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New Bentley Mulliner Bacalar: A Car From the Future and Back to the Past.

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With design DNA from the EXP 100 GT concept car and a fresh return to age old coachbuilding, this is the Bentley Mulliner Bacalar
Bentley Motors Design Director Stefan Sielaff introduces the new Bentley Mulliner Bacalar
Bentley Motors Design Director Stefan Sielaff introduces the new Bentley Mulliner Bacalar via YouTube live stream.
  • 12 examples only of the Bentley Mulliner Bacalar
  • All allocations already sold
  • All examples will be individually designed, and handcrafted to customers tastes
  • Bacalar to be made in world’s first certified carbon neutral factory for luxury car production

Bentley Motors Design Director Stefan Sielaff proudly introduced the new Bentley Mulliner Bacalar via public live stream. Revealed as only the 2nd two seater Bentley since 1930.

The Name

So firstly let’s unpack the name Bentley Mulliner Bacalar because at first glance it sounds quite unusual. The Mulliner Bacalar is named after Laguna Bacalar in Mexico, renowned for its array of many shades of blue water and commonly said to be the Maldives of Mexico. The name choice also continues Bentley’s strategy of naming cars after remarkable landmarks which started with Bentayga in 2015.

Bacalar Mexico
The Bentley Mulliner Bacalar is named after Bacalar in Mexico.

At a second glance those familiar to the Bentley brand would not blink an eye seeing the word Mulliner in the title, except recently there has been a change at the Crewe quarters and Mulliner has been divided into 3 new divisions or arms. For more information on the story of Mulliner and an explanation of the new divisions click here. The Bentley Mulliner Bacalar is the first car to be produced by the Bentley Mulliner Coachbuilding division, paving the way forward in Bentley’s future bespoking strategy.

Bacalar’s Design

Speaking of the future, let’s look at Bacalar’s design DNA. Last year Bentley celebrated its 100th year and to mark the occasion Bentley unveiled its concept for the future, it was the Bentley EXP 100 GT concept car. The EXP 100 GT was a hit and received ‘Most Beautiful Concept Car of the Year’ at the prestigious French Festival Automobile International and ‘Concept Car of the Year’ by GQ magazine.

Sustainable, ethically-sourced materials previewed in the EXP 100 GT concept car last year have now become reality in the Bacalar – just eight months after first being previewed. These include paint containing ash from rice husks, which provides a sustainable way of delivering a rich metallic finish.

Among many other cues from Bentley’s concept car, the unique front and rear horizontal lights add the distinctive, dynamic character that was first seen on the EXP 100 GT.

Bentley Mulliner Bacalar headlights at night
Bentley Mulliner Bacalar headlights styled from the 100 EXP concept car. Credit: Bentley

The Bacalar shares no body panel with any other car in the Bentley model line-up and only shares one exterior component with a Continental GT – the door handle, simply because it contains the keyless entry system.

Design influences from the past also exist. Bentley has a rich history of open-cockpit cars – the design of the Birkin Blower Bentley of the late 1920s was also an inspiration. The dramatic, tapered cowls at the rear hark back to the Barchetta sports cars of old. The new Bentley Mulliner Bacalar is a genuine ‘roofless’ Barchetta – a luxury, two-seat, open-air performance car and Bentley’s ultimate expression of an open-top, luxury grand tourer.

The two seater Bentley Mulliner Bacalar
Bentley Mulliner Bacalar is only the 2nd two seater Bentley since 1930. Credit: Bentley

The rear clamshell and top deck of the Bacalar are crafted from lightweight aluminium, while the doors and wings are carbon fibre. The exterior look of each model will be completed in collaboration with each individual customer, who are able to further personalize their car, choosing from rare paint options, exterior treatments and design themes. The Bacalar represents a return to the early years of Bentley, allowing owners to help shape the car of their dreams.

Inside the Bacalar

From the use of precious inlays and unique finishes, to the 148,199 individual stitches needed to embroider the Bacalar quilt on each seat, Bacalar’s interior is all about the uniqueness of the materials available and their origins. Bentley’s self-imposed mandate is to use ethically sourced and sustainable materials for its motor vehicles and there are plenty of options.

Inside the Bacalar, a focal point of the cabin is the wraparound dashboard cut from rare Riverwood, a sustainable wood from naturally fallen trees that has been preserved for 5,000 years in peat bogs, lakes and rivers found in the Fenlands of East Anglia, England. Lying untouched in wet earth has left the wood with a black aesthetic which Bentley found desirable for design purposes.

