The Truth About Cars » Bentley http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Thu, 27 Aug 2015 21:00:58 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.4 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars » Bentley http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com Bentley Can Stretch its ‘Brand DNA’ Quite A Ways, it Appears http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/bentley-can-stretch-brand-dna-quite-ways-appears/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/bentley-can-stretch-brand-dna-quite-ways-appears/#comments Wed, 12 Aug 2015 20:00:27 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1140002 Bentley’s upcoming SUV, dubbed Bentayga, may be shown here in all its 1:18-scale glory in leaked photos released by CarNewsChina.com. If the photos — reportedly from a Chinese toy company — resemble the final figure for the luxury automaker’s SUV, which is partially based on architecture from Audi’s Q7, that is exactly what a Bentley SUV […]

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Bentley’s upcoming SUV, dubbed Bentayga, may be shown here in all its 1:18-scale glory in leaked photos released by CarNewsChina.com.

If the photos — reportedly from a Chinese toy company — resemble the final figure for the luxury automaker’s SUV, which is partially based on architecture from Audi’s Q7, that is exactly what a Bentley SUV should look like. It’s like the automaker rolled Silly Putty on a Flying Spur and pulled it from the top and the back.

The SUV is slated to go on sale in 2017 and will be unveiled at the Frankfurt Auto Show in September.

The grainy photos and dark body color conceal a few body lines, but it’s clear to see how much the grille and D pillars have changed from the EXP 9 F concept that was shown two years ago. Four headlights are up front, instead of the concept’s two, and the lower front fascia appears to be completely different.

The model shows dual sunroofs and a lot of chrome, but doesn’t show the Bentayga’s purported W-12 engine under the hood.

Bentley’s application of its design to a much larger, much different type of car is what automakers such as Lamborghini, Maserati and others will attempt in coming years with their expanding lineups.

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Remembering Patrick MacNee and The Many Avengers Cars http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/remembering-patrick-macnee-many-avengers-cars/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/remembering-patrick-macnee-many-avengers-cars/#comments Fri, 26 Jun 2015 15:00:28 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1100201 Patrick Macnee’s son Rupert announced his actor father passed away in California at the age of 93. He was best known for portraying secret agent John Steed in the 1960s British television show, The Avengers. I was a young teenage boy when the series began syndication in the United States so you’ll excuse me if I paid a […]

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Patrick Macnee’s son Rupert announced his actor father passed away in California at the age of 93. He was best known for portraying secret agent John Steed in the 1960s British television show, The Avengers.

I was a young teenage boy when the series began syndication in the United States so you’ll excuse me if I paid a bit more attention to his co-star Diana Rigg and Emma Peel’s Lotus Elans than to Macnee and John Steed’s prewar Bentleys. However, Steed’s talent and his deadpan delivery were major factors in the show’s success. It ran for 6 years on the BBC, was syndicated for decades in the U.S. and you can still probably find it in reruns somewhere in the cable universe.

With the classic Bentleys and the Elan, The Avengers has been a favorite of car enthusiasts since the show first ran, but I had no idea just how car-centric the series was.

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Somehow, The Man From U.N.C.L.E. Thrush Buster didn’t catch on the way the Dukes of Hazzard’s General Lee did.

Of course, any secret agent movie or TV show will necessarily have a car chase or three, so there are bound to be some cool cars used in filming, but the number of cars-of-interest-to-enthusiasts used in The Avengers is truly impressive. While Macnee’s character has been associated with Bentleys, Steed originally drove a Rolls Royce, followed by an A.C. Greyhound, a Triumph Herald, an Alvis, and a Lagonda before using mostly Bentleys starting in season four.

A shot of Emma Peel's blue  Series 3 Lotus Elan because Diana Rigg.

A shot of Emma Peel’s blue Series 3 Lotus Elan because Diana Rigg.

The Avengers Forever website has five pages devoted just to John Steed’s cars, along with sections for the vehicles that the Peel character drove (plus the cars driven by Peel’s predecessor Cathy Gale, played by Honor Blackman, better known as Pussy Galore in the James Bond Goldfinger movie), as well as vehicles associated with secondary characters Tara, Mother, and Forbes. Someone on the production team must have liked Lotuses, since in addition to the white and blue Elans Peel drove, the show also featured an Europa and an Elan +2. A site devoted to the John Steed character (and Macnee), John Steed’s Flat, also has a detailed section on the cars driven in the series. If that isn’t enough, if you like British cars, you can get lost for hours at the Internet Movie Car Database’s Avengers page.

