Driving report: Bentley Batur: 18 lucky millionaires

As if a Continental GT - regardless of whether it's a coupe or convertible - wasn't spectacular enough: the Batur offers one thing in particular for roughly a tenfold increase in the normal price, in addition to the elaborately modified body and an increase in performance to 750 hp: exclusivity.

Driving report: Bentley Batur: 18 lucky millionaires

As if a Continental GT - regardless of whether it's a coupe or convertible - wasn't spectacular enough: the Batur offers one thing in particular for roughly a tenfold increase in the normal price, in addition to the elaborately modified body and an increase in performance to 750 hp: exclusivity. No wonder the limited edition Batur sold out before the first vehicle even made it to Mulliner's one-offs department.

“We ordered a Continental GT Speed ​​from the Crewe production facility, stripped all body panels apart from the windscreen and front pillars, which are the only common parts on the outside, upgraded the engine, modernized the interior, built the body from Open your hand again and four or five months later a Batur was born," explains Paul Williams, Mulliner's Technical Director, still enthusiastic today. His good mood is more than understandable, because Batur is named after Bacalar, after a lake in Bali , already the second small series from the British luxury manufacturer and the interest in highly personalized vehicles is growing: "In 2022 we sold four percent more vehicles and profits grew by 82 percent," says Williams, "from an average of 180,000 euros per Bentley sold, we have increased to around 220,000 euros in just two years.”

Batur customers are from all over the world: USA, Middle East, Europe, South Korea and Hong Kong. They can all delight in details such as the deeper radiator grille, the huge bonnet, rims that are worth seeing and an unusually delicate rear design. The posh coupé is not only five centimeters longer, nine centimeters wider and slightly lower than the Continental GT Speed, but the six-liter twelve-cylinder also received an additional power boost to 552 kW / 750 hp. The last W12 of its kind, because from 2025 Bentley will gradually convert its model range to electric drives. From 2030 there will only be vehicles with a plug.

The chassis comes from the Continental GT Speed ​​and has changed less than the exterior design, body and engine. The wheelbase remains the same, only the rear track is two centimeters longer, as with the Bacalar. Added to this are rear-axle steering, three-chamber air suspension, 48-V roll compensation and an electronic limited-slip differential. In Comfort and Bentley modes, the Batur offers the excellent smoothness of a Gran Turismo, but in the standard Sport program it becomes a true sports car, raising its voice and flexing its muscles to deliver peak performance. The dual-clutch transmission with its eight gears increases the urgency of downshifts, delays upshifts and the suspension is noticeably firmer. At cruising speed on the Autobahn, it is quiet all around thanks to the excellent soundproofing in the interior with double glazing. Now is the time to enjoy the incredible sound quality of the Naim audio system, developed exclusively for the Batur with Focal. It's one of the few options in the Batur surcharge list - at around 50,000 euros, expect a lot.

The steering is direct and precise enough for a luxury-class GT, although it gains weight in Sport mode, while the dual-clutch transmission ranges from soft to snappy, depending on the driving mode, for a relaxed or aggressive driving style. As with the GT Speed, the 4.90 meter Batur can set itself apart from a normal Gran Turismo, especially with an ambitious driving style. The few dry roads on the test tour show how impressively the four-wheel drive vehicle can banish its lush engine power with four-digit torque to the ground. The understeer remains pleasantly moderate and the symbiosis of sound, drive and comfort is beguiling, especially when cornering. The brake discs are made of carbon silicon carbide, which costs an extra 15,000 euros for the GT Speed. This significantly increases the bite force of the 440 mm front discs. Of the 40 kilograms that the Batur weighs less than the Continental GT Speed, 33 kilograms come from the high-tech brakes. Good to know, because the 2.2-ton Batur can reach a top speed of 337 km/h if desired and accelerates from a standing start in 3.4 seconds.

But at the wheel, the differences to the normal Continental GT - and especially to the already more than sporty GT Speed ​​- are thin. So it's less the changed design, the wider body and the increase in performance that makes a millionaire dream, but the exclusivity. And here the customers have already decided. "We could easily sell 40 or more copies, but that would undermine their exclusivity and maybe even negate a really important asset: that every Batur is truly unique," Paul Williams answers the question before it was asked.

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