How does a maque like Bentley, which celebrated its centenary in 2019, make the transition from the internal combustion present to the electric future? Allow me to point out that you are looking at the answer right now. Enter the Bentley Mulliner Batur, a limited-production grand tourer that has leaked ahead of its Monterey Car Week debut, set to happen in less than 24 hours from now.
The Batur serves two apparently different purposes, which it ultimately links to mark the said shift: it is the final Bentley to sport a W12 engine, while its styling previews the next-generation design language the carmaker will use on its EVs, which are scheduled to land starting from 2025.
Named after a crater lake in Bali, Indonesia, and introduced by Bentley’s Mulliner division, which used to handle coachbuilding work (more on this below), the Batur appears to cast a longer shadow than the current Continental GT. For now, we can check out the leak in the first Instagram post below (internet points for cochespias and wilcoblock), while we’ve also added Bentley’s official teaser at the bottom of the story.
Bentley’s future battery-powered monsters will use this sort of design
While the newcomer maintains traditional Bentley styling elements, such as the massive front grille and the muscle-in-a-tux fenders, the newcomer replaces the Conti’s retro-inspired design bits with fresh lines.
Gone are the twin oval headlights, with their place being taken by single-piece units featuring a more dynamic teardrop design. And while we can’t see the taillights just yet, an uber-thin line seems to define the part that meets that well-built rear fender.
Freed from the duty of evoking old-time automobiles, the lower front fascia adopts a dynamic design, but the longitudinal lines on the hood still remind nostalgics of rainwater being blown across the nose of the Bentley racecars that dominated Le Mans in the mid- and late-20s of the previous century.
A designer can easily place the look of the vehicle on the past-future axis based on how complex the surface treatment for the side is (just zoom in on Dodge’s 2024-destined Charger Daytona SRT EV for a modern retro take). And, in this regard, the Batur appears to use a balanced approach.
As for the cabin, you can expect a host of materials ranging from sustainable natural fibre composites and low-CO2 leather to jewelry-grade trim pieces involving 3D printed 18K gold.
Why Bentley and battery power go well together
Switching to the contents of the engine compartment, Bentley tells us the twin-turbo W12 of the Batur will make more power and torque than any other application—650 hp and 667 lb-ft of torque is the benchmark here, while the ZF-sourced eight-speed automatic could be tweaked for the task.
Slip benhind the wheel of a Continental GT animated by a W12 and you’ll be amazed by two things: how well the big two-door conceals its mass and the effortless display of brute force coming from the engine compartment. However, anybody who knows a thing or two about Crew machines will tell you that the V8 models deliver a sportier driving experience. There’s also this twin-turbo 10.2L Continental GT drag car with the power of two Bugatti Chirons, but I digress…
In other words, as much as I respect the V12 engine that entered the Bentley realm in the early 2000s via VW ambition, as well as the Rolls-Royce-Bentley V8 retired with the Mulsanne in 2019, the refinement, instant torque and power of electric motors are perfectly suitable for the Bentley brand.
Bentley’s 2025-2030 EV offensive
With that in mind, allow me to remind you that Bentley has comitted to an all-electric future starting 2030 (truth be told, the UK will ban sales of combustion vehicles starting that year).
However, the company’s first battery-powered machine is scheduled to land in 2025. Subsequently, the automaker will launch one new EV per year until its green range includes five such models.
Bentley’s factory in Crewe has been certified as carbon-neutral in 2019, with the said centenary year having also seen the company launching the EXP 100 GT. This was an 1,340 hp show car that revealed a more traditional styling approach to a Bentley EV, but it seems that the carmaker has change its mind.
And since we’ve returned to the Batur coupe, I’ll remind you this follows Bentley’s 2021 effort for the Monterey Car Week. That was the Bacalar, a $1.9M Mulliner release with a production run of just 12 units. Meanwhile, the rumor mill talks about the Brits building 18 units of the Batur, while the price should remain in the same ballpark.