Bentley Arnage Limousine 2005
Reinforcing its position as the only manufacturer to offer genuine coach built commissions, and following a year of significant growth, Bentley Mulliner is proud to reveal a new Bentley Arnage Limousine, built in direct response to the wishes of Bentley customers around the world. Unlike cars such as the State Limousine or Bentley's popular high roof Arnage which are intended to present their occupants for ceremonial purposes, the new limousine has been designed for those who value their privacy above all else.
Bentley Continental Flying Spur 2005
A little over two years ago Bentley Motors stunned the world by unveiling a Grand Tourer masterpiece, Bentley Continental GT coupé. Now, only 12 months after the first deliveries of that extraordinarily successful car, we are proud to announce the arrival of the fastest four-door in the company’s history; a car that shares the heart and soul of the 198mph coupé from which it is born – Bentley Continental Flying Spur.
Bentley Azure Convertible 2006
Bentley first hinted that a new Bentley Azure might be in the pipeline when it unveiled the glamorous Arnage Drophead Coupé show car at the Los Angeles Auto Show in January 2005. The show car stimulated such interest among Bentley aficionados that the decision was quickly taken to continue its extensive development programme in time for delivery of the first customer cars in Spring 2006. Last month, Bentley announced that the production version of the show car would carry the evocative Azure name. Like its iconic predecessor, which was in production from 1995 to 2002, the new Bentley Azure becomes the flagship of the Bentley model range.
Bentley Arnage T-24 Mulliner 2004
Bentley Motors is pleased to announce a limited run of special Bentley Arnage Ts to commemorate Bentley's historic sixth win in the Le Mans 24-hours. Just 24 of these cars will be offered for sale in the US, while a handful will be built for the UK and Continental Europe. With extensive use of carbon-fibre and the replacement of much brightwork with body-coloured panels, the Bentley T-24 will have a unique appearance and be the most sporting-looking saloon ever to be designed at Crewe.
Bentley Continental GT
What would happen if you took VW's flagship car, the Phaeton, draped it with sexy coupe bodywork, added 2 turbos to the engine, and finished the interior in real wood, leather, and metal? You'd have a Bentley Continental GT. The Bentley shares its basic architecture with the VW Phaeton. The Bentley's engine is a twin-turbo version of the Phaeton's 6.0-liter W-12 engine, and that engine is placed in front of the front axle, just like in the VW. The suspension setup is also nearly the same, with air springs and multiple links front and rear. The Bentley's interior is mostly unique, but the steering wheel and switchgear are obviously from the VW parts bin. It is an extremely luxurious car, but it doesn't have the feeling of bespoke craftsmanship that Bentleys have traditionally been known for. The Continental GT is Bentley's "entry level" car, but it is easily the fastest Bentley ever. Bentley's engineers assure us that no part larger than a shoe box is shared between the VW Phaeton and the Continental GT, but the Bentley suffers from obvious compromises resultant from sharing its layout with the VW. The interior is full of real wood and aluminum, but the shiny grille on the front of the car is actually chromed plastic. The biggest contradiction of all is the one stemming from the disparity between what you hear and feel and what the speedometer says. There is simply no sensation of speed at any velocity you're likely to encounter. Acceleration could be compared with taking off in a jet; it is so linear and smooth that after it begins, it continues unabated seemingly in perpetuity. "You can't tell how fast you're going" has become a standard cliche when used to describe large luxury cars, but the Continental GT certainly elevates the requirements for that cliche's use to a new level. Wind noise is almost nonexistent even at double the highest speed limit in the U.S. and the suspension manages both to filter out bumps and avoid any wallowing. At 75 mph you could literally close your eyes and swear you were going 10 mph. Indeed, the Continental GT may be the ultimate Autobahn luxury cruiser. If there is one thing this car does better than perhaps any other, it is eating miles in complete luxury and isolation at speeds comparable to a plane. The Continental GT is more about luxury and style than tearing up back roads. The sheer volume of high-quality wood, leather, and machined aluminum in this car's interior would surely impress anyone who'd never been in a Bentley or Rolls-Royce before. Even a jaded Mercedes-Benz S-class driver might be wowed by the real metal accents and the prominent Breitling clock. The materials and switchgear are a substantial cut above anything available from your local Mercedes or Lexus dealers. Many on our staff find the interior faultless. That said, the feeling of tailor-made craftsmanship isn't there to some of us. Previous Bentley owners we've heard from find the overall effect cold and common compared with the Bentleys they are accustomed to. We doubt Bentley concerns itself much with these folks anyhow; the company expects 75% of Continental GT's to be sold to so-called "conquest customers," people who haven't owned previous Bentleys. Sharon Osbourne and Denzel Washington, both of whom have reportedly purchased Continental GT's, will surely enjoy their cars. The Continental GT's only real competitor in the mid-$100,000 grand touring coupe segment is the Aston Martin DB9. The DB9 feels more special inside, and it is more involving and fun to drive. The DB9's better weight distribution pays off in more neutral handling and faster responses in transitions. On paper, the Bentley should be much faster, what with its 100-horsepower power advantage. But look at curb weight figures and the Bentley's advantage is flipped on its back. The Bentley is a staggering 1375 pounds heavier than the Aston Martin. When power to weight ratios are compared, the DB9 is actually better by about 11 percent - a significant advantage. The Bentley can't catch up until it is well into triple-digit speeds, where only aerodynamic drag and power matter. The DB9 won't reach 200 mph (it tops out at 186 mph), but at speeds driven by all but the most flagrant flouters of US speed laws, it is the quicker car. Where does that leave the Continental GT? Frankly, we're a bit divided on the issue. Some of us are smitten with the car's elegant interior, license-shredding top end, and commanding presence, while the rest of us are disappointed with the enormous weight, mediocre handling, and feeling of being a tarted-up VW. In the end, it doesn't matter what we think. Bentley has sold out production of the Continental GT for at least the first year.