2017 Bentley Continental GT Speed Black Edition
In March 2016, Bentley launched the Continental GT Black Speed special edition for the Australian market. Essentially a follow-up for the GT Concours, which features blacked-out chrome, the Black Speed was created with help from the bespoke Mulliner division and features a black exterior with red highlights inspired by the "Monster By Mulliner" concept revealed at the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show. Only a few weeks have passed since the Black Speed was announced and Bentley has launched yet another special-edition using the "Black" moniker, this time based on the range-topping GT Speed.
Unlike the Australian-only version, the GT Speed Black Edition is available for both European and U.S. customers, can be had in both coupe and convertible body styles, and in more than just one exterior color. More importantly, it features the drivetrain update the standard GT Speed just received for the 2017 model year, consisting of extra horsepower and torque, and a quicker 0-to-60 mph sprint.
Bentley says that the Black Edition was developed to "meet demand from customers for a model in the Continental line that offers both increased sporting capabilities and instantly recognizable styling cues." In other words, the Black Edition offers the stout performance of the GT Speed, but the subtle looks that other Bentleys, known for their hefty amount of chrome, can’t deliver.
Deliveries for the GT Speed Black Edition begin in the summer of 2016 in both Europe and the United States.
Updated 05/26/2016: Bentley Motors unveiled the new GT Speed and GT Speed Black Edition this week during an exclusive event in New York City. With the occasion the company released prices for both coupe and convertible versions.
Continue reading to learn more about the Bentley Continental GT Speed Black Edition.
2017 Bentley Mulsanne First Edition
At the 2016 Geneva Motor Show, the Bentley Mulsanne finally received its mid-cycle facelift after more than five years in production. The update brought a new front grille and bumper, revised headlamps, new B-shaped wings on the front fenders, and new taillights on the outside, along with new wood veneers and a new infotainment system on the inside. The same upgrade was transferred onto the Speed model and the longer, Extended Wheelbase version. At the 2016 Beijing Auto Show, Bentley unveiled the First Edition, a limited-edition package that makes the Mulsanne a more exclusive vehicle.
Available for all three models, the First Edition is mostly about interior add-ons and does very little to change the sedan’s appearance. However, the interior comes with new features such as a luxury silver vanity kit and rare wood veneer, which are more than enough to turn the standard Mulsanne into a bespoke Mulliner vehicle. Bentley plans to build only 50 examples of the First Edition across the new three-model family. Not exactly a lot compared to other mainstream manufacturers, but it’s quite a lot judging by the numerous luxury features and the expensive sticker these sedans are expected to carry.
Bentley had nothing to say about pricing, but if you have to ask, you probably can’t afford it.
Continue reading to learn more about the Bentley Mulsanne First Edition.
2016 Bentley Continental GT V8 S Convertible Art Car By Sir Peter Blake
Bentley has a special, one-off Continental GT V8 S Convertible that it’s bringing at the 2016 Goodwood Festival of Speed on June 24. Why is it special, you ask? Well, for starters, it’s an art car, which comes heavily with personalized touches from the commissioned artist doing it. That brings me to the main highlight of this particular Continental art car. The man behind its colorful design is none other than Sir Peter Blake, arguably the most famous British pop artist in the world, and the man responsible for some of the most famous cover albums in history, including the Beatles’ iconic Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album.
For this project, Sir Blake traded in his usual gig of designing cover albums in favor of designing an actual car. The fact that the car is a Continental GT V8 S only adds to the magnitude of this project. For its part, Bentley isn’t just touting this one-off project as a showpiece model. This Continental art car has actually donated this car to the Care2Save Charitable Trust, which in turn is sending it to the auction block at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. Proceeds of the auction will then go the Trust, which is responsible for providing palliative and hospice care around the world.
It’s unclear how much the Continental V8 GT S art car will cost, but considering the model itself, as well as the man who designed it and the purpose behind the car, it’s safe to say that it’s going to sell well north of the standard model’s $250,000 price range.
Continue after the jump to read the full review.
