By almost every measure (perhaps other than fuel economy), the Bentley Continental Convertible is one of the best cars on sale right now. It goes like hell, it has massive presence and is fantastically luxurious.
For some, though, it just won’t be exclusive or expensive enough. 12 Bentley buyers, in particular, have decided instead they’d rather have a slice of what the company’s bespoke division Mulliner has just whipped up. It’s called the Bacalar, named after an especially beautiful lake in Mexico.
The Bacalar is Mulliner’s first coachbuilt car in some time, with a unique body clothing the platform and running gear of the Continental cab. The bodywork is awash with shapes and design details that simply wouldn’t be possible on a regular production line, and everything - save for the door handles - is bespoke.
It takes inspiration from both the future and the past, featuring design cues from the EXP100 concept and classic single-seater-style wraparound pods for driver and passenger. The latter elements integrate with the buttresses, which are made from carbonfibre.
Just below them, you’ll find handy luggage storage. But there’s no roof hiding away there - not even a Bimini-style roof as a last resort for when the heavens open. Best check the weather forecast before departure.
The cabin is clad in Alcantara and fine Beluga leather and is littered in bespoke trim pieces. Some took around 10 times longer to craft than their Continental production line counterparts. Bentley even used 5000-year-old riverwood to give an air of sustainable opulence. ‘Fancy’ doesn’t even begin to cover it.
The prototype version we had a poke around at an event in the UK a couple of weeks ago had a lot of bronze and yellow details in the cabin, but Mulliner will happily finish it in pretty much any way you like. The Continental’s clever ‘Toblerone’ rotating display is present and correct.
Propulsion comes from a 6.0-litre twin-turbo W12, which is slightly more powerful here than it is in other Bentley models. It’s producing 650bhp, up from 626bhp. No mechanical changes were necessary to bump up the power - the Bacalar’s 12-pot has merely received an ECU tweak.
As you’d expect, none of this comes cheap. Before taxes and further customisation work, the Bacalar costs £1.5 million. Mulliner will only make 12, and all of them are already spoken for.