Bentley’s ultimate grand tourer begins real-world testing

First Batur coupé development car starts trials across Europe

The Bentley Batur has begun real-world road trials across Europe. Following its debut at Monterey Car Week in August 2022 and attendance at numerous events for Bentley Customers, global media and the public, two development Baturs are now starting a rigorous programme of tests to ensure the highest standards of vehicle performance and quality. The limited series of just 18 examples are due to begin deliveries mid-2023 after completion and sign-off of an extensive engineering program.

The validation activities include durability for both the engine and whole vehicle, environmental compatibility & sunlight simulation, high speed stability, aerodynamics, noise & vibration, and driving dynamics. More than 120 individual tests in all cover everything from the quality of the surface finish of the gold “organ stop” ventilation controls to the new W12 engine hardware and software. Over 58 weeks of vehicle validation have been scheduled across the two pre-series cars, supplementing 100+ weeks of vehicle development already completed to validate the increased engine power, making the Batur the most powerful Bentley in history with at least 740 PS.

The first activity for one of the development Batur’s – Car #0 – is an extensive 2,500 kilometre drive across Europe to simulate real world conditions. The route leaves Germany and travels through Italy, France and Spain before high speed testing work is undertaken at proving grounds.

Paul Williams, Chief Technical Officer for Mulliner, comments:

“At the start of the project it was clear that this car had to be the ultimate GT and so every element from the exterior design, engine power and hand-crafted interior has been created without compromise.

“There are a number of unique features that bring new challenges. For example, the exterior headlamps are very compact LED units and made to our styling teams challenging proportions, which transforms the exterior appearance of the car but are complex to produce. We’re also working with the most powerful development of the W12 in its 20-year history, which brings an enormous validation programme.

“Even small details such as the angle of the diamond in the front grille representing the cylinder angle in the W12 engine have had to be considered. And even though there will only be 18 Baturs produced, the level of quality has to be identical to every one of the 15,000 cars Bentley is currently producing each year.”

At the proving grounds, Batur Car #0 will begin seven weeks of durability work on handling tracks, mixed road conditions, high speed testing and abusive surface conditions. During all of these activities data and feedback are collated ensuring the technical targets are being met.

When the proving ground work is complete, another 7,500 kilometres of real world driving will be undertaken before environmental testing commences. In just under four weeks the car will endure 600 hours of solar loading – equivalent to five years in an Arizona desert. This is particularly important for the new sustainable materials used in the exterior components, as an alternative to carbon fibre.

By the time the first customer deliveries begin, over 810 unique parts will have completed 160 weeks of testing and development, delivering the ultimate coachbuilt grand tourer.

The Pinnacle W12 Grand Tourer

The Batur will also be the most powerful Bentley yet, with a 729+ Bhp (740+ PS) version of the iconic, hand-assembled 6.0-litre twin-turbocharged W12 engine that has metaphorically and literally powered Bentley’s success for the last two decades.

Over 100+ weeks of powertrain development have already been completed to confirm the new air intake system, modified turbochargers, revised intercoolers and new calibrations for the engine gearbox and electronic stability control for the pinnacle W12.

As the engine enters its twilight years as part of Bentley’s Beyond100 transformation journey to being fully electrified, the Batur forms the first part of a celebration of the W12’s extraordinary power, torque and refinement. Engine performance will be matched to the most advanced Bentley chassis ever, with Speed-tuned air suspension, electric active anti-roll control, eLSD, four-wheel steering and torque vectoring.

Batur Car #0

All 18 customer Baturs are already reserved. Each one is being designed collaboratively with each customer, guided by Mulliner’s in-house design team.

Customers will be able to specify the colour and finish of practically every surface of the Batur, to create a car as individual as they are. From the main exterior paint to the surface finish of the air vents, and literally everything in between, each customer will specify even the tiniest of details.

The engineering development car – Batur Car #0 – has had the same level of attention to detail as a customer’s own specification. The exterior paintwork is a bespoke colour – Purple Sector – that provides a deep vibrant colour across the curvaceous surfaces. The bodywork is underscored by front splitters, side skirts and rear diffuser in a high gloss natural fibre finish.

The front of the car features a grille of exceptional art – with the main matrix finished in Gloss Dark Titanium, accented with contrast chevrons in a horizontal ombré pattern that flows from Purple Sector in the centre and gradually darken to the sides to Black Crystal. The “endless bonnet” line is finished in Satin Titanium paint, as are the 22” wheels – with the spokes in Gloss and Satin Black Crystal to match the grille.

One small addition customers will not receive that can be seen on Batur Car #0 are the small white arrowheads found at the edges of the body panels. These markers help to provide feedback on panel movement and any form of relaxation whilst the car is undertaking the durability testing.

Looking To The Future Of Coachbuilding

The Mulliner Bacalar was the first coachbuilt project in recent years which gave significant insight into Bentley’s customers and customer choice. For Batur an even greater selection of options have been developed, not only including colours, materials and finishes, but also new technology such as the Mulliner by Naim Audio system. This takes the Naim Audio system from the Continental GT and transforms it with 20 new Focal speakers, exclusively configured for Batur and custom tuned into a truly immersive class-leading Audio experience.

The design team have given the Batur a unique character with a combination of high end materials and finishes. This is a significant stepping stone towards sustainable material and construction methods, from Additive Manufactured Gold to sustainable hide and natural fibre veneers.

Using advanced manufacturing techniques it is possible for tooling investment to be kept to a minimum which drives lower material and energy usage in the manufacturing processes. Pending successful testing, Mulliner also plan to use natural fibres as an alternative to carbon fibre is some areas of the car. This is a significant reduction in carbon required to produce the materials in these parts.

Sustainability plays a key role in the Batur to help drive the development of sustainable features for future generations of coachbuilt Bentley’s, using Mulliner’s coachbuilding experience as the platform for innovation in line with Bentley’s sustainability goals.

SOURCE: Bentley

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