Bentley Mulliner Bacalar two seater open top grand tourer
The Bacalar’s fully customizable interior is all about the materials and their origins. Credit: Bentley

Bentley Mulliner has also collaborated with a traditional British textile mill to produce bespoke natural wool cloth especially for the Bacalar with customers also having the option to co-create their own bespoke fabric blend. The textile is used in the seat inserts, seat backs and the side of the head restraints. It also flows from the side of the centre console and lower instrument panel into the doors.

Natural yarns are used to create the overmats and are precision woven on traditional Wilton looms in England. These pure wool deep pile carpets are hand-carved for the foot well and rear luggage compartment, following the embroidered pattern found on the seats.

Bentley Mulliner Bacalar seats and luggage
Bentley Mulliner Bacalar seats and luggage space behind. Credit: Bentley

Bentley have partnered with another local supplier, based in the nearby Peak District, to offer Bacalar customers the rare opportunity to create individual artisan piping to enhance the dynamic styling lines of the seats. The piping can be designed and customized to feature unique patterns, colour combinations and personal embossed effects, such as a customer’s signature or special, individual customer motifs.

Looking towards the dashboard the Bacalar features the now famous Bentley Rotating Display and a unique clock face with individual one-of-12 badging. Customers will also see a new D-shaped steering wheel features Alcantara inserts

Bentley Mulliner Bacalar dashboard and interior
Bacalar’s wraparound dashboard is cut from sustainable rare riverwood. Credit: Bentley
Bentley Mulliner Bacalar steering wheel instrument panel
Bacalar features the rotating display with LCD touchscreen behind the gauges. Credit: Bentley

We could talk a lot more about the specifics of the first demonstration car’s interior, however every one of the 12 cars will be individually specified by each Bacalar customer.

The Heart of Bacalar

Powering Bacalar is Bentley’s renowned 6.0-litre, twin-turbocharged W12 TSI engine producing 659 PS (650 bhp) which is paired to its technically-advanced drivetrain. The dual-clutch, eight-speed transmission is sure to offer fast efficient gear changes while the adaptive chassis uses Bentley’s intelligent, 48-volt Dynamic Ride System to ensure a responsive ride and exceptional handling and refinement in all conditions. This air suspension system controls ride comfort and lateral roll, cushioning passengers from excessive movement and with the ultimate aim to make the Bacalar feel effortlessly precise.

With the Bentley Mulliner Bacalar reigniting coachbuilding under the Mulliner name, which started coachbuilding in the 1760’s, it’s safe to say Bentley now stand as the oldest coachbuilders in the world, with the newest and most sustainable technology that’s ever been available at their fingertips.

Bentley Mulliner Bacalar side profile view
Ash from rice husks provide the paint’s metallic finish on the Bacalar. Credit: Bentley

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Luxury Cars

Ferrari XX Program For Select Owners Returns July

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Ferrari has announced the XX Program is back on track for a July start after the cancellation of earlier events at Monza, Shanghai and Suzuka this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ferrari Corsa Clienti crew inspecting the vehicles.
Ferrari Corsa Clienti crew inspecting the vehicles. Credit: Ferrari

With Formula 1 being canceled this year and only a lone Charles Leclerc driving the streets of Monaco in a Ferrari SF90 Stradale in recent days, both race fans and Ferrari owners alike have been starved of race action this year but for a few very lucky Ferrari owners it has been announced that the Ferrari XX Program will be back on track to begin from July.

Ferrari XX Programme & F1 Programme combined at Imola Race Track.
Ferrari XX Programme & F1 Programme combined at Imola Race Track. Credit: Ferrari
What exactly is the Ferrari XX Program?

Ferrari’s XX Program is one of the most exclusive invite-only driver programs in the world, with a tiny membership of only around 30 individuals. It evolved out of the idea of involving a special group of customers in the development of the Ferraris of the future and in return, owners can own and use a very limited edition Ferrari FXX car developed exclusively for the track and supply feedback to the Corse Clienti engineers.

Designed for the track but NOT for professional competition use, the research and development team do not have to meet the regular homologation requirements required for racing and are given a lot more to play, offering certain benefits to owners who really want to see what their cars can do.

Time for a fresh set of wheels.
Time for a fresh set of wheels. Credit: Ferrari

Owners in the XX Program are able to take part in both the Corsa Clienti events and various technical test sessions held over the year at 8 or 9 tracks around the world and are closely monitored by Ferrari experts as well as get the chance to meet Maranello’s engineers and professional testers. Another perk for owners is that Ferrari will take care of every single detail regarding maintenance, logistics, and optimization of the vehicles.

