Bentley Unveils Teaser Image of Super-Luxury SUV

BentleySUV

After years of having to drop the tykes off at practice in a ho-hum Land Rover Range Rover, the long-neglected 1 percent soccer-mom demographic finally will have an SUV worthy of their socioeconomic status. Super-luxury English automaker Bentley has confirmed that its super-luxury ute will start dropping off child athletes in opulent fashion in 2016 and has released the first teaser image.

Bentley EXP 9 F Concept at the 2012 Geneva International Motor Show 

Bentley says SUV production will take place at its manufacturing plant in Crewe, United Kingdom, and is part of a $1.3 billion investment in new-model and facility development over the next three years. The company expects to sell about 3,000 SUVs a year.

By Matt Schmitz | March 25, 2014 | Comments (4)

2014 Bentley Flying Spur: First Look

2014-bentley-flying-spur
  • Competes with: Rolls Royce Ghost, Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG
  • Looks like: An updated "entry-level" Bentley, with cues from the Mulsanne
  • Drivetrain: 616-hp, twin-turbocharged 6.0-liter W-12, eight-speed automatic transmission, standard all-wheel drive
  • Hits dealerships: This spring

Bentley has updated the sedan version of its Continental coupe, dropping the Continental name and simply calling it the 2014 Flying Spur. The move makes the Flying Spur its own line that's separate from the Continental coupe, and it makes sense given the significant styling departures from the recently refreshed 2013 Continental. Power comes from a standard twin-turbocharged 6.0-liter W-12 engine now making a whopping 616 horsepower and 590 pounds-feet of torque. That's more powerful than the outgoing Flying Spur Speed model, and the automaker says it's the most powerful motor ever fitted to a Bentley sedan. That power is funneled through a ZF eight-speed automatic transmission with a 40/60 rear-biased torque split for the full-time all-wheel-drive system. It rockets the big sedan to 60 mph in just 4.3 seconds -- a 0.3 second improvement over the outgoing sedan -- and brings the Flying Spur to a top speed of 200 mph.

The sedan receives a significant refresh inside and out but still keeps traditional Bentley styling cues. The four-element headlamps and the double cockpit interior should look familiar; they join new features like the Bentley Flying B in the fender ornaments and oval-element taillamps that match the shape of the exhaust tips. The more formal profile and details such as larger outboard headlamps versus the coupe's larger inboard ones are meant to set the sedan apart from the coupe. A dizzying array of colors are available for both paint and trim, with 14 colors available for the leather interior alone and 17 exterior paint colors.

By Aaron Bragman | February 20, 2013 | Comments (1)

2013 Bentley Continental GT Speed Convertible: First Look

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  • Competes with: Rolls-Royce Ghost, Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG
  • Looks like: The "world's fastest coupe" has some convertible company
  • Drivetrain: 616-horsepower, twin-turbocharged 6.0-liter W-12 and eight-speed automatic
  • Hits dealerships: TBD

Bentley is claiming the title of "world’s fastest convertible" for the drop-top version of its Continental GT Speed; the convertible joins the lineup for 2013.

The British automaker is putting some impressive numbers behind its claim. Power comes from the coupe version's 616-horsepower, twin-turbocharged 6.0-liter W-12 paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. The coupe model's new twin-turbo V-8 isn't available on the convertible.

Bentley claims a top speed of 202 mph and a zero to 60 mph time of 4.1 seconds. A Sport mode delivers sharper throttle response and alters shift points, according to the automaker. 

By Jennifer Geiger | January 2, 2013 | Comments (4)

Bentley EXP 9 F Concept at the 2012 Geneva International Motor Show

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  • Looks like: Bentley is upping its calorie count big time
  • Defining characteristics: It's Bentley's first SUV concept
  • Ridiculous features: Pop-up picnic area complete with awning, umbrella and, of course, a champagne bucket 
  • Chances of being mass-produced: Likely, though its name will change

We've heard rumors of a Bentley SUV for a while now, and it looks like the automaker is still testing the waters, this time with the EXP 9 F Concept. The SUV looks like a portlier version of the Continental, especially up front, where it wears Bentley’s large traditional matrix grille. The concept's design suggests the automaker was inspired by fighter jets, with large turbine-looking 23-inch wheels and taillights that resemble a jet engine.

By Jennifer Geiger | March 6, 2012 | Comments (6)

2013 Bentley Continental GT, GTC V-8: Photo Gallery

2013 Bentley Continental GT, GTC V-8

Early this year, Bentley will introduce two new, more "affordable," Continental trims, featuring the first V-8 powertrain for the nameplate since 2003.

