Bentley has a long history of quality and extravagance. The company began as a builder of aircraft engines and high-performance cars designed with advanced technical features and unparalleled quality. Thanks to innovations like four valve heads and aluminum pistons, the company’s cars dominated the Le Mans races in the late 1920s, while the use of their engines in WWI planes such as the Sopwith Camel drew adventurous millionaires to the Bentley showrooms.
Like many luxury automakers, Bentley was nearly put out of business by the Great Depression. Rolls Royce purchased Bentley, and together they created a two-pronged approach to the luxury market: Rolls would continue to build cars for those who had chauffeurs, while Bentley would construct GT cars, combining the best technology available with the best craftsmanship.
Early on, Bentley developed a partnership with famed coachbuilders, H. J. Mulliner & Co. and Park Ward, eventually purchasing both companies and bringing them in-house to construct car bodies and interiors. Even after numerous ownership changes, the company’s manufacturing methods have been left untouched, allowing it to build cars with the same level of performance and craftsmanship that has drawn in customers for over a century.
What does this mean? While most manufacturers strive to cut assembly times of a car to mere hours, it takes time to build a Bentley.
The interior of a Bentley uses over 400 pieces of leather, each one cut from top grade hides by master leather workers. If a piece of hide even has a mark from a gnat bite, it’s rejected as this can result in premature wear. It takes 15 man-hours just to stitch the leather onto the steering wheel.
The Bentley W12 and V8 engines share basic engineering with Volkswagen and Audi products, but they undergo the same level of scrutiny as the rest of the car. Other automakers may have in-house builders for their high performance engines, but every Bentley motor is hand-built by a team with an average of 15 years of experience per person. These engines undergo tests from beginning to end to ensure durability, power and smoothness.
Each Bentley gets 120 layers of paint. Those layers are dry sanded to provide a flawless finish. To match the sheen of the paint, chrome pieces get 10 man-hours of hand polishing. And to test for a proper fit and finish, each car undergoes a monsoon-force spray of dyed water to ensure not one drop can get inside. Bentley also designs their own wheels, with each design undergoing 2,000 hours of salt water spray before approval to ensure durability.
Each interior uses approximately 70 square feet of burl walnut. This wood’s unique pattern is created by a fungal infection, and requires a century of growth to form. By using this natural phenomenon, Bentley is able to split the wood in a way that creates symmetrical wood grain patterns throughout the car.
Those interested in the Bentley experience can visit Park Place Bentley Dallas to talk with our Experts in Excellence.Comments
For those who got a peek at last year’s Mulsanne, the delicate blend of elegance and power characterizing Bentley’s latest 2013 flagship model will come as no surprise.
The reinvention of a paradox, the 2013 Mulsanne creates an experience of effortless power for drivers. It’s the result of combining performance and efficiency technology with the classic 8-cylinder configuration developed a half-century ago at Crewe, Bentley’s home in the British highlands. Starting at $296,000, the Mulsanne makes for the grandest turismo: eminently comfortable, with huge amounts of horsepower on tap for those beautiful stretches on the open road.
So, what does effortless power look like?
The inch-perfect tourer has been described as a “corner office on wheels”—a nod to Mulsanne’s custom, digitally well-furnished “Executive Interior.” High-def TV and DVD, an optional rear refrigerator complete with handmade crystal champagne flutes, and handy drop-down iPads are among the features meant to enhance one of the most fashionable passenger coaches on the market. The car is even equipped with its own Wi-Fi hotspot. These accoutrements become natural extensions of a car, which can cruise, master corners and deftly accelerate without disturbing the occupants within.
For 2013, the Adaptive Cruise Control has been integrated with an ESC Premium safety system. This mechanism helps preempt accidents by scanning the road for possible collisions. Radar sensors automatically trigger increased brake-line pressure when it’s needed most—before an emergency occurs. This means drivers can go from 0 to 60 in about 5 seconds and they can stop on a dime when the time comes.
Despite the built-in luxury for passengers, the real focus of Mulsanne is experienced in the driver’s seat. Mulsanne earns its title as the “driver’s car” de luxe with its dynamic sense of balance, sport-tuned suspension and steering, and ultra-sensitivity to a driver’s intentions. Drivers are in total control whether they are cruising at 20 or 120 mph.
When it comes to power, the smart craftsmanship makes the Mulsanne ride effortless. Despite its ultra-posh specs and satin-finished comforts, this machine is no limousine. After all, it’s named for the fastest stretch in the storied 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance contest. Peek under the hood and you’ll come face to face with a mighty, twin-turbocharged 6.8-Liter V8 armed with control systems for optimum engine response. Acceleration is easy in a vehicle that somehow makes three tons feel light as a feather.
