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New Bentley Mulliner Batur is the British brand's most powerful car ever with over 730bhp

Just 18 examples of the Bentley Batur will be built, with the new Mulliner creation highlighting the design DNA of the brand’s future electric cars

Bentley is at a tipping point. We’ll see the brand’s first EV by 2025 - and this new Bentley Mulliner Batur model gives us a preview of the brand’s future design language for the all-electric age.

However, following on from the firm’s Bacalar as an ultra-exclusive limited-run model from in-house coachbuilding division Mulliner, the combustion-engined Batur is Bentley’s most powerful road car ever.

Revealed at Monterey Car Week, Bentley says that the Batur “embodies the start of a design revolution” that “will ultimately guide the design of Bentley’s future range of electric vehicles.” This is underpinned by three pillars that focus on the car’s powerful stance, upright elegance and endless bonnet, according to the brand.

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As a result, while the Batur still has to deliver enough cooling for its high-performance engine, it’s easy to see how this latest interpretation of Bentley’s iconic grille could be reinvented for the electric age.

The Batur’s grille is underpinned by a wide air intake in the lower bumper that features upswept blades at either side, and flanked by a pair of new, slimmer headlights - a significant departure from Bentley’s traditional twin round set-up.

The firm’s traditional long bonnet is still present, housing the huge engine, while smooth surfaces down the car’s flanks feature small, accurate details, such as the vents behind the front wheels that run into the long doors, improving aerodynamics, as well as the Batur’s striking, solid-looking C-pillars; 22-inch wheels bespoke to the Batur are standard.

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At the rear, the heavily raked screen runs down into a rounded tail that features an active aerodynamic spoiler and ultra-slim tail-light clusters. Based on the same MSP platform as the current Continental GT, the Batur retains a coupe-style boot opening - and it’s easy to see how this ultra-exclusive model previews not only Bentley’s future EVs, but a potential next-generation version of the brand’s two-door grand tourer.

Much of the Batur’s bodywork can be finished in carbon fibre or natural fibre composites - a sustainable alternative to carbon fibre, Bentley says.

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Bentley Director of Design, Andreas Mint, sums up the evolution of the Batur’s design language: “Overall, the form is cleaner and simplified, and we rely more on curvaceous surfaces bisected in the right places to reflect light and dark and bring more muscle to the design.”

To reflect its ultra-exclusive status, while the interior is taken from the current Continental GT Bentley has applied many high-end upgrades, including the option of 3D-printed parts in 18K gold for the organ stops air vents and the drive mode selector.

Elsewhere, more natural fibre composites and an etching of the Batur’s exhaust soundtrack on the dash inlay carve the Batur out as bespoke, while recycled yarn and low-CO2 leather are used to reinforce Bentley’s approach to sustainability as part of its Beyond100 strategy. Of course, being a Mulliner creation the potential for personalisation is pretty much limitless.

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Underneath the Batur’s new body, Bentley’s familiar 6.0-litre twin-turbo W12 motor has been tuned to produce “730bhp plus”, according to Bentley, while the firm has put a figure on the unit’s torque output: 1,000Nm. This has been possible thanks to a new intake system, upgraded intercoolers and turbochargers, plus extensive recalibration.

The engine’s output is sent to all four wheels through an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox and Bentley’s all-wheel drive system, while the engine breathes through a new titanium exhaust system with 3D-printed tailpipe finishers. Bentley has not yet published any performance figures, but expect a 0-62mph time of less than 3.5 seconds.

The Batur’s chassis has been tuned to match the straight-line capability its engine can deliver, with the firm’s eLSD that first featured on the Continental GT Speed employed here to improve agility, along with rear-wheel steering.

Speed-tuned adaptive three-chamber air suspension is linked to Bentley’s drive mode selector, which offers Comfort, Bentley, Sport and Custom settings and also adjusts the car’s active anti-roll control parameters, while the Batur features Carbon-Silicon-Carbide brake discs, 410mm at the front clamped by 10-piston calipers.

Just 18 examples of the Batur will be built, priced from £1.65million excluding taxes and options. All have been reserved by Mulliner customers, with deliveries set to start in mid-2023 following an extensive development programme.

Click here for our list of the best luxury cars on sale...

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Sean’s been writing about cars since 2010, having worked for outlets as diverse as PistonHeads, MSN Cars, Which? Cars, Race Tech – a specialist motorsport publication – and most recently Auto Express and sister titles Carbuyer and DrivingElectric

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