Bentley Motors has introduced 3D printed gold in the exclusive Mulliner Batur, which is believed to be the first time such a ground-breaking process has been used in the automotive industry. The coachbuilt coupe will be adorned with up to 210 grammes of 18ct yellow gold using the ‘additive manufacturing’ (AM) technique, making it the fastest Bentley in the company’s 103-year history.
The W12-powered Batur is limited to only 18 units, all of which have already been sold to Mulliner clients for £1.65 million each (excluding taxes and options). The optional 3D printed gold includes key driver touch points like the Charisma Dial, which surrounds the start/stop button and is used to change driver modes. The dial, the centrepiece of an exquisite cabin, complements the design of the Batur front grille. The iconic Bentley Organ Stop vent controls on the dashboard, as well as a gold insert marker on the steering wheel, are also plated in gold.
Bentley Mulliner Batur with 3D Printed Gold Components
Bentley Mulliner collaborated with renowned goldsmiths Cooksongold to create the one-of-a-kind Batur parts. Cooksongold, a member of the Heirmerle + Meule Group, is based in Birmingham, England’s historic Jewellery Quarter, where jewellery has been made for centuries. Bentley’s ability to combine new, advanced manufacturing technologies with more traditional materials and finishing techniques is highlighted in this special collaboration.
All of the sustainably sourced gold is 100% recycled from old jewellery and ground into the fine powder required for 3D printing. Recycling eliminates the environmental impact of mining for new precious metals. It also reflects Bentley’s commitment to a more sustainable future and is consistent with the company’s Beyond100 strategy, which aims to be carbon neutral from beginning to end by 2030.
Before printing with laser melting printers, every 3D gold part in the Batur is digitally designed using CAD models. Each is then hand finished by skilled artisan jewellers using traditional techniques to achieve the polish and quality associated with a Bentley.
All Batur parts are hallmarked in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter as proof of solid material authenticity. Furthermore, any parts produced in 2022 will bear the Jubilee hallmark, commemorating the late Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee year.
Bentley committed a further £3 million investment in February to double AM capacity at the Crewe factory, which converts 3D CAD models into physical parts. Future applications will enable more low-volume manufacturing components and bespoke customer personalisation, including the ground-breaking use of 3D printed gold in a variety of new generation models.
Bentley’s legendary 6.0-litre, twin-turbocharged W12 engine produces more than 740 PS in the Batur, matched by chassis technology such as eLSD, four-wheel steering, and 48V electric active anti-roll bars. The coupe comes with an almost limitless number of options, including titanium parts, natural fibre composites, and even low-carbon leather from Scotland. The new design DNA of the coupe also hints at the direction of future Bentley BEVs (battery electric vehicles).
“Bentley’s approach to additive manufacturing is industry leading, evident through our pioneering use of a luxury metal in the design and development process of the Batur. One of the key benefits is that it is efficiency led, cutting down on the cost and complexity of a myriad of jobs but maintaining the value of a rare resource.”– Dr. Matthias Rabe, Member of the Board for Research and Development at Bentley Motors
Dr. Matthias Rabe added, “As Bentley embraces an exciting future, we see huge potential in advanced, innovative technologies. Processes such as 3D printed gold will be a springboard that allows our customers an even greater ability to personalise, further enhancing the individualisation programme offered on every car.”
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