Tag Archive | "Bentley"

Bentley To Build A SUV

So it has come to this. Is nothing sacred? We expect, from this venerable company, magnificent cars like the Mulsanne, the Flying Spur and the glorious Continental GT – cars that ooze class and traditional values. Of course, we have been forewarned by images from around 2012 which purported to show a hideous blocky thing as the future. Thankfully the designers went back to the drawing board and the latest manufactured images show some imagination. Apparently, potential buyers don’t need to live in Cheshire or play football – anyone can have one, provided, obviously, they have got some money.

Parent company Volkswagen are behind this. Recently, our Prime Minister met the VW Boss at the Bentley works in Crewe where it was announced that an investment of some £800million is to be spent at Bentley securing future models and also creating some one thousand jobs, which is great news for the region. On that basis we are prepared to accept that a Bentley SUV will arrive on the scene circa 2016.

This new leviathan will share much of its underpinnings with similar ‘next generation’ models like the huge Audi Q7, the desirable Porsche Cayenne, and the excellent VW Toureg. With these great cars available it kind of begs the question, ‘Why build the Bentley’? Well, the company are saying that not only do they intend this to be the most powerful SUV on the road but also the most luxurious. Possibly it will be a brother to the Lamborghini Urus SUV.

If that’s the case we should probably expect a version of the stupendous six litre twin-turbocharged W12 engine and it has also been suggested that a V8 may be on the cards as well as a more ecologically sound hybrid. No doubt many more details will be revealed over the next couple of years and maybe we’ll get a proper look at it around the motor shows. Expect to pay somewhere around the £150,000 mark at a guess.

Bentley has come a long way. In olden times they were the car to buy instead of a Rolls Royce. Now they very much have their own identity and are unquestionably brilliant vehicles. SUV’s have become very popular and it is something of a surprise. There was a time when drivers wanted low and sleek not something about the size of a Churchill tank. Changing times and Bentley are changing with them.

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The Fall And Rise Of The Super Car

Over the past couple of years motoring writers have been hinting at the demise of the hypercar and indeed high powered sports cars generally. They have been saying that we must all look forward to a brave new world of economy, twin-air engines and the noiseless advance of alternative technologies. Endless streams of bureaucracy seem to support this.

Well, it turns out that car makers haven’t been listening and it appears that rumours of the death of the supercar have been greatly exaggerated. Following the Geneva Motor Show it is clear that many manufacturers see an on-going market for these great and powerful machines for those who can afford it.

The Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Black is a case in point. It has gull-wing doors, gulps fuel and causes cracks in the time-space continuum under acceleration and is, on the face of it, completely daft. So why do M-B insist on making it and why do we really, really want one – even if it means paying a quarter of a million pounds?

Porsche’s eminently useable 911 is fine but the company believes that what drivers truly want is a racing car for the road, which is why the 911 GT3 continues to be available in all its awesome awesomeness. In the same vein, Jaguar have been content – until now – to rest its sports car history on the E-Type from years ago so why, in these times of financial woe, would they even consider building and selling the new F-Type V8 S (pictured)? For around a reasonable £80k enthusiasts can buy this future classic which in its way is as good looking as the ancestor.

The Italians of course do not concern themselves with trivialities like global warming and the like; they much prefer to ogle the girls on the Via Veneto and drive cars from Lamborghini. There’s the new Veneno – a snip at £3.1 million – or for those less flush with Euros, the Aventador. It is also why Ferrari’s idea of a family hatchback is the FF and for a million quid will sell you LaFerrari, the replacement for the legendary Enzo.

The list goes on. Rolls Royce have raised the bar with the truly magnificent Wraith and Bentley are producing the GT Speed. If you don’t like two doors then the Bentley Flying Spur is the answer which has the same W12 engine and offers similar performance.

All this hot metal suggests that the furore surrounding climate issues and the need for eco-cars is settling down as manufacturers choose to give their customers cars that they want as well as cars that they should have. Great strides have been made in engine technology, so much so that the above mentioned SLS only produces 321g/km of the nasty stuff. Obviously that’s quite a lot but is way superior to what it would have been just a few short years ago.

If you still believe in alternative power sources but want an SLS they can do you a fully electric version for only one hundred thousand pounds more. It has a battery the size of a house coupled to four electric motors but thanks to something called the ‘SLS eSound’, makes noises like a proper car. The trouble is, most of us like meat with our potatoes. Which is why the true supercar will live on for a while yet.

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The Need For Bentley Speed

At a time when motorists are really feeling the pinch it seems strange to be announcing luxury new cars. We’ve had the new Bugatti Galibier confirmed and the latest Range Rover announced. Now there’s a new Bentley. Well, not entirely new but rather a major upgrade to grace the pages of our car blog.

Someone must have had a word in the collective ear at the Bentley works in Crewe a few years ago because the cars these days are just a bit special. Once a prestigious, if stately brand, their recent cars are becoming more and more desirable to driving enthusiasts – those that can afford it, anyway. The photo shows just how sleek this famous name has become.

Ladies and gentlemen – introducing the Bentley Continental GT Speed. This is the new four wheel drive flagship of the range. Capable of 205 miles per hour this is the fastest road car that Bentley have built. This is thanks to a six litre twin-turbo W12 engine pushing out a not inconsiderable 616bhp with 590lb.ft of torque available throughout most of the rev range.

All this power is delivered through a new 8-speed ZF close-ratio auto ‘box and engine software described as state-of-the-art. All this adds up to a 0-60mph time of just four seconds – impressive for such a big car. It will whisk you to 100mph in a breath-taking 9 seconds. Impressive stuff. As you would expect, an enhanced chassis is matched with uprated suspension, which also lowers the car by 10mm all round, and re-tuned steering. The 4×4 system is weighted 60:40 biased to the rear wheels which should give an accomplished ride in even the worst of road and weather conditions.

To make the distinction clear from other, similar cars in the Bentley range the GT Speed sports unique 9.5J x 21-inch ten spoke wheels, various trim upgrades and exclusive tail pipes. Inside, the luxury continues, featuring as it does the Mulliner Driving Specification, including quilted and perforated leather seats and a variety of optional finishes including the latest infotainment devices, as you would expect. Despite the venerable name this car is the epitome of a contemporary sports coupé .

If you are in the mood to cast off the pall of gloom hanging over British motoring and can afford the frankly not unreasonable £130k or so for this hunk of automotive beauty then orders are being taken now with delivery starting around October time. Form an orderly queue.

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