BENTLEY CELEBRATES A CENTURY OF GRAND TOURING AND PETROL-FUELED HORSEPOWER WITH A CARNIVOROUS 730-HP LIMITED EDITION STUNNER, THE MOST POWERFUL MACHINE TO EVER DON THE SILVER WINGS
BY AMANDA MCCOY
In 1919, English engineer and former racer W.O. Bentley’s newly minted motorcar company unveiled a radical new streetcar concept: the 3 Litre, dubbed by Autocar Magazine as “a true racing car with touring accessories.” The 70-hp machine was considered the first grand tourer, designed for both speed and comfort, though it would be another 30 years until the GT concept would be widely adopted by virtually all European automakers. More than a century and several expressions of the GT later from the shockingly fast 220-hp Eight Litre circa 1930 to the birth of the Continental GT in 2003 the Crewe-based marque is nearing the finish line of one era and the birth of a new. As autodom at large looks forward to a future of electrification, the petrol-powered grand tourer will soon be a fabled relic of the 20th and early 21st centuries, a classic car of yore. But Bentley wouldn’t send out its famed W-12 engine without a bang: enter the Batur. A follow-up to 2020’s roofless Bacalar, the Batur was designed and hand-crafted by Bentley’s Mulliner division, the maker’s in-house coachbuilding arm. Named after a 290-foot-deep crater lake in Kintamani on the island of Bali, Indonesia, the hyper-limited edition hardtop coupe is characterized by the brand’s new minimalist design language that will dominate its BEV successors. Its 6.0L, twin-turbocharged W-12 heart clocks a thundering 730 horses, cementing the Batur as the most powerful Bentley ever.
The style inspiration of Director of Design Andreas Mindt? A “resting beast face,” like a low-laying lion preparing to pounce. A massive front radiator grille is o set by a sculpted hood and sleek teardrop headlamps, a departure from the brand’s signature rounded lights. The interior is gloriously gilded, featuring a panoply of rich materials along with a laser-etched sound wave across the dash that represents the growl of the W-12 engine, which, sadly, is slated to be fully phased out by 2026. Perhaps that’s why, even with a steep $2 million price tag, each of the Batur’s 18 examples has already been claimed.
BENTLEY’S FAMED W-12 ENGINE MADE ITS DEBUT on the first-generation Continental GT, which saw a peak output of 552 horsepower and 479 lb-ft of torque. The Batur, with its 730 horses and 737 lb.-ft. of torque, is the fastest Bentley to date.
A BEACON OF BENTLEY’S FUTURE, the Batur uses a wealth of premium, innovative materials that are less harsh on the environment, such as carpets crafted from recycled yarn and high-performance composites made from flax, a strong yet sustainable alternative to carbon fiber
THE BATUR GLIDES ON 22-inch machined and polished wheels finished in black crystal. For a mean, velvety growl, Bentley custom built a titanium, Batur exclsuive sports exhaust with 3-D printed finishers
WHILE THE INTERIOR BOASTS UNABASHED OPULENCE, including 3-D printed 18K gold hardware, buyers can opt for sustainable materials, such as a leather that’s finished using less water and aldehyde than traditional tanning. Leather-like textiles made from by-products of the coffee roasting process are also used throughout the interior.
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