At first sight; this might look like a Bentley Continental GTC…… But I can tell you; it is surely not. Although this new model does share the platform with the Gran Turismo Convertible of Bentley. The architecture of this new Bentley model is different…this is truly an unique car. This car is one that will be made in a series of 12 by the coachbuilding division of Bentley cars called Mulliner. I will also tell you the pricetag at this stage of my story; that is 1,5 million pound Sterling before taxes…. I hope you won’t have fallen off your chair because I would like to walk around this car and tell you all about it. This is the Bentley Bacalar; a truly unique car. You will see it here without a roof and that is because there is no roof as such. It is a Speedster model. You might call it a barchetta and what I can tell you is that all body parts of this car are different to that of the Bentley Continental GT and GTC models. This car was designed from scratch and the first design sketches for this car were made as late as May 2019. So the first design sketches date of less than one year ago and here it stands; I can feel it, I can touch it; the new Bentley Bacalar. It is quite amazing; don’t you think? As I have told you; all the body panels of this car have been designed from scratch. The bonnet is made out of aluminium, for pedestrian safety. The rest of the car is made out of carbon fibre. But not in this case; since this is a pre-production model the material used is fibreglass. The production models of the new Bentley Bacalar will all get a front which is made out of carbon fibre. Just have a look at the front of this car; with its oval headlights and the lighting unit which runs through to the side of the car. The line of the lighting unit is continued into the grille of the car. Then there is the line which runs over the bonnet right onto the front of the bonnet where it meets the grille. There is a small element where the grille meets the bonnet and that was supposed to house the mechanism to open the bonnet forwards…..unfortunately that is not allowed because of pedestrian safety so Bentley are still looking for a solution. Because of pedestrian safety; the bonnet is made out of aluminium as I told earlier. If you look at the nose of this car; you might think of another Bentley model and that is the EXP100 concept car. But when work got underway on this car; the designers had already finished work on the EXP100 model and it entered production, but of course the EXP100 was a one-off concept car. So you will find design elements of the EXP100 back in this new Bentley Bacalar. And if you look at the nose of this car from the side; you will see that the front is designed as to evoke the idea of a shark nose. So the nose is not designed rearwards but rather to the front which makes it look agressive. So by designing the nose to the front it evokes the image of speed, of agressiveness. The Bentley Bacalar has bronze emblems and the colour? Well, that created some discussion within the company…. They say that the choice of colour; golden bronze, created more discussion than the whole creation and development of this car. Especially Adrian Hallmark, the CEO of Bentley had his doubts about the choice of colour. The big question is of course whether any of the 12 customers who have bought this car will choose for that rather odd colour. The fact is; this is a car built by the Mulliner coachbuilding division of Bentley. And so, customers are invited to create their personal car according to their tastes and wishes. And preferences of course. So items like the wooden veneering for the dashboard panel ( or will it be carbon fibre?), but also items like the colour of the stitching and the body colour can be specified. And what about a hood in a naked carbon finish? Well, that is probably possible, at an extra price of course. The line of the Bentley Bacalar follows that of the Bentley Continental GTC. You will notice that the part where the roof normally touches the front screen and where the closing mechanism is located is nicely finished in this case. But the part in the middle is left unharmed; that houses some electronic systems. So you will not find a tonneau cover in this car; it is really created as an open model without a roof, but Bentley are considering to offer that as part of the package. The side windows are still there but they have a different form as those found on the Continental GTC model. So the side windows are shaped in such a way that it emphasizes the idea and the design of a Speedster model. And just have a look at what they did with the rear compartment. It has been reduced from a four seater model, like the Continental GTC model is, down to a pure two seater model. Beneath those two bubbles at the rear compartment; there is room for a luggage set; which has been completely designed in the fashion of the rest of the interior. So you will find the design theme of the interior; the grey leather, the yellow stitching, back in the design of the luggage set. So you will have some room for luggage behind those seats, and there is a luggage compartment at the rear too, but Bentley engineers are still thinking about how to further develop the idea of a luggage compartment. The engineers have still to think about the idea of a working boot lid. The problem is also that this Bentley Bacalar is purely designed as a good weather car, one for the ultimate cruising