Bentley demonstrated what Mulliner, its in-house coachbuilding division, is capable of when it unveiled the limited-edition Bacalar in 2020. The convertible was well received, so the British firm is reportedly planning a follow-up model to celebrate (and send off) the W12 engine.
Citing an anonymous inside source, British magazine Autocar wrote that Mulliner’s next car will arrive as a coupe based on the Continental GT. That doesn’t mean it will look like the Continental GT; the Bacalar is an evolution of the convertible Continental yet it wears a different design. Instead, the model will allegedly borrow styling cues from the EXP 100 GT concept (pictured) that Bentley introduced in 2019.
While the EXP 100 GT was electric, Mulliner’s next car will receive the same 6.0-liter, twin-turbocharged W12 that powers the Bacalar. The mighty engine will be tuned to send about 650 horsepower and 667 pound-feet of torque to the four wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission, and it will pelt the coupe from 0-60 mph in well under four seconds and on to a top speed of over 200 mph. Several improvements, like a firmer suspension system and huge carbon ceramic brakes, will let drivers make the most of the W12’s power.
Hand-built, the coupe will carry a base price of at least $2 million before buyers begin personalizing it; nearly every visual part of the car, including the upholstery and the paint, will be customizable. That figure will make it the most expensive car Bentley has ever released. The report adds that production will be limited to 25 units, and we wouldn’t be surprised if the full batch is spoken for before the model is unveiled — even if, like the Bacalar, it’s only granted “show and display” status in America. If the rumor is accurate, we’ll learn more about the car in 2022 and deliveries will begin the following year. This project could move fast; it took Bentley nine months to make the Bacalar a reality.
Few-off projects serve several purposes: they generate profit and they help luxury carmakers elevate and solidify their image. This coupe will also represent Bentley’s way of sending off the venerable W12 engine and give the world of a preview of the firm’s next design language.