulliner's coachbuilding biz. Throw a big enough gob of money at Mulliner, and it'll come up with something just as special as the Bacalar—and hopefully as handsome—just for you.

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