1. It has a new design director with a point to prove The Batur is modern Bentley's second coachbuilt car – a sleek coupe based on the Continental GT Speed but assembled by hand and limited to just 18 units. The starting price is £1.65m before taxes, and such is the scope for personalisation each car’s transactional value will be well north of that.
The Batur is the work of Bentley design director Andreas Mindt and the 50-strong design team he commands. Mindt joined Bentley from Audi some 18 months ago (where we designed the e-Tron range, including the stunning e-Tron GT) to design Bentley's first generation of electric cars, due to arrive from 2025. But he’s also taken the time (six months from start to finish) to create the Batur, which gives plenty of clues as to what his generation of Bentleys – including the first electric ones – will look like.
2. Bentley still loves powerful petrol engines Bentley is synonymous with smooth, hugely powerful engines, and the Batur's is the most powerful Bentley engine yet. It's a tuned version of the familiar 6.0-litre twin-turbo W12, and makes 730bhp and 738lb ft of torque. The W12 is nearing the end of its life. Bentley has said it will cease building engines by 2030. But until then we get to enjoy it in its ultimate guise, and CEO Adrian Hallmark has hinted that this version will be dropped into a couple of other pretty special cars before it's done.
3. Bentley buyers love these limited-run cars All 18 Baturs sold immediately, as was the case with its predecessor, the Bacalar. Bentley built 12 Bacalars, and the fact that it’s pushed to 18 units – a 50% increase – for the Batur is proof of its increased confidence. It now knows it can sell big-money specials, as Lamborghini, Ferrari and Bugatti do very successfully, just so long as it keeps the numbers small.
Owners love that they won't bump into another car the same. And at this end of the spectrum they also love that they're fully involved in the specification and optioning of their car in direct consultation with Bentley. On the Bacalar almost anything is possible in terms of trim and paint, including the option of 3D-printed gold details…
4. It already had the high-performance running gear The Batur uses the same go-faster engineering as the Bentley Conti GT Speed. Electric anti-roll control, air suspension, four-wheel drive, four-wheel steering and an electronic limited-slip diff all help make the Speed an absolute weapon, despite its size and weight. The Batur promises even more of the same.
5. Bentley wants to sell more expensive cars
As a business Bentley is flying, with profits for the first half of this year already ahead of its profits for the whole of 2021. Bentley’s now keen to push beyond £300,000 and back into the space it used to occupy with the retired Mulsanne. And in the words of CEO Adrian Hallmark: ‘Part of the reason for doing coachbuilt cars [like the Batur] is to create the headroom and the customer base to sell £350-£500,000 cars.’
Bentley Batur: £1.65 million, 730bhp 6.0-litre twin-turbo W12, 3.4sec 0-62mph (est), 200+mph