The $2M Bentley Mulliner Bacalar Hits the Test Track for 20-Week Validation Program

Unlike the twelve production cars, which will live in climate-controlled garages, this will get driven hard.

byMáté Petrány|
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I find it difficult to cheer for the 2021 Bentley Mulliner Bacalar, the 650 horsepower coachbuilt convertible limited to 12 units for Crewe's favorite clients. It's a nice design and an opportunity to show off what Mulliner's skilled team can do in exchange for a cool $2 million, yet I can't help but feel that as the world turns into recession and we try to survive everything 2020 has thrown at us, such a rolling statue of wealth can feel hard to care about. So maybe it's a fantasy for the rest of us, then. I'd rather be in a 650-hp luxury droptop than dealing with most other things right now. And that is the case for whoever is out testing this thing.

It's nice to know that at least one Bentley Mulliner Bacalar will get driven as its twin-turbo W12 would imply, with the Bacalar Car Zero entering its 20-week engineering validation program. This includes 45 individual handling and durability tests, as well as top speed runs beyond the 200 mph barrier. That all should bring a smile to at least a couple of engineers' faces, and smiles are what 650-hp 12 cylinders should be all about. Let's not forget either that the Mulliner division's other Car Zero currently in action is the first Bentley Blower in 90 years, the 1929 continuation model that took 40,000 work ours to create. The Bacalar should be more eager to turn.

The Bacalar is the first member of the Bentley Mulliner Coachbuilt portfolio, and as such, it features over 750 non-series parts, including more than 40 made of carbon fiber, and almost 100 made by rapid additive manufacture. You know how Crewe got here.

For $224,225 and a bagful more in extras, Bentley gives you a Continental GT Convertible with the V8. Choose the W12 and add some tweed, and you might as well just fork it out for the 2021 Continental GT Mulliner Convertible, a car with an undisclosed price tag, and over 400,000 stitches in its cabin. Finally, for the 12 who felt it was time to finance Bentley's latest coachbuilding program, Mulliner will create this small fleet of Bacalars.

Too bad Bacalar Car Zero won't hit the second-hand market. After its wind tunnel-based aerodynamic assessment, high-speed stability and top speed testing, handling and dynamics evaluations, appraisal of noise and vibration, mileage accumulation and durability work, intensive electrical system validation, and climate cycle testing up to 176 °F, it would be the perfect 200-mph convertible for the 2021 season.

The only question remaining on my mind is what will Bentley do with its Flying Spur specified for a certain Mr. Claus, complete with a golden reindeer ornament instead of the Flying B?

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