Bentley

Bentley cars

British luxury car maker, Bentley , knows how to make waves in the auto industry. Three years ago at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance , they unveiled their new flagship sedan, the Mulsanne .

On the same event three years later, Bentley followed it up with the Mulsanne Vision Concept, a convertible version of the Mulsanne and the likely successor of the Azure as their top-dollar convertible model.

While the company didn’t release official photos of the Mulsanne Vision Concept, they did drop a number of sketch photos of the convertible concept, all while touting it as the potential future of the marque’s flagship family.

"The modern, luxurious, high-tech Mulsanne saloon provides a perfect foundation on which to create the world’s most elegant convertible," said Wolfgang Dürheimer, Bentley’s Chairman and Chief Executive. "The Convertible Concept will extend the appeal of the Mulsanne family, while enhancing the profile of the Bentley brand, particularly in new and emerging markets."

The Mulsanne Vision Concept exudes the elegant and graceful form of a coach-built marque car, complete with sculpted lines and muscular haunches that convey a sense of power and movement to the luxury car. The interior of the concept was also described as having a spacious yet intimate cabin design that’s inspired by luxurious, high-performance power boats.

Noted for its unrivaled combination of chic, contemporary design, and the painstaking attention to detail and luxury refinement that Bentley is known for, the Mulsanne Convertible Concept is yet another proof that when it comes to high-end luxury, only a few can lay claim to Bentley’s position as one of the best in the business.

Almost all of the major car manufacturers are figuring out ways to go to smaller displacement engines with fewer cylinder, yet the same horsepower. This is leading to turbocharged V-6 engines replacing V-8 engines and turbo V-8s replacing V-10s and V-12s. From the looks of things, Bentley is taking a different approach.

According to reports, Bentley is moving toward larger 12-cylinder engines and away from their turbocharged V-8 engines. We’re not sure exactly why Bentley is going this route, as it is opposite of the trend, but that very well may be the only reason. This would give Bentley the exclusivity that it needs to get a leg up on its rival, Rolls Royce.

Then again, maybe Volkswagen has a slew of 6.0-liter W-12 engines left over from its W-12-powered Phaeton , which was cut from the lineup in 2012, and is deciding to fit V-8 Bentleys with this massive hunk of 444-horsepower-producing metal.

Then again, with the Azure T’s 6.8, err, we mean six-and-three-quarter-liter engine pumping out just 450 horsepower and getting 9 mpg, the 12 mpg and 444 ponies that the W-12 pumps out looks tempting. Add a little boost to it to increase the torque from its 406 pound-feet mark and you have an engine that is not only more powerful, but gets better fuel economy than the turbocharged Bentley V-8 engine.

We’ll keep an eye on this and let you know what Bentley’s plans are just as soon as we know what exactly is going on.

In keeping up to speed with the Bentley Continental GT and GTC models, the future Continental Flying Spur will also be offered in both W12 and V8 versions. Just the other day, we were able to capture the first spy shots of the W12 version, and now it’s time to take a look at the V8-powered model.

These new spy shots lead us to believe this is the Continental Flying Spur V8 because the grey prototype is equipped with a different set of exhaust pipes, similar to the ones we have seen on the GT and GTC V8 models . Those exhaust pipes should lead us to the same 4.0 liter, twin turbocharged V8 engine as in the coupe and convertible models. This engine will deliver a total of 500 HP at 6000 rpm and 487 lb-ft of torque available between 1700 to 5000 rpm. We expect the sedan version to be a bit slower than the coupe, so the 0 to 60 mph will be made in about 5 seconds, while top speed will be below 180 mph.

Expect to see the new Bentley Continental Flying Spur V8 launched sometime in 2013.

Bentley Continental Flying Spur

After offering updates for the Continental GT and the Continental GTC , Bentley has switched focus over to the Continental Flying Spur to provide it with some similar upgrades.

While most people will consider this a facelift, Bentley says the changes provided to the Flying Spur will make it a new model - just like the Continental GT. We have to admit, the changes are significant enough to justify the title. They include more upright bumpers with a new shape, new headlights with LED lights, and redesigned side mirrors. The chrome stripe at the bottom of the car has been removed and the door handles have been moved further down on the door. The Bentley has also received a slightly different roof line, new rear doors, a new bumper, and new taillights to match the headlights.