2016 Bentley Continental GT Black Speed
The Bentley Continental GT may be sold as a second-generation model since 2011, but its platform is actually 13 years old as of 2016. Sure, it received numerous upgrades throughout the years, but at the end of the day, the Continental GT rides on some of the oldest underpinnings on the market. Despite this, the British coupe is still a popular choice among wealthy customers in need of a car that’s both luxurious and powerful. And proof of that is that Bentley keeps launching limited-edition models, one of which is the Black Speed.
Based on the range-topping GT Speed, the Black Speed was created with help from Mulliner, the brand’s bespoke division. It features a unique livery that highlights the GT Speed’s sportier body kit and an interior that no longer has the Continental’s traditional wood veneer. That’s not exactly big news considering that Mulliner has crafted stone veneers for the Conti GT in the past, but Black Speed is the first to feature aluminum instead of wood.
Developed specifically for Australia and New Zealand, the Black Speed follows in the footsteps of the Continental GT Concours, a special-edition model with blacked-out chrome that was extremely popular in Australia in 2015. Only 10 Black Speeds will be sold and Bentley insists none will be offered outside Australia and New Zealand.
“We talked to some of our customers last year at the Grand Prix about doing something bespoke for Australia, something unique for this market. In the past we had the Concourse edition, where we blacked-out all the chrome and did a black finish for the first time on one of our cars... that was extremely popular in Australia. People want the aggressive version of the manufacturer car," said Bentley Asia-Pacific sales manager David Simpson. “I talked to the factory and said that I want to do something bespoke and something unique. I want to do a run of 10 cars just for our market. That’s when we came to Black Speed.”
Continue reading to learn more about the Bentley Continental GT Black Speed.
2017 Bentley Mulsanne By Mulliner
Bentley is known for producing some of the most posh and opulent vehicles on the road today. Only the finest interior materials are used by the craftsman who hand-assemble each car. But Bentley doesn’t offer a vehicle with seating for six – especially one configured with rear-facing seats. Not many automakers these days do. But when a customer approached Bentley’s customization department known as Mulliner, the company jumped at the chance to create something bespoke.
That’s just what happened here. This one-off customized Mulsanne is a full three feet longer than a standard Mulsanne, and offers seating for four in its rear cabin. A divider separates the driver and front passenger from the rear, complete with “smart glass” that changes from clear to opaque with a simple switch.
“The Mulsanne Grand Limousine showcases the exquisite craftsmanship of our in-house coachbuilder, Mulliner and exemplifies the way in which our experts consult with a customer to turn their vision into an extraordinary reality,” says Wolfgang Dürheimer, Bentley’s chairman and chief executive. “The attention to detail, quality, creativity and skill applied to every Mulliner commission is truly unique in the automotive world.”
It takes a second for the mind to wrap around the idea. A customer wanted a Mulsanne limousine, so Bentley built it. Talk about service. Unlike other luxury automakers’ customization departments, Mulliner doesn’t stop with bespoke paint colors or specialty-dyed leathers. Mulliner literally created a limo version – presumably by chopping the Mulsanne apart and adding length – for a single customer. While it’s hard to imagine the costs and labor involved, Bentley’s Grand Limousine is assuredly not cheap – not by a long shot.
Continue reading to learn more about the Bentley Mulsanne By Mulliner.
It’s kind of odd that we don’t really hear too much about theFlying Spur. It seems like most of those in the eye of the public tend to hit the road in cars like the Bentley Continental GT or the Bentley Mulsanne. Be that as it may, the Flying Spur actually accounts for more than one-third of Bentley’s sales. Offered with either a 500-horsepower V-8 or a 616-horsepower W-12, the Flying Spur sets the standard for performance and luxury in one package.
One of the best things about buying the Flying Spur, just like any other vehicle from Bentley, is that purchasing one means you can select from a long list of luxurious options from the brand’s in-house coachbuilder. With Mulliner on the scene, it’s practically impossible not to create a Flying Spur that isn’t different from the rest. There are so many different options that there are literally more than a million possible combinations. That list is getting a little bigger now, as Bentley and Mulliner have just announced even more bespoke options for the Flying Spur.
