Bentley has finally begun real-world testing on its 730 horsepower monster, the Batur. The Bentley Batur development car will undergo 120 tests, over the course of 58 weeks, and Bentley is going to surprising lengths to make sure that the limited-run Batur features the same high quality as its normal production cars. And the first car to begin testing—Batur #0—wears a stunning Purple Sector paintwork.
You could be forgiven for thinking the Bentley Batur is nothing more than a slightly redesigned Continental GT. They're both big, Bentley coupes, they both have the same twin-turbo W12 engine layout, and, if you squint, they both look similar. However, the Batur has over 800 unique parts, not including any bespoke customer choices.
The first test for Car #0 is a 2,500 kilometer grand tour of Europe, which starts in Germany, goes through Italy and France, and ends in Spain. Sounds like a nice way to "test" a 730 horsepower, W12-powered Bentley. But it will also get seven weeks of workouts on track, twisty roads, high-speed motorways, and even abusive surface conditions. Batur #0 will face 7,500 kilometers of real world driving before the extreme climate testing begins. Then it will get 600 hours of solar loading, which Bentley says is the equivalent of five years in an Arizona desert. The idea is to punish the car, push it to the extremes, so that when its customers actually take delivery, it far exceeds any of their needs.
Batur #0 obviously isn't one of the 18 cars that will be delivered to customers, those cars are already designed and ordered. However, it still received the same level of craftsmanship and quality as the 18 customer cars. It gets a Gloss Dark Titanium grille, "endless bonnet" lines in Satin Titanium paint, and 22-inch wheels finished in Gloss and Satin Black Crystal.
The Bentley Batur isn't all show and no go, though. Its familiar W12 engine gets a new air intake, upgraded turbochargers, new intercoolers and revised engine/gearbox calibration. All of that adds up to the aforementioned 730 horsepower and 738 pound-feet of torque. To make it handle as well as it accelerates, Bentley claims the Batur has the most advanced chassis of any Bentley yet. It has Bentley Speed-tuned air suspension, active anti-roll bars, four-wheel steering, and a new electronically controlled limited-slip rear differential.
It can be easy to roll your eyes at obscenely expensive, overly opulent, hyper-limited luxury cars built only for the uber-rich. However, there's something charming about the Batur that's hard to deny. Maybe it's the pretty purple paint of Batur #0 or the fact that Bentley is torture testing a car that's only going to have 18 examples. Whatever the reason, the very purple Bentley is very good.
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