experience. This car will probably not be used to drive all the way from Amsterdam down to the South of France. It will most likely be driven there by the chauffeur and used on the beautiful boulevards of Nice, Cannes or maybe Saint Tropez. Just have a look at the Speedster look of this car. Beneath those two bumps at the rear compartment are housed the rollover bars which activate when the car is tilting over. It is a pity that we can’t show the car from the top; because in that case you will see something truly beautiful. So why the number 12? That is the amount of cars that will be built. Well, the number 12 is a reference to the number of races that the Birkin Blower Bentley competed in. And the line of that car; has been continued in the design of this Bentley Bacalar model. The line which you can see from the side of the car continues all the way to the back and that is continued back into the design of the interior. And if you look from above; the impression that it creates is that the driver is seated in a mono seater car. So the idea or the impression is that it almost looks like a mono seater car. But then the interior has been designed in such a way that it creates the impression of a two seater car, which it is. So the impression is that, if you see it from above, it looks like a single-seater car, but in reality it is very much a car for two people with two seats. The centre console has been risen a bit, in order to create the feeling of a bucket like seating position. The concept of this car is that of a Barchetta model; Barchetta means small boat in Italian. And that idea is enhanced by raising the centre console, so that it feels like you’re sitting really deep in the car. What is striking about this car is the level of detailing. Just look at all those different details. It has a level of detailing which you simply will not find in a Continental GT model of the same brand. The fact of the matter is that the Continental GT model is made in an amount of some 3,000 units a year. This car will only be made in 12 units. So, the level of detailing with the various items found in the interior of the car is much more complicated as opposed to that of the Continental GT model. That was possible due to the fact that only 12 units of the Bentley Bacalar will be made. So that is also the reason that the front of the car is made out of carbon fibre. If the whole front of the car would be made out of aluminum; you would also need to adapt the whole tooling of the production line. The cost of carbon fibre is higher, but if you compare it with the total cost of adapting the production line, the use of carbon fibre is cheaper in the end. But items like the gear changer, the dials and various other items have been newly designed. The seats? Well, some 148,199 inserts or stiches were needed for the total upholstery of the individual seats. That level of detailing would not be possible with a car of which 3,000 units are made on a yearly basis. But is is possible with a car of which only 12 units will be made. This is truly a customized car. But let’s have a look at the rear end…. You will notice a ducktail at the rear end and that false boot lid, which does not function on this car. The design of the rear lights is something you will see on future Bentley models. The same is true for the single-form headlights at the front. Stephan Sielaff; the chief designer at Bentley told us that the style of the two plus two headlights which is to be found on current Bentleys will probably be replaced by a single form headlight in the future. That has all to do with the implementation of new LED light systems. What will remain though is the round form of those headlights because that is what lends a car a face and makes it look friendly. Just look at how beautiful this car is; and do you see the bronze emblem fitted in the middle of the rear of the car? And if we go to the front of the car; we have not yet talked about the engine…which is the top engine that Bentley supplies; a W12 cylinder 6,0-litre engine which normally is good for 636 horsepower. In this case; it has been increased to deliver 659 horsepower. So; the engineers at Bentley gave it just that little bit more power. So; here we have it; the Bentley Bacalar which will be made in a limited edition of just 12 units. It has a price tag of 1,5 million Euros and will be hand made at the coachbluidng division of Bentley; called Mulliner, rather than on the regular production line. So it will be made by the hand just accross the street of the Bentley factory which is located in Crewe, England. You might think; that is quite a hefty pricetag. But then I must tell you that the production run of just 12 units has been completely sold out. The interesting thing is that none of those 12 customers has had the chance to see this car in the flesh. When you will watch this video; that is the moment that the customers will see the car for the first time. The car was to be shown at the Geneva motorshow, which has been cancelled, but the car will be unveiled on Tuesday, the 3rd of March. The really interesting part of this story is when the customers will be in the process of specifying their cars with all those options and colour combinations to choose from…. It is a car which is not only made by hand; and individually numbered, but the customers can really give it their individual touch and make it their own work of art, so to speak…….