My favorite John Steed car was from the later The New Avengers series. In that show Macnee drove a Rover 3500 SD1 and a flared fender Jaguar XJ12C, essentially a road-going replica of a Jaguar Broadspeed race car. The XJC (the C is for coupe) is the most beautiful iteration of one of the best looking cars of all time and the Broadspeed cars were the maximum versions of the XJC.

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As for the late Macnee, he owned 2.5% of The Avengers’ profits so he could probably afford both classic and modern Bentleys, but it so happens he wasn’t much of a car guy. If Steed’s interest in cars appeared genuine, it was due to Macnee’s skill as an actor. When the show became a success, he bought a fashionable Jaguar S Type sedan, but he didn’t like to drive. In a 1968 interview with the Schenectady Gazette newspaper, he said, “I don’t enjoy driving. I do run a Jaguar S type, but I hate it and often lend it to my friends. As for driving in the tiny sports cars used in the series, it frightens me to death”.

Nobody would describe a prewar Bentley as a tiny sports car. They’re large vehicles no matter how sporting they were. While Macnee may have shot scenes behind the wheel of more modern machinery, the Bentleys on The Avengers were mostly props. Macnee never really learned how to drive them, keeping them in third gear for all of the motion shots where he was filmed in the car. At slow speeds, the cars would be pushed into the frame by hands in the crew. Genuine action shots required a double/stunt driver.

Ronnie Schreiber edits Cars In Depth, a realistic perspective on cars & car culture and the original 3D car site. If you found this post worthwhile, you can get a parallax view at Cars In Depth. If the 3D thing freaks you out, don’t worry, all the photo and video players in use at the site have mono options. Thanks for reading – RJS

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Hyundai Hires Luc Donckerwolke To Be New Design Boss http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/hyundai-hires-luc-donckerwolke-to-be-new-design-boss/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/hyundai-hires-luc-donckerwolke-to-be-new-design-boss/#comments Wed, 17 Jun 2015 16:05:57 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1094817 Not too long ago, designer Luc Donckerwolke abruptly quit Bentley for reasons still unknown. Now, he’ll be designing for Hyundai. Donckerwolke is joining the automaker to head its design team for both Hyundai and Kia brands, Motoring.com.au reports. Per insiders, his hiring will allow for smooth transitions into the company’s culture for Donckerwolke, and the […]

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Not too long ago, designer Luc Donckerwolke abruptly quit Bentley for reasons still unknown. Now, he’ll be designing for Hyundai.

Donckerwolke is joining the automaker to head its design team for both Hyundai and Kia brands, Motoring.com.au reports. Per insiders, his hiring will allow for smooth transitions into the company’s culture for Donckerwolke, and the retirement of current design chief Peter Schreyer in 2017.

Both designers made their mark on the industry in a large fashion. Schreyer’s biggest claims to fame are the Audi TT in 1998 and Kia’s “Tiger Nose” design language, while Donckerwolke helmed Lamborghini’s design studio at the time of the Gallardo’s debut in 2003.

Following Donckerwolke’s sudden departure, Bentley appointed Stefan Sielaff to be its head designer. Sielaff’s recent work includes the interior of the Mercedes C-Class, and heading Audi’s design studio.

[Photo credit: Bentley]

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Volkswagen Forges New Auto Union Through Reorganization http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/volkswagen-forges-new-auto-union-through-reorganization/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/volkswagen-forges-new-auto-union-through-reorganization/#comments Mon, 15 Jun 2015 16:00:41 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1092657 Volkswagen Group is reorganizing itself into a decentralized organization with four holding companies to better handle high production costs. German business daily Handelsblatt reports former BMW manager Herbert Diess will head up the first group, expected to be composed of Volkswagen, Skoda and Seat, Automotive News Europe says. Current Audi CEO Rupert Stadler will lead […]

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Volkswagen Group is reorganizing itself into a decentralized organization with four holding companies to better handle high production costs.

