Are you a certain kind of customer that has climbed atop the financial mountain and think that the standard and already elegant Bentley Continental GT Convertible is simply not enough of a styling statement to signify that achievement to the world? if that fits you, the British luxury car company has the answer to your needs with the all new Bentley Bacalar by Mulliner limited edition convertible. It was originally supposed to make its debut at the Geneva Motor Show (before it was cancelled) but we took some time to formally examine things in-depth to find out if the Bacalar does indeed live up to the promises and history that Bentley is trying to riff with this unique vehicle.
Billed as “the rarest two-door Bentley of the modern era” the Bacalar certainly lives up to that claim, with Mulliner and Bentley only planning to produce 12 examples (all of which have been spoken for.) At its core, the Bacalar is quite literally a roofless two seat convertible that pitches the Continentals two rearward seats to help create more space in the cabin. The historical significance of this is also quite potent, with Bentley last offering a two-seat convertible back in the 1930s before the Great Depression and the subsequent start of World War II ended production of that particular model. Moving back to the modern era, and the Bacalar’s polarizing styling will be the first thing that immediately grabs your eye. While it might not be quite to everyone’s tastes, it does carryover a lot of the traits from Bentley’s EXP 100 GT concept car. Virtually all of the components of the Bacalar are exclusive to it (a nod to traditional coachbuilding practice) with the lone exception being the door handle which was carried over from the Continental due to the needs of the keyless entry system.
A slightly wider rear track is on hand, and the Bacalar sits on massive 22-inch wheels with a Baclar exclusive three tone finish. Even the badging is bespoke, with Bentley and Mulliner resisting the urge to add on a boring traditional badge, and instead emblazing the rear panel with a special Bacalar graphic that is complimented by a bronze colored version of the company’s “Flying B” logo. The exterior certainly does a good job of going over the top to prove its specialness, and when compared to more mainstream convertibles, the Bacalar does have a distinctive character that is enhanced by the elaborate coachbuilding techniques employed by Mulliner.
While the exterior styling blazes its own trail, the interior is where the full on exclamation point is applied, with the Bacalar going to great lengths (even by Bentley standards) to surround and cocoon its occupants in warm luxury. The dashboard for example uses rare Riverwood versus the traditional burl walnut accents with Bentley characterizing it as “a sustainable wood from naturally fallen trees that has ben preserved for 5,000 years in peat bogs, lakes and rivers found in the Fenlands of East Anglia England.”
Meanwhile the seat inserts, the seat backs and the sides of the head rests are all made from a natural wool cloth While Wilton-woven pure wool deep pile carpets greet your feet when you formally slip into the cabin. Bentley’s ;attest infotainment system and all the electronic gadgetry associated with it are on board here, along with a bespoke set of matching luggage which uses the same embroidery as the type uses on the fore-mentioned seats.
Performance for the Bacalar comes from the latest iteration of Volkswagen’s familiar 6.0 liter twin-turbocharged W12 engine which now churns out 650 horsepower and the same stump pulling 667 lb-ft of torque that is seen in the slightly more mainstream Cotninental models. A revised eight speed dual-clutch automatic transmission delivers quicker shifts, as well as a 3.0 second run to 62 mph, before topping out at 200 mph. We have included a brief video highlighting the finer attributes of the Bacalar which can be seen below.
Carl Malek has been an automotive journalist for over 10 years. First starting out as a freelance photographer before making the transition to writing during college, his work has appeared on numerous automotive forums as well as websites such as Autoshopper.com.
Carl is also a big fan of British vehicles with the bulk of his devotion going to the Morgan Motor Company as well as offerings from Lotus, MG, and Caterham. When he is not writing about automobiles, Carl enjoys spending time with his family and friends in the Metro Detroit area, as well as spending time with his adorable pets.