You’ll have to keep reading to hear about all of the options, but my favorite on the list has to be the option of painted veneers. It is a first for the Flying Spur, and opens the door for an even more bespoke interior, allowing customers to choose from the entire range of exterior colors to compliment the interior. To get the unique look you see in the photos, each veneer is hand sanded, lacquered, and painted, before being polished with lamb’s wool to create that shiny, mirrored appearance. It’s a nice touch isn’t it?
Well, now that we’ve talked about those painted veneers, let’s dive into the other new features available for the Flying Spur by Mulliner.
Continue reading to learn more about the 2016 Bentley Flying Spur Mulliner.
The 2016 Consumer Electronics Show is already upon us and we’ve already seen a bunch of cool concepts and car tech. From the BMW i8 Mirrorless Concept and Volkswagen BUDD-e to FCA’s fourth-gen Uconnect and Ford’s upgraded SYNC system, this year’s CES has everything an automotive nerd wants to see at such an event. However, among the state-of-the-art technology and futuristic cars that may be put in production at some point, CES also showcases more down-to-earth vehicles. Such a product is this bespoke Bentley Continental GT built by Mulliner in cooperation with audio equipment manufacturer Monster Inc.
Suggestively dubbed "Monster by Mulliner," this custom coupe brings together the performance credentials you get with a Continental GT V8 S and a state-of-the-art audio system crafted by Monster. Also, it features a bespoke interior with a stunning color scheme, special Mulliner seats, and even a 24-carat gold wireless headphone. Though it might not be the most technologically advance vehicle at CES, this Bentley is definitely the fanciest.
"Monster is proud to collaborate with Bentley on bringing the sound and look of a Monster ride to those who want something bold and different," said Noel Lee, head of Monster Inc. "With our Pure Monster Sound system, the drive will be truly incredible and brings a new level of excitement to the driving experience. That’s why this collaboration for the Continental GT V8 S is such a perfect fit. Our Monster motto ‘Always Lead Never Follow’ has never been more appropriately applied than in association with this impeccably designed automobile."
Continue reading to learn more about the Bentley "Monster by Mulliner" Continental GT .
At the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show in September, Bentley launched its very first SUV, the Bentayga. Set to become the fastest, most luxurious, and most expensive hauler on the market, the Bentayga just made its North American debut at the 2015 Los Angeles Auto Show. Alongside the standard SUV, the British firm also unveiled the Bentayga First Edition, a limited-edition version packed with bespoke features, some of which won’t be offered on the regular production model.
Basically, Bentley just created an even more exclusive variant of the Bentayga, which is already labeled as the most exquisite SUV in production. Deep-pocketed enthusiasts will be thrilled.
Although pricing has yet to be announced, the Brits did say that the Bentayga First Edition will be limited to only 608 examples. The number marks the metric power output of the Bentayga, 608 PS (600 horsepower,) which makes it the most powerful factory-built SUV. Considering that the standard model will retail from $229,100 when it goes on sale in 2016, expect the First Edition to fetch in excess of $250,000. That’s quite a lot of dough for an SUV, but I bet the First Edition will sell out in no time. Until it goes on sale, let’s have a closer look at the bespoke features that make it so special.
Continue reading to learn more about the Bentley Bentayga First Edition.
The Flying Spur is the Bentley that you might sometimes forget exists. It’s not as popular with celebrities and those who love to be seen in the 2016 Bentley Continental GT, and neither is it as awe inspiring as the bigger luxo barge that is the 2016 Bentley Mulsanne Majestic. Yet the Flying Spur makes up nearly 40 percent of Bentley’s sales, which makes you wonder what would be possible if anyone paid any actual attention to it. So to spice the car up a bit, Bentley has introduced what it calls the “Beluga Specification,” which essentially boils down to a sport-themed appearance package for the sedan.
