Take a Good Look, Because This Bentley Mulliner Batur Signals the End of the W-12 Era

One last hurrah for the long-running 12-cylinder before Bentley goes full EV

Bentley Mulliner Batur
(Images: Bentley)
  • The Continental GT-based Bentley Mulliner Batur brings new styling, as well as a more potent version of its 6.0-liter W-12 engine.
  • This car puts out 729 horsepower, making it the most powerful Bentley model to date.
  • Only 18 of these Batur models will exist, and all of them are spoken for.
  • More crucially, this special edition previews Bentley’s design language looking forward into the EV era.

Behold, you’re looking at what is arguably the most modern-looking Bentley, and certainly the automaker’s most powerful car yet. This is the Bentley Mulliner Batur, a special coupe based on the existing Continental GT‘s platform, with 729 horsepower and a host of special touches. Before getting into that, though, there’s a bit of unfortunate news I have to share. Only 18 of these cars are going into production, and each one costs roughly $1.95 million (before taxes). All 18 examples are already taken, so even if you could afford it…sorry.

More importantly than the Batur’s existence in itself, this limited-run car previews what electric Bentleys of the near-future will look like. As Volkswagen Group phases their iconic 6.0-liter W-12 out of production, new EVs will arrive wearing the Bentley badge by 2025.

Special touches on the Bentley Mulliner Batur

It might mostly be a Continental GT underneath, but the Batur obviously gets bespoke bodywork here. Designers ditched the staple round headlight assembly of the Continental (and the equally grandiose Bacalar roadster) for a slim, triple-lens affair. Nathan Adlen and I were discussing this car’s design in the office, and he made immediately clear his distaste for Bentley’s lighting decisions. For those who don’t already know, this car’s name derives from Lake Batur in Indonesia, so perhaps the headlights play into the flowing characteristic of that body of water. I think it looks great, and it’s nice to see Bentley taking a forward-looking approach here. Maybe it’s a generational thing — let me know your thoughts below.

Whatever you think, you have director of design Andreas Mindt to thank. He calls this more potent form “resting beast stance” (I’m sure some of you have opinions on that description as well). Per Bentley, it’s meant to evoke the image of a lion or tiger in “attack position”. Keeping a low and powerful stance, ready to pounce, that sort of thing.

Under that long hood, you do still see Bentley’s 6.0-liter twin-turbocharged W-12, complete with 738 lb-ft of torque. It’s long been a monster, and engineers only made it stronger here. Behind that huge grille, though, the famed engine is in its twilight years, and Bentley acknowledges that fact in their official statement. This may or may not be the last version, but Bentley does call the Batur the “ultimate” development of W-12 performance.

Who wouldn’t want 18 karat gold inside their Bentley?

Look inside, and the Bentley Mulliner Batur largely mirrors the Continental GT. However, you do get more luxurious materials and a few special touches to make it that much more exclusive (and worth the nearly $2 million price tag). Buyers work with Mulliner’s design team to have virtually every surface and color tailored to their liking. Paint choice is “infinite” they say, extending well beyond the Mulliner color palette to a fully custom exterior hue and hand-painted graphics.

Other special touches include titanium brightware that’s also available on the exterior, as well as a “natural fiber composite” as a sustainable alternative to carbon fiber. Beyond that twill weave finished in satin lacquer, Bentley also offers Dinamica, a suede-like material made from recycled components. What leather options you can get — with five different color options — come from Italy.

Of course, at this price point there are few limits, including some 18-karat gold. Bentley finishes both the drive mode selector and steering wheel center stripe in gold, while other 3D-printed options are available. On the dashboard fascia, Bentley also laser etched the sound wave of the W-12 engine.

Bentley Mulliner Batur

Will there be another limited run model?

Apart from the 79 horsepower boost, the Bentley Mulliner Batur also features bespoke 22-inch wheels, carbon ceramic brakes and an electronically controlled limited-slip differential.

As for the inevitable transformation of Bentley’s road cars into full EVs, we’ll have to wait and see how this design manifests in those cars in the next year or two. In the meantime, we may see another special edition with the vaunted W-12 before it rolls off into the sunset.