The limited-run Bentley Bacalar debuted way back in March at what was supposed to be the Geneva Motor Show before the COVID-19 pandemic forced the cancellation of the event. The brand now shows off the engineering prototype that it's using in an intense, 20-week development schedule before building the 12 cars for actual customers next year.
The Bacalar has the bones with the Continental GT, but they don't share a single body panel. Only the door handle carries over on the outside. Bentley makes the limited-run, open-roof model by developing over 750 new components for it. Of those, around 100 are 3d-printed pieces.
Gallery: Bentley Bacalar Car Zero
"Bacalar Car Zero is the crucial prototype that we’re using to sign-off the design, engineering, and craftsmanship of this ground-breaking part of Bentley Mulliner’s future," said Paul Williams, Bentley Director of Mulliner.
While Bentley is making just a dozen examples of the Bacalar, the company is putting the barchetta through serious engineering tests before starting production. Top speed evaluations show the vehicle is capable of over 200 miles per hour (322 kilometres per hour). High-speed stability, handling, and noise and vibration checks are already done, too.
The next tasks include putting some miles on the Bacalar to make sure it's durable enough for owners actually to use the car. There's also the need to perform climate evaluations at up to 176 Fahrenheit (80 Celcius) and electrical system validation.
The Bacalar's buyers can specify the convertible with a wide array of the highest quality materials. For example, the interior trim uses "5,000-year-old Riverwood sourced from the ancient Fenlands of East Anglia."
Bentley has already pre-sold all 12 units of the Bacalar. Each one costs the buyer £1.5 million.