Far be it from me to criticize others for trying to leverage profit. I like capitalism, so charging rich folks ridiculous amounts of money for trifles only the hoi oligoi can afford is just ducky with me. Some years ago (you can figure out when from the prices) I remember reading an automotive column at the New York Times or the Wall Street Journal which said that when you’re buying an expensive German car, a S-Klasse Mercedes Benz or a BMW 7 Series, you have to be careful when checking off items on the options list, because you can easily turn a $80,000 car into one nicely into the six figures. My thought at the time was that not many folks were scrimping to make the payments on an S or 7 and that if you could genuinely afford spending 80 grand on a car, you could probably swing the payments on one costing 25 or 30 percent more. Still, the prices that companies like Porsche and Ferrari charge for some of their optional features are worthy of note, and possibly mockery for the seller and buyers as well. Well, you can put Terry Southern’s Magic Christion on the DVD player or cue up Badfinger’s Come And Get It, because today we’re going to look at how some fools part with their money, sonny.
No sooner did Bentley confirm that they will indeed be producing a premium priced crossover, then Rolls-Royce CEO Torsten Mueller-Oetvoes announced that they will join the other British ultra luxury marque in offering a utility vehicle, likely to cost even more than the Bentley, which is expected to start at about $250,000.
With Jaguar, Infiiniti and other manufacturers eyeing the booming segment of entry level luxury crossovers, Bentley is creating a new segment at the other end of the luxury spectrum. Bentley has greenlit for production a $250,000 premium crossover utility vehicle that will be based on a Volkswagen Group platform shared with the next generation Audi Q7 and a proposed CUV from Lamborghini, shown as the Urus concept.
The English High Court is trying to stop it, but it’s hard to know how much authority they have over the upcoming USENIX Security Symposium. If, as I suspect, the answer is “None”, then attendees to that event will be treated to a presentation on how to break the Megamos Crypto system, the RFID-based immobiliser that prevents counterfeit and physically-copied keys, to say nothing of plain old “hot-wiring” at the ignition switch, from starting the Bentley Continental GT that, apparently, uses it.
Of course, some of you will have already considered that if the system is in use in the CGT, it’s in use in the Phaeton, and probably the Touraeg, as well. You’re right, and there are far more cars at risk than just those.
Bentley Motors today has confirmed that a fourth model will join the Bentley lineup, this one a SUV, and that it will be built at the British luxury car maker’s Crewe plant starting in 2016 after a £800 million ($1.228 B USD) investment in the facility. The automaker says that over 1,000 new jobs will be created to manufacture the unnamed SUV, which is said to look nothing like the widely criticized EXP 9F concept shown last year. A very basic sketch of the planned vehicle was also released. The company said that Bentley customers have responded “extremely” positively to the idea of a SUV that wears the winged B and claims that the car will be “a thoroughbred Bentley” and have styling that sets “it apart from any other SUV on the road”. Like the company’s Continental models which are related to the Audi A8 and Volkswagen Phaeton, though, the new Bentley SUV will likely share a platform and components with other VAG vehicles.
Bentley press release below. (Read More…)
As the Bentley SUV continues its inevitable march towards production, the latest news from Bentley itself is that the SUV won’t be built in its famed Crewe, England factory, but in Bratislava, Slovakia.
Today’s edition of Monday Mileage Midget is brought to you by the state of Florida.
Palm trees. Retirement communities. Traffic signals and double yellow lines that are treated as mere suggestions. Florida has become an economic juggernaut thanks in large part to cheap housing, plenty of sunshine, and legal loopholes that allow well deserving retirees and unethical douchebags to live on the cheap.
There is one other unusual reality benefit of living in Florida… low mileage cars.
In the olden days, when a Bentley was a rebadged Rolls Royce (or vice versa), it was easy to mistake one for the other. Bentley cleverly leveraged its “smart shopper” image into sales that were an order of magnitude higher than those of Rolls. Ever since Volkswagen forgot to check the trademark files, and subsequently lost Rolls to BMW while keeping Bentley (to still much bigger success), those days are over, and the respective overlords in Wolfsburg and Munich get alarmed if there is any confusion. The news still haven’t reached Indonesia, or so it seems. (Read More…)
Bentley is set to kill off its iconic 6.75L turbocharged V8 – and this time it’s for good.
I don’t think anybody else in automotive journalism can make this claim: I’ve put in nearly 37,000 miles behind the wheel of a Bentley Continental GT, in places as disparate as New York City’s West 48th Street (home of Rudy’s Music), the rural roads of northern Kentucky, and the Climbing Esses at Virginia International Raceway. Forget a lead-follow press event or the rich-for-a-week-wannabe experience of a loaner car: every mile I spent behind the Bentley’s wheel was at my own expense.
Of course, I’m speaking literally here: I’d actually purchased the piano-black-wood-rimmed steering wheel from a Continental GT and installed it, along with a set of Bentley paddle shifters, into my 2006 VW Phaeton V8. When I finally got around to driving the real thing, I couldn’t believe how close the driving experience of the $190,000-plus Bentley was to that of the $68,000 Volkswagen. “This car,” I thought at the time, “is a Phaeton for idiots, which is really saying something.”
Five years later, the Continental GT is still a Phaeton for idiots, except now it’s an old Phaeton for idiots. Old, tired, and showing no signs of life despite a twin-turbo-V-8 heart transplant. It’s time to pull the plug on a car that never even deserved to be called a Bentley in the first place.
A significant detour on the way to work had me spotting this – a modestly priced house on a busy arterial road in a working-class area nestled between two notorious neighborhoods in Toronto. Jane-Finch and Black Creek.