First car to feature 3D-printed solid gold is a NZ$12.5m Bentley (of course) – News
Bentley Motors has introduced 3D printed solid gold in its Mulliner Batur – the first time the process is believed to have been used in the automotive industry. The additive manufacturing (AM) technique adds about 210 grams of 18ct yellow gold to the coachbuilt coupe.
It’s a special feature for an unbelievably special car. The W12-engined Batur will have a production run of just 18, all of which have already been sold to Mulliner clients at NZ$12.5 million.
The optional 3D printed gold includes key driver touch points, such as the Charisma Dial, which encircles the start/stop button and is used to change drive modes. Gold is also applied to the trademark Bentley Organ Stop vent controls on the dashboard, with a further gold insert marker on the steering wheel itself.
Bentley Mulliner worked with goldsmiths Cooksongold to make the Batur parts. Cooksongold is based in the historic Jewellery Quarter of Birmingham, England, where jewellery has been made for centuries.
The company says the gold is sustainably sourced, being 100 per cent recycled from old jewellery, which is ground into the fine powder needed for the 3D printing technique.
Parts are digitally designed using CAD models, before a printing process with laser melting printers. Each is hand finished by jewellers, using traditional polishing techniques.
All parts are also hallmarked in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter as a sign of having solid material authenticity. Parts manufactured in 2022 also received the Jubilee hallmark, celebrating the late Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee year.
The Batur also has a massive 6.0-litre W12 engine, tuned up to 544kW to make it the fastest-ever production Bentley, and all the other stuff you might expect from a $12.5m machine, including four-wheel steering and anti-roll suspension powered by a 48-volt electrical system.
The coupe offers an “endless array of options” says Bentley, including parts crafted in titanium, sustainable natural fibre composites and low-carbon leather sourced from Scotland.
The coupe’s look also shows the design direction for future Bentley BEVs (battery electric vehicles).