The only place left untouched on the Bentley Continental Flying Spur is its already superb 6.0-liter, twin-turbocharged W12 engine rated at 575 HP and 516 lb/ft of torque.

Expect to see the new Continental Flying Spur launched by the end of 2012.

Bentley EXP 9 F

We automotive industry folk like to read between the lines to dig up stories and sometimes we’re right, but a lot of the time we’re off the mark. One between-the-lines story is surrounding the much debated Bentley EXP 9F and its relation to the extra week that the Crewe, England plant will be shut down this summer.

Automotive plant shutdowns are no huge ordeal, as they have become pretty much commonplace in the modern automotive world. These shutdowns are designed to help reduce costs during low-production times, which are normally toward the end of the summer. The Bentley plant in Crewe, England typically closes its doors in August for two weeks to allow workers to rest and to help keep costs down, but this year that time frame has been extended to three weeks.

That would normally be chalked up as additional cutbacks, but the reasons given for the extra time off included enabling a number of facility changes in preparation for future productivity increases. Well, Bentley is not one to put out a new model each and every year and their productivity level does not change each year, so the only reason productivity would increase would be the addition of a new model. Add in the fact that the only new model that we know of in development is the EXP 9F, and you can see why we think that this extra shutdown is to get ready for the production phase of this love-it-or-hate-it SUV.

As we said earlier, we could be completely incorrect, but that slip of the tongue by Bentley is pretty telling. This is especially telling when dealing with a company that only sells fewer than 10,000 cars per year.

We’ll keep you updated with any new information or rumors that may pop up around the possible release of the EXP 9F as more news becomes available.

Posted on by Brad Anderson 14
Bentley Continental GT V8

On the back of pulling in some impressive sales figures for the start of the year, Bentley Motors has celebrated the milestone by opening a new dealership in Milan, adding to the firm’s already extensive European dealer network of 38 dealerships across the continent.

In order to kick off the opening in style, Bentley also brought the latest generation Continental GT V8 and GTC V8 models to Italy for the first time to help drum up some prospective sales in the country.

The new showroom covers an area of 250 square meters, enough to house six cars on display while workshop facilities help to conclude the new dealership. In order to provide customers with the best possible service, a specially designed window has been installed within the building to provide customers the experience to witness repairs taking place in the workshop.

The opening of this new dealership will obviously help inject some new appeal into the already-popular brand, and Bentley Motors obviously hopes that the position in the large Italian city will help attract new and existing customers to purchase from the brand.

Bentley’s regional director, Guillaume Chabin stated, “Milan has always been synonymous with luxury goods and iconic design, so it is an ideal location for a new Bentley showroom,” he said.

“The timeless design and exceptional craftsmanship of Bentley models have attracted many customers to our brand over the years, and with further representation in Italy we see significant potential to increase our sales in the market.”

Posted on by Brad Anderson 1
Bentley Mulsanne Mulliner Driving Specification

On the back of Porsche, Ferrari, and Fisker all posting extremely impressive sales figures for the first quarter of 2012, British luxury automobile manufacturer, Bentley has joined the growing list of high-end car companies increasing profits, recently posting a global sales surge of 32% over the past 6 months.

That 32 percent increase equates to 3,929 new cars being delivered to customers, and has also resulted in the U.S. becoming the firm’s largest market once again after it was overthrown by the emerging Chinese market last year. In saying that, however, sales in China skyrocketed by 55.7% in the first half of 2012, equaling 1,059 cars delivered, while the U.S. market grew by a more modest 25.7% or 1,140 new cars delivered.

These increases in sales were partly due to the rapid rise in demand for the brand’s flagship Mulsanne rising by 30%, while deliveries of the Continental GT increased exponentially by 48.5%. In addition to these impressive individual results, sales in Europe increased by 22.9 percent (607 new vehicles), the Middle East also grew by 47.9 percent (346 cars delivered) while the U.K saw a more modest increase of 4.5 percent.