Ferrari XX Program participants are given expert driving advice.
Ferrari XX Program participants are given expert driving advice. Credit: Ferrari

To date four models are part of the program: the FXX, the 599X, the FXX K, and the FXX K Evo from 2018 equipped with the brand new Evo kit.

The Ferrari FXX: The First One

The first laboratory-car, the Ferrari FXX, was launched in 2006 and is equipped with a 12-cylinder 6.3-liter engine that makes it capable of electrifying performance. According to the engineers, it is the most “straightforward” in its reactions but also the most difficult model to push to the limit. A development kit (EVO) for the FXX, which incorporates information gleaned from customers, has since improved the car’s already outstanding performance.

Ferrari's Corsa Clienti XX Program cars
The Ferrari 599 XX: The Next One

The second model in the Ferrari XX evolution is based on the Ferrari 599 and appeared in 2009. The Ferrari 599XX is a 700 horsepower vehicle packed with technology and equipped with very sophisticated systems including fans that, by sucking air from the faired bottom of the car and expelling through two rear pipes, make the vehicle stick to the asphalt, creating a perfect ground effect. Once again, performance is thrilling and has been further improved by adopting the EVO kit, which incorporates the suggestions made by tutors and customers, for an extreme car that is even more tailored to its drivers.

Ferrari XX Program 599XX
The Ferrari FXX K: 1000 HP Plus Hybrid

The Ferrari FXX K was officially presented at the Finali Mondiali in Abu Dhabi in December 2014. The letter K stands for “KERS” kinetic energy recovery technology that is used to maximize track performance. The FXX K is equipped with technological innovations that make for an unprecedented driving experience with the huge potential of the car summed up in a few significant figures: 1050 total horsepower, 860 of which come from the 6,262 cubic centimeter V12 heat engine, and 190 from the electric engine with over 900 Nm of maximum torque.

Ferrari's Corsa Clienti XX Programme
The Ferrari FXX K Evo: The Upgrade

The FXX-K Evo was unveiled at the Ferrari Finali Mondiali 2017 in Florence during the Ferrari 70th Anniversary celebration. It is an added aerodynamic package available for the existing Ferrari FXX-K that allows the car to produce 23% more downforce than the standard FXX-K and 75% more than the road-legal LaFerrari due to a modified front fascia, a large rear wing and underbody diffusers.

Ferrari XX Programme Corsa Clienti FXXEVO

While recent FXX Program events had to be canceled earlier this year due to travel restrictions and local authority protocols concerning COVID-19, the remainder of the 2020 season will continue as planned beginning with Corse Clienti activities held at Barcelona on 21 and 22 July, followed by the Ferrari Racing Days at Mugello from 28 to 30 August, and at Spa-Francorchamps from 11 to 13 September.

Following on, the Ferrari XX Program will run at the French Paul Ricard track before the final event in the Middle East that coincides with the Finali Mondiali at Abu Dhabi from 4 to 7 November.

Barcelona, 21-22 July
Mugello, 28-30 August
Spa-Francorchamps, 11-13 September
Paul Ricard, 26-27 September
Abu Dhabi (Finali Mondiali), 4-7 November

To ensure the safety of all participants and crew members, special protocols will be put in place as per the individual local authorities and all events will take place behind closed doors until further notice.

For more information on the Ferrari XX Programme visit the website.

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New LEGO Lamborghini Sián – the Latest Supercar to “Roll off the Production Line”

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The LEGO Lamborghini Sián FKP37 in lime green with gold rims is a miniature version of Lamborghini’s first-ever hybrid electric model production car.
The new LEGO Lamborghini Sián in lime green.
The new LEGO Lamborghini Sián in lime green. Credit: Lamborghini

Lego and Lamborghini have teamed up to create the latest technic creation and delivered the futuristic LEGO Technic Lamborghini Sián FKP 37 in a 1:8 scale model complete with 3,696 pieces for supercar fans to build.

First presented at Frankfurt Motor Show in September 2019, the Lamborghini Sián (which means “flash” or “lightning” in the Italian Bolognese dialect) is Lamborghini’s first hybrid electric model production car and will only be produced in 63 limited editions.

LEGO technic Lamborghini Sian Mini
You must be my mini-me. Credit: Lamborghini

Staying true to the design of the full-size version, the LEGO version features a technic replica of the V12 engine; a moveable rear spoiler; front and rear suspension; and a steering wheel complete with the tiniest Automobili Lamborghini badge you’ll ever find on a Lamborghini.

