My Car Quest

May 20, 2024

Design Critique: Bentley Bacalar

by Wallace Wyss –

The Bentley Bacalar, a limited-edition model, had been set for an unveiling at the Geneva motor show, but once the show was cancelled, it had to make its debut live on Bentley’s YouTube channel.

Bentley Bacalar

They touted the fact that the coachbuilt special edition was only the second two-seater to come out of Crewe since 1930, with a compact rear luggage space housing a pair of bespoke travel cases, also from Mulliner. (Bespoke is quaint Olde English that means hand-made). The wraparound cockpit is unlike anything in Bentley’s production line-up but bears a strong resemblance to guess what–the “aero cowlings” available on Rolls Royce. They were also on the EXP 100 GT concept from which the Bacalar draws its styling inspiration. Bentley calls them luggage pods, but I don’t know if they open to insert things as they do in the Rolls.

Bentley Bacalar

Other things the Bentley Bacalar press release glows about: “Every detail has been uniquely designed: a new, knurled pattern was created for the iconic Bentley ‘bullseye’ vents seen in our current and past models. The new knurling pattern has been repeated around the interior, including the steering wheel controls, media and climate controls and even the intricate speaker frets. A unique steering wheel, leather strap door and seat releases, special digital instrumentation and a unique key design enhance the luxurious cabin still further. The cabin can be completely specified by the customer, working with Mulliner, and new materials available to choose include Riverwood, British wool, Dark Bronze and Midnight Black Titanium.”

Or how about the upholstery? They love that diamond quilted stuff. Says Bentley: “Owning a Bacalar is the start of a journey of discovery, representing a return to the exciting early years of Bentley, allowing owners to help shape the car of their dreams. Every element of Bacalar has been carefully and meticulously designed with a depth and detail, from the use of precious inlays and unique finishes to the driver controls, to the 148,199 individual stitches needed to embroider the unique Bacalar quilt on each seat. Owners will find details and parts in their Bacalar not seen before on a Bentley.

Bentley Bacalar

The exterior look of each model will be completed in collaboration with individual customers, who are able to further personalise their car, choosing from rare paint options, exterior treatments and design themes. The interior can also be finished in an almost infinite number of ways, with each car co-created and commissioned in conjunction with the Bentley Mulliner team. Every car will be individually specified and finished using any of the many Bentley colours and materials available.” They go on.

By the time I ran across pictures of the car, I find out that they only made a dozen. So they’re most likely gone but it might have been a challenge to my debit card, at £1.5 million. In their publicity Bentley said the car was aimed at at “wealthy buyers who seek out rarer models for private collections and investment opportunities.”


On the Bentley website they show three models where all the goodies have been chosen but I’m sure they won’t mind if you order the same color and trim. One’s called “The Menlo” – named after Menlo Park, Palo Alto, California, where they say “many of the greatest entrepreneurs gather at leading technology companies.” This is aimed at company founders like say the CEO of Tesla who is now worth around $70 billion. The Menlo is Cobalt blue with accents of Cyber Yellow. The upholstery is Anthracite Alcantara and is complemented by Piano Black veneer.

Bentley Bacalar

But the more I look at the car the more I see the current Camaro shape, I think I can buy similar aero cowlings/headrest fairings made for some other car and have them cut and re-glued to fit…maybe a surfboard shop could fill in the gaps. Oh and then I’d have one thing the Bacalar doesn’t have. A top.

Maybe the cars are sold only to those who are invulnerable when it comes to rain. or maybe where they live, on the Cote d’Azur or in Palm Beach it only rains at precisely the same time each day…

Let us know what you think in the Comments.

Wallace Wyss

THE AUTHOR: Wallace Wyss was a guest speaker at the Art center College of Design, which trains most of the world’s car designers.


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Photos compliments of Bentley.
Design Critique: Bentley Bacalar
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Design Critique: Bentley Bacalar
Is the Bentley Bacalar really an investment opportunity to add to your private collection? Or just a toy for the very rich?


  1. David Beale says

    I was beginning to despair of you Wallace.
    Almost terminated Michael’s page, in fact..
    You have , with this, redeemed.
    Would it be fair to say the Bacalar is precisely focussed at the “excess is necessary” segment of society?

  2. I am a big fan of Bentley but this Bentley Bacalar is too over the top for me. I like the simplicity and perfect styling of the original Continental GT starting in 2005 like this 2007 example.

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