If a Bentayga is too common for you and you want to stand out from the hoi-polloi in their Continental GTs, Mulliner is working on something for you and 11 other buyers.
Autocar reports Bentley’s coach-building division is readying an ultra-exclusive model which insiders have billed as the “ultimate open-cockpit sports tourer” that will “exaggerate the sensations of driving”.
It’s said to be a two-seat barchetta that’ll borrow design cues from this year’s EXP 100 GT concept (pictured) that commemorated Bentley’s centenary.
That includes deliciously indulgent aspects of the concept like its 5000-year-old, copper-infused Riverwood trim. It doesn’t include that concept’s electrified drivetrain or its roof.
The Bentley barchetta hasn’t been approved yet but, if it is, it’ll be introduced in 2021. The bespoke model is expected to cost upwards of £1.5 million (A$2.87 million).
In those models, the W12 produces 467kW and 900Nm.
Despite the carryover powertrain, the Bentley barchetta has grand aspirations. Bentley design boss Stefan Sielaff told Autocar, “We have more and more customers asking for a very individual Bentley – almost a one-off or a series of 10. From our observations, if you look at society, the rich customers are getting richer.”
Bentley and Mulliner therefore are hoping to cater to these wealthy buyers who crave exclusivity. Autocar reports Bentley is discussing the project directly with some of its most loyal clients.
Mulliner has been a coachbuilder since the term actually meant building coaches to be drawn by horses. In the late 19th century, the company turned to focus on vehicles with mechanical instead of literal horsepower. By the 1930s, Mulliner was almost exclusively building bodies for Rolls-Royce and Bentley.
Lately, Mulliner has been tasked with building ground-up replicas of classic Bentley models like the Blower and the 1939 Corniche. It’s also crafted numerous extremely limited edition models of the Bentley range, such as the Mulsanne WO Edition and Continental GT Number 9.
The Mulliner team is also responsible for personally commissioned paint jobs of Bentley vehicles and finishing packages like the Mulliner Styling Specification. This upcoming barchetta will take Mulliner back to its coachbuilding roots.