Bentley Bacalar: the resting tiger
A good bit north of London. An industrial area. The culinary highlight is a steakhouse, which is actually highly recommendable. From a hotel point of view, it looks less exciting. But we aren’t here for a holiday. Instead, the most exclusive vehicle currently available from Bentley in collaboration with finisher Mulliner, the Bentley Bacalar, is waiting right here in an unadorned hall. A two-seater limited to twelve individual pieces, selling price: around 1.5 million
Stefan Sielaff, Head of Design at Bentley, appears relaxed, despite, or perhaps because of the exclusive car. The excitement around it is a little bigger. Whether the car is allowed to get wet at all - after all, water is not an insignificant component of a CarWash? Sielaff shrugs his shoulders. »I don't see why not.« You have to know that the yellow-glowing Bacalar is not one of the 12 customer vehicles, but a kind of a display object. »Nonetheless, it is fully roadworthy, not a so-called rolling chassis, but actually equipped with all the technology of Bacalar,« explains a Bentley man. Meaning: The massive W12 engine with 659 hp and 900 Newton meters of torque is also on board. But we are not allowed to start it.
And then we just get going; after all, we don't have too much time. To be on the safe side a Bentley employee gives us a spray can and a cloth from the in-house body department, not that we wouldn't be trusted. But safe is safe, we are told.
Stefan Sielaff doesn't even start off hesitantly. The Munich-born artist courageously sprays a few good salvos on the shiny paint. »Oops, that was a bit much.« He quickly wipes with the cloth and explains the design specific features of the Bacalar, which is roughly based on the EXP 100 GT study. »Every Bentley has typical proportions. Internally we speak of a “resting tiger”«, says Sielaff.
»Every Bentley has typical proportions. Internally we speak of a “resting tiger”«
The idea behind this vehicle: in future, customers should have the opportunity to design their vehicle together with a small team of designers. This applies all the more to the interior. This is where Bentley focuses on sustainability. Material such as 5,000 year-old wood from fallen trees, collected from lakes or rivers. »The main arguments for buying a Bentley are first the brand itself - and then the emotionality of the design,« says Sielaff.
After 20 minutes we're done. Stefan Sielaff is satisfied. »Completely clean. But that's what it was before.« Then he laughs and moves on to the next interview.
The whole story can be found in the latest ramp #49 - Higgledy Piggledy.
About the chief designer
STEFAN SIELAFF is one of the most influential car designers in the industry. Under his aegis, the Audi A1, the Audi A7 and Bentley's luxury Bentayga SUV were created alongside many other models. The now 58-year-old began his career at Audi in 1984 as a volunteer. After studying at London's renowned Royal College of Arts, he worked for Volkswagen and Audi, where he headed Audi Design from 1997. Five years ago, the Munich-born Bentayga took over as head of Bentley Design.