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.
We’ve only reached the middle of March, but we’re already beginning to think that if there ever were an award for “Breakthrough Tuner of the Year”, the British tuning company, Amari Design, would run away with it. In the six weeks that they’ve come to our attention, Amari Design has already released three strong tuning programs: the Lamborghini Gallardo Invidia Edition, the Range Rover Windsor Edition, and now, the Bentley Continental GT Evolution.
The last of these projects is their latest offering, which is made all the more impressive considering that we didn’t even know these guys existed when the calendar struck 2011. For theContinental GT, Amari Design gave the car’s exterior a number of modifications, including a new front bumper, lip spoiler, a new hood, fenders, side skirts, panel extensions, a new rear bumper, rear diffuser, rear spoiler, and exhaust. All these components were made from high-quality plastic and carbon fiber. Inside the car, you’ll find plenty more improvements, including re-upholstered seats using Alcantara and Nappa leather and carbon fiber trimmings on the dash paneling.
Not much was divulged on the engine improvements, although the tuning firm did say that they were installing a hybrid supercharger to the Bentley’s 6.0L W12 engine to go with an ECU upgrade and in the process, bump up the Bentley’s output up to 750 horsepower.
The next step for these guys is to actually show one of their products – maybe all three at the same time – so we can ogle over them and see whether these guys are as good as we think they are.
It’s kind of amazing how Bentley has managed to stay on top of its game despite having only one model to work with: the Continental. Sure, the Mulsanne has come and arrived, but for the longest time Bentley was a one-model company. That is if you don’t include the number of alliterations the Continental has come in.
According to Autocar, now that the 2011 Continental GT is here, the boys at Bentley have bigger plans for the new model.
To diversify the new Continetal model, Bentley is looking into following in the blue print Porsche has constructed with the 911. That means different variants of the model offered in different derivatives, including special editions.
For their part, Bentley is looking at keeping interest in the brand and keeping drastic sales fluctuations at a minimum, thus the intention of spreading the brand’s volume more evenly than in the past. “We’ve learned that we need to smooth fluctuations,” said Bentley marketing chief Aladair Stewart.
The move is expected to bolster sales of the brand and keep its line-up fresh. There’s something to be said about the formula Porsche uses with the 911. Now, Bentley is looking to follow suit with the new Continental.
True to its reputation as one of the most elegant and classiest car brands in the world, Bentley recently released a video of its new flagship sedan, the Mulsanne, being taken for a lovely ride along the streets and hills of Scotland.
If you’re looking for smoking tires or screeching brakes, you won’t find either of those things in this video. What you will find is the Mulsanne in all its high-brow glory in a leisurely drive around the countryside. No frills and certainly no thrills; only class personified - just the way the Bentley Mulsanne likes it.
It’s no secret that the new 2011 Bentley Mulsanne is a lot more expensive than most cars being released these days. And by a lot more, we mean a lot more. Regarded as a luxury car unlike any other, the Mulsanne was created by Bentley with an objective of infusing old-school coach-building techniques with state-of-the-art technology and build a one-of-a-kind luxury car that would be the envy of its competitors.
In this video detailing the construction of the Mulsanne’s body at the company’s production facility in Crewe, England, Bentley’s project director, Ashley Wickman explains the fundamental design for the Mulsanne project from the car’s fundamental designs based on their concepts all the way to the production of each individual panel that will eventually comprise the Mulsanne’s body. According to Wickman, the whole process of building the body of the Mulsanne takes about 170 man-hours of painstaking labor.
It goes without saying that when building a car with the stature of the Mulsanne, even the minutest of details matter, which is precisely why the Bentley Mulsanne is what it is: a super-duper luxury car that a lot of us can only dream of riding – let alone, owning.
In an effort to cultivate the minds of young artists in London, Bentley recently partnered with the Royal College of Art in London for a design competition for 18 students to design futuristic concept proposals.
Over the past few months, the 18 Vehicle Design Course Masters students participating in the “Bentleys of the Future” went balls-out with their creations. Eventually, the field of 18 was whittled down to four students: Bora Kim from South Korea, Germany’s David Seesing, Mika Heikkinen – not, not the ex F1 World Champion – and Marten Wallgren from Sweden.
Over the next few days, the four designers will try to improve on their designs and, with the help of their course tutors and EXA’s analysts, these four hope to impress the review panel led by Bentley design chief Dirk van Braeckel and Raul Pires, Bentley’s Head of Exterior Design.
As for what’s up for grabs, all four are vying for an opportunity to be invited to Bentley’s design studio where the winner and the runner-up will be given a once-in-a-lifetime internship at Bentley’s office in Crewe, England.
Christine Gaskell, Member of the Board for Personnel at Bentley Motors, has been following the competition closely and was not afraid to voice her excitement over the prospect of yet another brilliant young designer
joining the fold at Bentley.
“Bentley Motors has long-established apprentice and graduate schemes and we are always seeking to find new ways to encourage and support people who want to work in the motor industry,” she said. “We look forward to welcoming some of the Royal College’s brightest and best to our design team later this year.”
Press Release after the jump
Bentley knows how to put their talents and resources to good use and for the night they showcased it, they were able to raise £70,000 for the Christie cancer hospital in Manchester.
Showcasing artworks done by the men and women of Bentley’s design and styling team, the invitation-only gala auction drew over 300 guests all bidding for a chance to win one of the artworks and, at the same time, give their contributions to the Christie cancer hospital.
Among the artworks available for auction included sculptures, paintings, photographs, and digital art, all of which were made by the same in-house team responsible for the design and creation of a few of Bentley’s notable cars including the Continental GT and the all-new 2011 Mulsanne.
The collection included a vast array of sculptures, painting, digital art and photography all created by Bentley’s in-house design team, who are better known for the creation of iconic cars such as the Continental GT and the new Bentley Mulsanne.
In the end, the gala turned out to be a successful one with the event raising over £70,000 for the hospital
“It is a pleasure and a source of great pride to see the creativity of our design team applied beyond our motor cars,” said Dr. Franz-Joseph Paefgen, Chairman and Chief Executive of Bentley. “This artistic skill is rarely seen outside the design studio so this unique collection has provided Bentley enthusiasts with the opportunity to own a real piece of Bentley design history.”
The auction was conducted by James Knight, international managing director of Collectors Cars at Bonhams.
The men and women behind Bentley will be holding an invitation-only art auction at the Bonhams auction house on December 1. The auction, which was organized to benefit the Christie Hospital in Manchester, England, will include a “vast array of sculptures, painting, digital art and photography. Created in many different media, from sculptures in bronze and set in wood, to metal and leather, to Perspex, to palette knife and brush paintings on canvas, the works showcase the imagination of the men and women who design Bentley cars."
The artistic minds of the Bentley designers – a total of 22 designers participated in the whole project – was evident after the Bentley brass proudly displayed 10 of the soon-to-be auctioned off pieces to international customers and press members during the Frankfurt Motor Show. According to Dirk van Braeckel, head designer, “the work embodies the best aesthetics possible, with advanced technology in the forefront, a combination of the work we do technically with a passion for the brand that is very very strong in this team.”
If you’re interested in any of the artworks and would like to post a bid on any of them, you can do so at their website until 12 noon of December 1. You can also check out the items up for bid at the same site.
Press release after the jump.