To keep those pesky CO2 emissions under control, the new Mulsanne makes use of “variable displacement,” a ‘smart’ mechanism by which the vehicle runs on just four cylinders when lightly cruising—a major boon for fuel economy. Craving a little speed? Press the accelerator and you’re instantly back in V8 mode, ready to make use of 1020 Nm of torque and 506 hp bringing you to speeds approaching 200 mph.
From behind the wheel of this car, Dallas can quickly become a blur, or a work of art, depending on how you choose to experience it.
The Mulsanne name evokes a rich history of engineering genius. With the 2013 model, the winged ’B’ marque has gone further with the paradox of state-of-the-art tradition. In bringing classical Bentley touches—like that angle-free British cut—to bear on modern mechanics and chic accommodations, Crewe engineers have really outdone themselves. They’ve crafted a grand tourer de force unmatched in both heritage and stylistic expression, from powertrain to creature comforts.
How could Bentley possibly improve on the beautiful 2013 Mulsanne? The word out from this year’s Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance suggests a possible Mulsanne Convertible on the horizon—good news for Bentley devotees gazing longingly at Rolls Royce’s Phantom Drophead Coupe.Comments
Speed is embedded in Bentley’s history. The name dates back to our founder W.O. Bentley’s 3 Litre Speed of 1925 and the Le Mans 24 Hour race-winning Speed Six. Then as now, the pursuit of performance was balanced by the quest for refinement.
Today’s Continental GT Speed Convertible is a worthy successor. Its exceptional performance is allied to an eight-speed all-wheel drive transmission, which delivers reassuring stability year round. The Speed chassis tune delivers thrilling agility and clarity of feedback, yet also rides harsh road surfaces with supple resilience. Even the exhaust note, deeper and more exhilarating under hard acceleration, is civilised and refined during high-speed cruising. As a result, the Continental GT Speed Convertible is capable of devastating acceleration and enduring pace in equal measure, whilst at the same time, its hand-crafted interiors and supportive sports seating provide supreme comfort over long distances.
Designing a convertible combining these levels of performance and refinement brings its own unique challenges. Fortunately, Bentley has an unequalled history when it comes to convertibles, and the GT Speed Convertible is the latest, fastest and most thoughtfully-executed of all. Drive it with the hood down and a new dimension is revealed. You’re no longer an observer of the passing landscape but a part of it, with every aspect of your journey – especially the thrilling sound track – amplified in the open air. However, should you choose to close the roof, the levels of refinement, acoustic insulation and cosseting comfort provided are truly exceptional
View original article on BentleyMotors.com.Comments
As the winter nights draw in, Bentley unwraps its new collection in time for Christmas. Bentley presents a selection of desirable gifts including the timeless Bentley boys and girls range and the newly introduced racing inspired pieces.
To celebrate the 10 year anniversary of Bentley’s victory at the Le Mans 24-hour race, an assortment of beautifully crafted items reflecting a heritage of speed, endurance and true team spirit have been created. The success of Le Mans is celebrated from the retro leather weekend bags through to a distinctive set of espresso cups. The 4 cups are decorated with adventurous imagery and saucers carrying the two winning car numbers, 7 and 8. This gift will be a true joy for those who desire a touch of triumph under the tree this year.
True to the Bentley ethos of building bespoke and hand-crafted cars, the gifts reflect these core values and beliefs. One of the newest additions arrives in the entertaining form of a Geoffrey Parker Games backgammon set which draws on 50 years of hand craftsmanship. This exquisite item and everything it encompasses can be customised to match the specification of the customer’s beloved Bentley. From the hand-bound leather casing to the subtle Bentley wings on each knurled checker, absolutely no detail is overlooked. This bespoke piece allows family fun this season to be tailored to each and every individual household.
The quality of Bentley can be enjoyed by all ages this Christmas with the enchanting assortment of Bentley boys and girls items. Young driving enthusiasts can begin their journey behind the wheel early with the 1:12 scale model remote control Bentley Continental Supersports. Just like the real thing, although not quite reaching the 204mph top speed, this effortless driving experience will be sure to deliver excitement to the lucky recipient.
Lindsay Weaver, Director of Licencing and Branded Goods at Bentley Motors, comments, “The spirit of Bentley can be captured and wrapped this Christmas. From the smallest, most thoughtful gifts to the majestic, unique statement pieces, the latest collection enables Bentley to take pride of place not only on the driveway but under the Christmas tree too.”Comments
2015 is the projected debut of the exclusive super-luxury Bentley SUV. Bentley CEO Wolfgang Durheimer had hinted at such a beast for some time, and it appears that he’s kept his word, reports MotorTrend.
I’ts rumored that the SUV would be powered by a turbodiesel V-12. And to get the ball rolling, Bentley has reportedly recruited a new chief engineer: Rolf Frech – who worked with Porsche during the development and rollout of the super sport SUV, the Porshe Cayenne.Comments