Bentley Bacalar: the resting tiger

A conventional washing plant was never an option. Far too exclusive is the Bentley Bacalar, limited to twelve units. So for the ramp CarWash with chief designer Stefan Sielaff only the fine hand wash was used.
Text Matthias Mederer
Photo Matthias Mederer & Maximilián Balázs · ramp.pictures

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.


Latest articles

Matt Damon: Mr. Nice Guy

Nobody does the everyman better and few people in Hollywood are as successful as Matt Damon. He also happens to be one of the nicest guys on Earth. We spoke with the forty-nine-year-old actor about setbacks, real tears and the women in his life. By the way, everything you’ve heard about Matt Damon is true: he really is an incredibly nice guy.

Siegertyp: »Red Dot Award« für den CUPRA Formentor

Streng genommen ist es ja so, dass man laut Straßenverkehrsordnung links überholen muss. Trotzdem gibt es die, die einfach mal so rechts überholen. Wie der CUPRA Formentor.

Polestar: Big Air with Caja Schöpf

Rebellion can be political, personal – or motivated by sport. Especially as competition is all about rebelling against and overcoming one’s own limits. No one knows this better than Caja Schöpf, one of Germany’s best-known freestyle skiers. With her pro days now behind her,she currently works as a sports psychologist coaching other athletes. Because winning starts in the head. And new ways aswell.

Hans Küng: Rebell aus Überzeugung

Hans Küng war Theologe – und Rebell. Mit seinen bisweilen provokanten Thesen hatte er sich die Versöhnung der gespaltenen Kirche seit der Reformation zur Lebensaufgabe gemacht. Dann gab es da noch seine Affinität zu Autos, konkret: seine Begeisterung für die Giulia aus dem Hause Alfa Romeo. Am 6. April ist Hans Küng im Alter von 93 Jahren in Tübingen verstorben.