German business daily Handelsblatt reports former BMW manager Herbert Diess will head up the first group, expected to be composed of Volkswagen, Skoda and Seat, Automotive News Europe says. Current Audi CEO Rupert Stadler will lead the second group, featuring Audi, Lamborghini and Ducati, while Porsche CEO Matthias Mueller will be in charge of the third group made up of Porsche, Bentley and Bugatti. Finally, former Daimler truck boss Andreas Renschler will helm the last group of three, set to include VW Commercial, Scania and MAN.

The new structure is expected to improve efficiency and speed-up decision making, each group deciding what models to sell and where to sell them. The group bosses will also have a seat on the main group’s management board, while groupwide positions would be eliminated.

According to investment group Evercore ISI, the move affects mainly the mass-market trio of VW, Skoda and Seat, resulting in a unit delivering 7.6 million units annually with a combined revenue of €119.2 billion ($133.9 billion USD) and €3.2 billion ($3.6 billion) in earnings.

The reorganization also casts aside the plan made by ousted VW Group chairman Ferdinand Piech, which allowed the brands to go their own way while competing amongst each other. Industry observers say this scheme made the overall structure hard to manage, hindering quick reactions to changes in the market.

[Photo credit: Audi]

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Donckerwolke Out, Sielaff In As Bentley’s Chief Designer http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/donckerwolke-out-sielaff-in-as-bentleys-chief-designer/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/donckerwolke-out-sielaff-in-as-bentleys-chief-designer/#comments Fri, 05 Jun 2015 16:00:45 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1085457 Bentley design boss Luc Donckerwolke parted ways with the automaker Thursday, with VW Group interior designer boss Stefan Sielaff taking the helm. Donckerwolke penned numerous designs for the VW Group brand lineup in his 23 years of service with the company, Car and Driver reports, including the first-gen Škoda Fabia and Octavia, Audi A2, Lamborghini […]

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Bentley design boss Luc Donckerwolke parted ways with the automaker Thursday, with VW Group interior designer boss Stefan Sielaff taking the helm.

Donckerwolke penned numerous designs for the VW Group brand lineup in his 23 years of service with the company, Car and Driver reports, including the first-gen Škoda Fabia and Octavia, Audi A2, Lamborghini Murciélago, and recently the Bentley Bentayga, Continental GT, and EXP10 Speed 6.

The designer also never held back on his thoughts about automotive design, such as when he slammed Lincoln for copying the Bentley Flying Spur for its Continental concept, which debuted at this year’s Detroit Auto Show. After posting his thoughts on Lincoln designer David Woodhouse’s Facebook, as well as his own account, Donckerwolke and exterior design boss Sangyup Lee laid it all out for Car and Driver:

Asked to elaborate, Donckerwolke told us: “This is not respectable. Such a copy is giving a bad name to the car-design world.” And his exterior design chief, Sangyup Lee, who described the Lincoln as “a joke, seriously,” added, “It is very disappointing, especially for an exclusive brand like Lincoln.”

His comments were supported by his colleagues and the top brass at VW Group at the time, but the latter may be the reason for Donckerwolke’s departure. Though he was said to have left Bentley on amicable terms, Jalopnik posits his open criticism of the Lincoln Continental may have played some role — if not the exact role — in the designer’s sudden departure, which stunned the automotive design world despite the amicable exit. Either way, VW Group nor Donckerwolke offered an explanation for parting ways.

Taking his place as Bentley’s head of design is Sielaff, who will take on the role beginning July 1. He will report to chief engineer Rolf Frech — and not, according to Autoblog, Bentley CEO Wolfgang Dürheimer — while also maintaining his current role for the overall group, where his boss is chief designer Walter de’ Silva.

Speaking of de’ Silva, it was suggested Donckerwolke would have been among those who would have been chosen to fill de’ Silva’s role once the latter called it a day. Other possible candidates included Sielaff and de’ Silva’s preferred choice, Wolfgang Egger. Whether VW Group will either find his replacement from within the company, from the outside, or bother at all remains up in the air at this time.

[Image credit: Bentley]

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Saudi Prince Offers Bentleys To Pilots In Yemen Bombing Raid http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/saudi-prince-offers-bentleys-pilots-yemen-bombing-raid/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/saudi-prince-offers-bentleys-pilots-yemen-bombing-raid/#comments Thu, 23 Apr 2015 20:00:25 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1052425 After the end of the first phase of a military campaign in Yemen, one Saudi prince decided to reward the pilots with Bentleys for a job well done. Saudi royal family member Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal tweeted that he would give the 100 pilots involved in the bombing operation 100 Bentleys “in appreciation of their […]

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After the end of the first phase of a military campaign in Yemen, one Saudi prince decided to reward the pilots with Bentleys for a job well done.