Bentley’s former Chief Executive, Wolfgang Durheimer who we now know has moved to Audi, stated, “Our half year results show strong growth for Bentley in every single global region. The competition between the Americas and China continues and we are watching closely to see who will emerge as the largest region in 2012. “

“Sales are being driven up by our flagship Mulsanne which is up 30% following strong interest in the US and China. We are also pleased to see the continued growth of the new Continental GT W12, our pinnacle performance coupé,” he continued.

“I am very optimistic about the future for Bentley. We are gaining more momentum every month due to the strong performance of our global dealer network, the appeal of our existing model line to customers and the exciting future models like the Continental GT Speed we have in the pipeline.”

It’s time to put an end to all of the rumors surrounding the future Bentley SUV by talking about the real deal. Bentley has unveiled the EXP 9 F at the Geneva Motor Show. This luxury Sport Utility Vehicle concept previews the company’s third model alongside the Mulsanne and the Continental ranges.

The new EXP 9 F looks just how one would expect a Bentley SUV to look. The designers basically took the standard Bentley styling cues and hiked it up to an SUV level. It features Bentley’s famous matrix grille and round lamps, as well as an ultra-wide, two-part split tailgate and twin exhaust tailpipes.

The engine for the EXP 9 F, however, still remains a mystery. The concept was built with a 6.0 liter, twin-turbocharged W12 engine under the hood, but the company says that, for the production version, both a 4.0 liter, twin-turbocharged V8 or a hybrid drivetrain could meet the performance requirements.

UPDATE 07/06/2012: Bentley has unveiled a new set of images and a new video for their new EXP 9 F concept. Enjoy!

UPDATE 11/20/12: There’s word that Bentley has come up with a name for the production EXP 9 F. While there’s no official confirmation, but it looks like the SUV will be dubbed as the Falcon.

UPDATE 02/03/13: The Falcon has come and gone. That much appears to be the case after word has come out that Bentley has gone ahead and thrown the EXP 9 F to the dustbin. Can’t say we’re surprised, fellas.

Hit the jump to read more about the Bentley EXP 9 F concept.

Spy Shots: 2013 Bentley Continental GT Speed Completely Naked

We have already heard from Renault about its intentions of having a “big surprise” in store for the Goodwood Festival of Speed, which we all anticipate being as exciting as the final production model of the Alpine or as boring as the redesigned Clio . Now Bentley is getting in on this surprise-car theme by bringing its own new unnamed model to Goodwood.

There is very little information on this upcoming model, Actually it is a lot closer to no information than little, as the only word that we have is the luxury coach builder stating that the new model combines “stunning performance with exquisite luxury in the Bentley tradition.” By the description, it sounds almost like the Continental GT Speed that is already set to run at the Goodwood FOS, but it would seem odd to outright compete with its own sport coupe.

This could point to an even sportier car than the Continental GT gracing the "Flying B." Would we even dare to mention the term "sports car" in the same sentence as "Bentley?" If the description that Bentley gave of this car is true, then we very well may see a sleeker and sportier car bowing in at Goodwood.

We know that Bentley has broken its own mold in producing the EXP 9 F SUV concept, which will also be shown at Goodwood. This points toward Bentley’s openness to change, but is it open enough to bang out a super luxurious sports car? We’ll just have to see.

We will keep a close eye on what’s going on with Bentley and we will update you if anything else pops up. Given how tight-lipped Bentley has been so far, we will likely not know anything until the Goodwood FOS opens up on June 28th.

Click past the jump to read Bentley’s press release.

The Queen of England may not have the power that she once had, but she certainly remains a powerful figure in the hearts of all British folks. On June 2, 2012 the Queen celebrated her 60th year on the throne, which brought about a celebration dubbed the Diamond Jubilee – “Diamond” indicates 60 years, for those wondering.

In the festivities, the Queen was spotted riding around in a rather luxurious automobile that one of our readers keenly pointed out is either a Rolls-Royce or Bentley , and he turned to us for help identifying the car and telling him a little about it. Figuring he is not the only person interested in the topic, we felt that a full-on review was in order.

As it turns out, after a good amount of research, we have found out that the queen traveled around in the Jubilee in a 2002 Bentley State Limousine. This is no typical Bentley limo either, as it is fit for a… Well, Queen, of course!

Click past the jump to read our full review of the Queen’s ride.


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