More 2012 Detroit Auto Show Coverage

The new 500-horsepower, twin-turbocharged V-8, is said to be 40% more fuel efficient compared to the W-12 models.

By Colin Bird | January 11, 2012 | Comments (1)

Bentley Contemplates SUV Model

Bentley
Ultra-luxury carmaker Bentley is in the final stages of deciding whether or not it will build an SUV model, company CEO Wolfgang Durheimer told Bloomberg BusinessWeek. The final decision will come within the first three months of the year.

If built, the SUV would reportedly cost more than $140,000, Durheimer said. Right now, Bentley's model lineup consists exclusively of the Continental group (which starts at about $180,000) and its Mulsanne flagship, which starts at $290,000. Durheimer said the company is also considering an extended-wheelbase variant of the Mulsanne and thinking about adding even more Continental trims.

Bentley's global sales soared in 2011, which was the carmaker's best year since 2007, according to BusinessWeek. The sales surge comes from Bentley’s expansion in emerging markets such as China, where sales doubled last year. The automaker also saw a 32% sales increase in the U.S., which is currently Bentley’s biggest market.

VW's Bentley Targets 'Robust' Growth as Wealthy Reopen Wallets (Bloomberg BusinessWeek)

By Colin Bird | January 3, 2012 | Comments (3)

New Bentley Continental GT, GTC V-8: First Look

New Bentley Continental GT, GTC V-8

  • Competes with: Rolls-Royce Ghost, Mercedes-Benz CL-Class 
  • Looks like: A "more affordable and fuel-efficient" Continental is on its way complete with sarcasm-filled quotation marks 
  • Drivetrain: 500-hp, twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V-8; 631-hp, twin-turbocharged W-12; six-speed automatic and eight-speed automatic transmission; all-wheel drive
  • Hits dealerships: Early 2012 

Bentley will introduce two new trims — one for the Continental GT coupe and one for the GTC convertible — powered by a new V-8 engine at the 2012 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

The new powerplant will slot underneath the W-12 engine, which also gets a power boost. This is the first V-8 powertrain offered on the Continental nameplate since 2003. The new 500-horsepower, twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V-8 features direct injection and a cylinder deactivation system. Under the right conditions, four cylinders can deactivate on the V-8. When mated to a standard eight-speed automatic transmission, Bentley expects the powertrain to deliver a 40% improvement in fuel efficiency compared to the W-12 model, which returns 12/19/14 mpg city/highway/combined. The motor will propel the Continental GT from zero to 60 mph in less than 5 seconds, and it has a top speed of more than 180 mph.

By Colin Bird | December 13, 2011 | Comments (1)

2012 Bentley Continental GTC: First Look

2012 Bentley Continental GTC

  • Competes with: Aston Martin DB9 Volante convertible, Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe
  • Looks like: Subtle changes are well worth the wait
  • Drivetrain: 567-hp, 6.0-liter W-12; six-speed automatic transmission; all-wheel drive
  • Hits dealerships: Late 2011

After taking a year off, the Bentley Continental GTC is back for a second generation. Overall, the model undergoes the same aesthetic and mechanical upgrades that the Bentley Continental GT received. To read our review of that very similar model, check out Cars.com senior editor Joe Wiesenfelder’s review here.

Whereas the previous Bentley GTC aimed to look more modern — at the expense of Bentley’s storied past —  the new model isn’t shy about showing its heritage. Like the GT coupe, the redesigned GTC gets subtle exterior changes that add more definition to the body, particularly around back: The more pronounced rear fenders and the trunk’s raised crease line help invoke images of Bentleys from long ago. You can see elements of the 60-year-old Mark VI and R-Type here.

All GTCs now get 20-inch wheels standard, with three differently styled 21-inch wheels optional. (Those are a first.)

By Colin Bird | August 26, 2011 | Comments (0)

2012 Bentley Continental GT Video

There weren’t many glaring issues with the previous-generation Bentley Continental GT. It catapulted the brand back to prominence with car buffs and celebrities. For 2012, the coupe gets a full redesign, though it might not look much different at first glance. Senior Editor Joe Wiesenfelder takes a look at the new GT and explains why the changes are so significant.

By David Thomas | July 25, 2011 | Comments (1)

Cars.com Reviews the 2012 Bentley Continental GT

2012 Bentley Continental GT

For the 2012 model year, the Bentley Continental GT undergoes a slight restyle that ultimately makes a world of difference, according to Cars.com senior editor Joe Wiesenfelder. The subtle changes make for a more boldly styled Bentley with better fuel economy and more power, too.

2012 Bentley Continental GT Review

By Colin Bird | June 17, 2011 | Comments (2)

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