Bentley’s Mulliner division readies new limited edition priced above $1.3M

Back in 2017, Bentley Director of Design Stefan Sielaff was tasked with the additional role of heading the Mulliner personalization department.

The move was in preparation for a ramp-up of highly personalized limited editions aimed at the growing crowd of ultra high-net-worth individuals around the globe, such as the Mulsanne Grand Limousine and Mulsanne-based Grand Convertible.

Sielaff has now revealed that Mulliner is readying a new limited edition. In an interview with Autocar published Thursday, Sielaff said just 10 examples will be built and each will be priced north of $1.3 million.

Stefan Sielaff

Stefan Sielaff

“It will be under the remit of Mulliner Coachbuilding, sitting on top off Bentley, and will definitely be something more expensive than a normal Bentley,” he said.

The car will be presented toward the end of 2019, meaning it may reference this year’s 100th anniversary of Bentley’s founding. A number of heritage cues are expected.

Such projects can be extremely lucrative for automakers. Ferrari has had great success with its Special Projects division, and this has certainly been noticed by other luxury brands. Rolls-Royce in 2017 unveiled a one-off coupe called the Sweptail, which is thought to have cost its owner somewhere in the vicinity of $12.8 million. And just this year Bugatti unveiled the La Voiture Noire, which the automaker revealed had a price tag of $12.4 million. Ouch.

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1JZ VW CADDY – FC THROWBACK

Welcome to this week’s FC Throwback, where we take a look back at some of our favourite previous feature cars. This week it’s Viktor Martensson’s 1JZ powered VW Caddy from back in 2014…

Drift 1JZ VW Caddy

Sometimes you need to pinch yourself to check things are really happening. Sounds cheesy, but it’s completely legit. Allow us to introduce the JapCrap Bombsquad. Back in April 2013, photographer Paddy and myself flew to Sweden’s capital, Stockholm. To be honest I didn’t know what to expect… Rod, of Speedhunters fame, had set up a feature with the beautifully aggressive Volkswagen Caddy that you see here. It’s a wonderful contraption that has all been very carefully built by ingenious owner, Viktor Martensson.

Drift 1JZ VW Caddy

Viktor and his friends embody everything I love about the automotive scene. This guy started out as a humble metal worker in Stockholm, and with the help of the JapCrap Bombsquad, has put together a vehicle that he is able to have stacks of fun with.

Drift 1JZ VW Caddy

I’m fascinated by the pure insanity of the build. Simply down to the fact that it breaks all of the rules. This tuned VW Caddy is a perfect Euro/JDM mash-up and Viktor has also managed to combine many elements of various scenes to create a car that everyone seems to be talking about. It’s all-encompassing. This vehicle represents the Euro, drift, JDM and stance movement all in one big hit. It’s a German car that’s been created by a clever Swedish guy using Japanese power. Nice.

Drift 1JZ VW Caddy

From the outside it may look like a pretty bonkers Volkswagen Caddy with a side-exit exhaust. But actually, there’s a whole other complete car involved in the build, as well a load of fabrication work. Rather than just fit the engine from a Soarer, Viktor completely re-engineered the whole body. The front end is pretty much all Soarer with the Caddy panels cleverly disguising the happenings from this dead-side shot. The rear sub-frame is all Soarer too.

Drift 1JZ VW Caddy

The front of the Caddy almost has a personality; a kind of mad, one-eyed face that shouts, “I’m gonna physically harm you if you don’t get out of my way!” And Viktor’s not afraid to push his latest creation as these awesome photos taken by Paddy at the incredible Gröndal Eskilstuna Motorsport Arena show.

Drift 1JZ VW Caddy

To make the Caddy more track compliant, Viktor has made some changes. The external wastegate used to sing its battle cry via a wild screamer pipe that looked similar to the handbrake and gear shifters used inside the car. This screamer pipe exited straight up out of the engine bay and looked crazy, but also sounded pretty violent, too. Violent in a good way, that is… unless, of course, you’re a racetrack scrutineer with a dB meter. With noise reduction being the name of the game, Viktor has re-engineered his Caddy’s turbo’s wastegate system. Despite this though, the motor still sounds very tough indeed.

Drift 1JZ VW Caddy

It’s a deliciously smooth straight-six sound that the 1JZ turbo lump serves up. A sound that is completely unexpected. It’s not something you associate with a VW and certainly not a little Caddy truck. The smooth engine note is complemented by the equally slick rolling stock that this vehicle sits on.

Drift 1JZ VW Caddy

As you can imagine the swap was not at all easy. Viktor actually had the Caddy sat around in his workshop for four or five years, but didn’t ever start the project. Then a turbocharged ’91 Soarer packing the all-important 1JZ motor came into his possession and 12-months of seriously hard work commenced.

Drift 1JZ VW Caddy

The front end of the Soarer has been expertly grafted onto the Volkswagen Caddy. Soarer suspension parts have been used throughout and that includes the 5×114.3 hubs allowing for more interesting wheel fitment than the usual 4×100 Caddy offerings.

Drift 1JZ VW Caddy

Some parts have been specifically sourced for the build, like this Tial wastegate, whilst other parts have been gained from other builds or sourced at a bargain price. I’m really into this hunter-gatherer ethos and the result is a machine that commands respect. It’s clear that someone who is resourceful, as well as inventive, has built this epic truck.