Slightly larger than the average LEGO wheel.
Slightly larger than the average LEGO wheel. Credit: Lamborghini

Speaking on the collaboration, Lamborghini CEO Stephano Domenicaly commented, “The LEGO brick is an icon in the same way as a Lamborghini super sports car. They both embody the pursuit of design perfection through constant research and development, create different emotions with every interaction, and are valued by generations. Each Lamborghini super sports car can be unique thanks to our Ad Personam personalization program and the specific driving style of each owner, just as LEGO bricks provide builders of all ages with endless possibilities for creation. This outstanding replica of the Lamborghini Sián FKP 37 from the LEGO Group presents a brilliant new building experience for both super sports car fans and LEGO enthusiasts, and Lamborghini is privileged to share this opportunity with the LEGO Group.”

Lamborghini's Head of Design Mitja Borkert comparing the two cars
Lamborghini’s Head of Design Mitja Borkert comparing the two Sián’s. Credit: Lamborghini

Based on the color configuration of the original full-sized version presented at Frankfurt (exterior paint in “Verde Gea” and details in “Oro Electrum”), the bright lime green LEGO Lamborghini Sián with gold rims also comes with the signature scissor doors, which open to reveal the intricately recreated cockpit, with a fully-functioning eight-speed sequential gearbox controlled by a movable paddle gearshift.

Discussing how to make a LEGO version
Discussing how to make a LEGO Technic Lamborghini Sián. Credit: Lamborghini

Made up of 3,696 pieces, the build instructions include special QR codes that can be scanned to reveal 13 special videos from Lamborghini and LEGO experts explaining the inspiration behind each stage of the design. Once completely built, it will measure over 5” (13 cm) high, 23” (60 cm) long and 9” (25 cm) wide.

Lego technic Lamborghini Sian doors up
LEGO technic Lamborghini Sian Rear View
LEGO technic Lamborghini Sian engine bay
LEGO technic Lamborghini Sian top view
All 3,696 pieces of the LEGO Lamborghini Sian
All 3,696 pieces of the LEGO Lamborghini Sián. Credit: Lamborghini

Oh, and if you “pop the hood” you’ll also find an overnight bag along with a unique serial number that offers access to additional special content.

The LEGO Technic Lamborghini Sián FKP 37 will be available directly from LEGO stores, online at LEGO.com starting June 1 and from retailers globally starting August 1, 2020.

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Luxury Cars

McLaren to Cut 1,200 Jobs Including F1 Team Roles

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Supercar manufacturer and Formula 1 team McLaren have announced they will be cutting 1,200 jobs under a proposed restructuring program as it handles the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and impending F1 cost cap.
The McLaren Production Center may look a little quieter in the coming days.
The McLaren Production Center may look a little quieter in the coming days. Credit: McLaren

British supercar maker McLaren currently employs around 4,000 staff although in a sign of the times, are looking to cut almost a quarter of their workforce as they navigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic to their business.

The McLaren Technology Center by night.
The McLaren Technology Center by night. Credit: McLaren

In a statement made by the company McLaren chairman Paul Walsh, he noted they had been “severely affected” by the crisis and had worked hard to cut costs and avoid layoffs but unfortunately “we now have no other choice but to reduce the size of our workforce.”

“We deeply regret the impact that this restructure will have on all our people, but especially those whose jobs may be affected. It is a course of action we have worked hard to avoid, having already undertaken dramatic cost-saving measures across all areas of the business.

“But we now have no other choice but to reduce the size of our workforce. This is undoubtedly a challenging time for our company, and particularly our people, but we plan to emerge as an efficient, sustainable business with a clear course for returning to growth.

“This is undoubtedly a challenging time for our company, and particularly our people, but we plan to emerge as an efficient, sustainable business with a clear course for returning to growth” he continued.

Both the British automaker operations at Woking Surrey, and the group’s Formula 1 team will be impacted with layoffs affecting the applied technologies, automotive and racing divisions. Temporary factory closures brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, along with empty showrooms due to “stay at home” instructions and canceled events, have all contributed to the squeeze McLaren has been feeling.

A Royal visit in 2019 to view the latest technological advancements.
A Royal visit in 2019 to view the latest technological advancements. Credit: McLaren

McLaren’s Formula 1 operations are also expected to lose around 70 staff out of the current 800 strong work-force although this decision is said to be affected more so by the new Formula 1 cost cap reductions that will come into play for the 2021 season.

The McLaren group had previously requested a £150m loan from the UK government and also tried to raise emergency funds by mortgaging its headquarters and historic car collection but were unsuccessful at the time due to a disagreement with shareholders over the bond collateral.

The McLaren Technology Center designed by Foster + Partners.
The McLaren Technology Center designed by Foster + Partners. Credit: McLaren

McLaren’s existing shareholders have however rallied and raised an additional £300m equity to support the long-term strategy of the brand.

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