It’s a subtle upgrade, and it doesn’t come with any extra power. But it also isn’t especially expensive, at least as far as Bentley option packages go, and it’s a nice touch for the sedan. And more important than what you get with the Beluga Specification is the simple fact that the Flying Spur is an excellent luxury car that sometimes gets overlooked in favor of its sexier stablemates.
Continue reading for my full review of the Flying Spur Beluga Specification.
The greatest testament to the prestige and authenticity of the Bentley nameplate and the street cred of the Continental GT coupe isn’t the car’s stunning blend of performance and top-shelf luxury. Nor is it its remarkable success in carrying the legend of the “Bentley Boys” forward into the new millennium. No, what really sets the Continental GT apart from the average automobile is its ability to spawn themed limited editions and still be taken seriously.
Don’t get me wrong; the Continental GT is a fantastic car, especially in GT Speed trim. And I am fully in favor of broadening the range with new trim combinations. But the fact remains that at a certain point, paint-and-trim upgrades to a car begin to erode its ability to be taken seriously. The introduction of the Breitling Jet Team-inspired limited-edition Continental GT Speed could come off like a six-figure mullet, but Bentley’s Mulliner coachworks seems to have created yet another elegant variant without watering down the model range.
Introduced in 2003, the Continental GT has been among Bentley’s best-sellers, helping to bring the company back to profitability after the recession. The Continental GT Speed Breitling Jet Team Series is a seven-car limited-production run featuring unique paint and interior trim. One car will be produced for each of the seven aircraft on the team, and the special edition debuts alongside the Breitling Jet Team at the Boeing Seafair Airshow in Seattle on July 31.
Continue reading to learn more about the Bentley Continental GT Speed Breitling Jet Team Series Limited Edition.
Bentley may lack the advantages of a bespoke division that would help it compete better against Rolls-Royce, but the luxury automaker is trying to keep more pretentious buyers happy by creating several limited-edition models through its Mulliner division. The latest project to come from the former coachbuilder is the Mulsanne Speed Blue Train, which celebrates 85 years since Woolf Barnato beat the Calais-Mediterranee Express in an epic train vs car race in 1930. But before we take a closer look at the bespoke 2015 Mulsanne Speed, I will talk about Barnato’s spectacular achievement from more than eight decades ago.
Also known as the "Blue Train," the Calais-Mediterranee Express was a luxury French night express train used by the wealthy and famous to travel between Calais and the French Riviera. It gained international fame in the two decades before World War II and received its "Blue Train" name because of its dark blue sleeping cars. In 1930, while staying in Cannen, then-Bentley chairman Woolf Barnato accepted a wager that not only could he beat the train back to Calais, but that he could also arrive at his club in London before the train even reached the English Channel, by driving a 1928 Speed Six saloon.
Barnato, who was a two-time Le Mans winner at the time, and his co-driver won the race by reaching London four minutes before the "Blue Train" arrived in Calais, thus winning the £100 bet. Barnato was later fined for by the French authorities for racing on public roads.
Continue reading to learn more about the Bentley Mulsanne Speed Blue Train By Mulliner.
The Bentley Mulsanne was unveiled at the 2009 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance as a successor to the Arnage and a competitor to the Rolls-Royce Ghost. Launched in the United States for the 2010 model year, the Mulsanne also revived a nameplate previously used between 1980 and 1992. Relatively unchanged since its introduction – there was only an equipment update in 2013 — the Mulsanne awaits a much-needed facelift in 2015. Meanwhile, the British company continues to roll out special-edition models of the luxury sedan, the latest of which is the Majestic.
Specifically crafted for the Middle East, the Majestic package brings bespoke exterior paint and exclusive 21-inch wheels to the Mulsanne, as well as additional luxury features inside. Various options that enable customers to make their version unique are also available. Bentley plans to build only 15 of these cars and sell them through selected dealers in Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates in hopes of giving Rolls-Royce’s Bespoke-crafted products a run for their money. Is the Mulsanne Majestic luxurious enough for the highly customizable and opulent Ghost Series II? Keeping reading to find out.
Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Bentley Mulsanne Majestic.