Drift 1JZ VW Caddy

Forcing air into the motor is the GT35 turbo; the sound is absolutely incredible. The fuel consumption is pretty insane too… with the turbocharger allowing the 1JZ motor to eat 10 gallons of fuel in less than 120 miles when being used to its full potential!

Drift 1JZ VW Caddy

The dash installation, wiring and cool little touches inside the Caddy are all Viktor’s own handiwork and an expression of his personality. I for one really like it when people inject some of their personality into a build rather than simply installing ‘must-have’ parts in an effort to tick boxes.

Drift 1JZ VW Caddy

This car has been built for the driver. Everything is exactly where it should be. Sit in the hot seat and you can easily access the well positioned gear shifter and the hydro-handbrake. Despite the Caddy having the looks of a stance car, this is very much a driving machine.

Drift 1JZ VW Caddy

The top of the S13 dash pod more than hints at the seriousness of the pedal box conversion that Viktor carried out himself.

Drift 1JZ VW Caddy

OBP, or Optimum Balance Products as they’re also known, have been used to ensure that the Caddy is even further focused towards the driver. Viktor used to be into Moto X racing, and despite it only being his second time driving the Caddy, out on track it was very apparent that he’s a natural drifter.

Drift 1JZ VW Caddy

A further view of the interior shows that this is very much a function over form affair. It’s totally in keeping with the rest of the build and hits home how angry this car is. In fact, it’s beyond angry. It’s super mad!

Drift 1JZ VW Caddy

On the day of the shoot Viktor’s Caddy put a massive smile on the face of everyone who saw it and you can’t help but admire his ingenious approach to the build. This isn’t a big-money build. Quite the opposite – it’s very much a blood and sweat type of affair. Viktor and the JapCrap Bombsquad are bringing together the best of many different car cultures and are also having loads of fun in the cars that they build together. And that is, without a doubt, what it’s all about.

Drift 1JZ VW Caddy

TECH SPEC 1JZ-POWERED VW CADDY

Tuning
Toyota 1JZ motor, GT3582r turbo, Tial 38mm wastegate, 3in downpipe, aftermarket plenum with 80mm throttle body, BMW F10 radiator with two 12 electric fans, 19-row oil cooler, GReddy blow-off valve, BMW ZF gearbox, ACT paddle clutch, home made drive shafts.

Chassis
OZ Racing Futura 8.5×17 (front), 10×17 (rear), Federal SS595 195/40×17 tyres (front) and Nankang NS-II 215/40×17 tyres (rear), BC Racing BR coilovers, stock Toyota Soarer brakes.

Exterior
Full re-spray in JapCrap purple, home made wide fender, side exit exhaust, complete custom rear bay with 10-gallon fuel cell.

Interior
Flocked modified Nissan S13 dashboard, home made eight-point roll cage, hydraulic handbrake, Sparco Sprint seats.

Words Ben Chandler Photography Paddy McGrath

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Read Elon Musk’s email to Tesla employees about accelerating Q2 deliveries

A recently leaked email from Tesla CEO Elon Musk has revealed that the electric car maker is seeing strong demand for its vehicles, though it would have to catch up to deliveries if it were to be definitively successful this quarter. Musk further noted that he would be holding regular calls with delivery teams from the United States, Asia, and Europe, to understand what is needed to optimize vehicle deliveries even more.

Below is the full text of Elon Musk’s recent email to Tesla employees.

To: Everybody

While our demand is strong, we have a lot of vehicle deliveries to catch up to in order to have a successful quarter.

Starting tomorrow, I will be holding skip-level calls with America, Asia, and Europe delivery teams every 2 days to understand what’s needed to accelerate the rate of deliveries.

We also need to address the total cost of getting a car from our factory to the customer. Last quarter, there were many expedites (sic) fees and routing inefficiencies that led to higher than expected delivery costs. This makes it much harder for Tesla ro (sic) break even.

Per my earlier email, if we execute well, Q2 will be an all-time record for Tesla vehicle deliveries and an awesome victory!!

Super excited to make this happen with you.

Elon

Musk’s emphasis on accelerating deliveries and adopting efficiencies to get vehicles to customers faster suggests that Tesla is dead serious about avoiding the same pitfalls it encountered in the first quarter. During Q1 2019, Tesla’s deliveries experienced difficulties as the company began saturating international markets with the Model 3. This ultimately caused Tesla to engage in an intense delivery blitz in March that ended with over 10,000 vehicles in transit at the end of the first quarter.

This recently leaked email all but highlights a point mentioned by Musk in a previous message to employees, where he noted that Tesla is seeing strong demand for its electric cars this quarter. In that email, Musk pointed out that Tesla is on track to exceed its record delivery figures from Q4 2019, a quarter that saw the company deliver over 90,000 vehicles to customers. Nevertheless, Musk noted that to accomplish this, Tesla would have to hit a sustained Model 3 production rate of 1,000 units per day.

These recently leaked updates from the Tesla CEO refutes one of the most persistent bear thesis against the company, which suggests that its vehicles are seeing an alleged “demand cliff.” If Musk’s internal emails are any indication, it appears that Tesla’s electric cars remain popular among consumers despite the company’s lower-than-expected figures in the first quarter.

Read Elon Musk’s email to Tesla employees about accelerating Q2 deliveries

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