The Bentley Batur has entered into a phase of real-world road trials throughout Europe. Following its official debut at the Monterey Car Week event in August 2022 and subsequent appearances at various events catering to Bentley customers, the media, and the general public, two prototype Batur vehicles are now undergoing a comprehensive program of testing to ensure the highest standards of vehicle performance and quality.
A limited series of 18 units is planned for production, with deliveries set to commence in the middle of 2023 after the completion and approval of an extensive engineering program.
Paul Williams, Chief Technical Officer for Mulliner, comments: “At the start of the project it was clear that this car had to be the ultimate GT and so every element from the exterior design, engine power and hand-crafted interior has been created without compromise.
“There are a number of unique features that bring new challenges. Even small details such as the angle of the diamond in the front grille representing the cylinder angle in the W12 engine have had to be considered. And even though there will only be 18 Baturs produced, the level of quality has to be identical to every one of the 15,000 cars Bentley is currently producing each year.”
The validation activities include assessments of durability for both the engine and the vehicle as a whole, environmental compatibility and sunlight simulation, high-speed stability, aerodynamics, noise and vibration, and driving dynamics. Over 120 individual tests are being conducted, covering everything from the quality of the surface finish of the gold “organ stop” ventilation controls to the new W12 engine hardware and software.
According to the brand, 58 weeks of vehicle validation have been scheduled for the two pre-series cars, in addition to the 100-plus weeks of vehicle development that have already been completed to validate the increased engine power, making the Batur the most powerful Bentley in history with at least 740 PS.
The first activity for one of the prototype Batur vehicles, Car #0, is an extensive 2,500-kilometer drive across Europe to simulate real-world conditions. The route begins in Germany and travels through Italy, France, and Spain before proceeding to high-speed testing at proving grounds.
At the proving grounds, Batur Car #0 will undergo seven weeks of durability testing on handling tracks, mixed road conditions, high-speed testing, and abusive surface conditions. Data and feedback will be collected throughout these activities to ensure that technical targets are being met.
After the completion of the proving groundwork, another 7,500 kilometers of real-world driving will be conducted before environmental testing commences. In just under four weeks, the car will endure 600 hours of solar loading, equivalent to five years in an Arizona desert. This is particularly important for the new sustainable materials used in the exterior components as an alternative to carbon fibre.
All 18 Batur units have already been reserved, including several by customers from the Middle East. The Middle East is Bentley’s most successful market for bespoke vehicles, and these customers are known for their appreciation of Mulliner’s craftsmanship. The Mulliner design team works closely with each client to guide them through the design process, resulting in a truly unique vehicle.
Customers will have the ability to specify the colour and finish of practically every surface of the Batur, creating a car as individual as they are. From the main exterior paint to the surface finish of the air vents and everything in between, each customer will have the option to specify even the tiniest of details.
Making its debut in the Batur, is the Mulliner by Naim Audio system. This system takes the Naim Audio system from the Continental GT and transforms it with 20 new Focal speakers, exclusively configured for the Batur and custom-tuned for a truly immersive, class-leading audio experience.
The Mulliner Bacalar was the first coach-built project in recent years to provide significant insight into Bentley’s customers and customer choice. For the Batur, an even greater selection of options has been developed, including colours, materials, finishes.