Saudi royal family member Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal tweeted that he would give the 100 pilots involved in the bombing operation 100 Bentleys “in appreciation of their role” in said operation, the BBC reports. The tweet was shared over 28,000 times and favorited by over 5,000, with many praising the prince for his “generosity.”

However, those affected by the bombing weren’t too thrilled by the proposal. One Yemeni chastised the gesture, stating that no ambulances would be coming to the hospitals the pilots likely helped fill. Others noted the disparity between Al-Waleed’s wealth and the poverty among those in Yemen, with one Jordanian saying “100 or 200 lives for a Bentley” was how “cheap” a human life was for the Saudis.

The original tweet was eventually deleted, with Saudi media reporting the account as having been hacked; the prince himself did not claim this happened.

[Photo credit: Bentley]

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Eberhardt: No Separate Brand Above Range Rover For Ultra-Luxury SUVs http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/eberhardt-no-separate-brand-range-rover-ultra-luxury-suvs/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/eberhardt-no-separate-brand-range-rover-ultra-luxury-suvs/#comments Fri, 10 Apr 2015 10:00:05 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1041625 Though Bentley and Rolls-Royce are adding ultra-luxury SUVs to their collections, Jaguar Land Rover has no plans to put one above Range Rover. Car & Driver reports JLR North America CEO and president Joe Eberhardt stated during the 2015 New York Auto Show that such a thing won’t likely occur, adding that JLR hasn’t yet […]

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Though Bentley and Rolls-Royce are adding ultra-luxury SUVs to their collections, Jaguar Land Rover has no plans to put one above Range Rover.

Car & Driver reports JLR North America CEO and president Joe Eberhardt stated during the 2015 New York Auto Show that such a thing won’t likely occur, adding that JLR hasn’t yet seen “where Range Rover can go.” Eberhardt also said that he wasn’t too worried about the ultra-luxury SUV competition stealing sales from the high-end brand.

Presently, the most expensive Range Rover in JLR’s lineup is the recently introduced Range Rover SVAutobiography, which tops out the range with a base price of $200,490; the Bentley and Roller SUVs are expected to begin between $300,000 and $400,000 for comparison.

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Geneva 2015: Refreshed Bentley Continental GT Bows http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/geneva-2015-refreshed-bentley-continental-gt-bows/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/geneva-2015-refreshed-bentley-continental-gt-bows/#comments Tue, 03 Mar 2015 11:01:19 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1012250 Coming off a successful trip to Bathurst, the refreshed Bentley Continental GT brought its family to the 2015 Geneva Auto Show. Improvements to the GT W12, GT Speed and GT V8 S include revised front and rear bumpers, a new rear diffuser for the higher performance models, 20- and 21-inch wheels for the GT V8, […]

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Coming off a successful trip to Bathurst, the refreshed Bentley Continental GT brought its family to the 2015 Geneva Auto Show.

Improvements to the GT W12, GT Speed and GT V8 S include revised front and rear bumpers, a new rear diffuser for the higher performance models, 20- and 21-inch wheels for the GT V8, and three shades of paint, two blue and one gold.

The revisions continue with the power itself, where the 6-liter W12 jumps to 582 horsepower and 531 lb-ft, from 567 horses and 516 lb-ft of torque. The W12 also uses variable displacement to improve fuel economy by shutting down half of its cylinders.

Inside, the driver’s instrument display gains a more contemporary look, while the V8 and V8 S coupes gain a hidden storage compartment that can store and charge electronic devices.

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Geneva 2015: Bentley EXP 10 Speed 6 Revealed http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/geneva-2015-bentley-exp-10-speed-6-revealed/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/geneva-2015-bentley-exp-10-speed-6-revealed/#comments Mon, 02 Mar 2015 19:50:42 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1010826 A concept previewing “the future direction of luxury and performance,” the Bentley EXP 10 Speed 6 was unveiled at the 2015 Geneva Auto Show. Power for the two-seater Speed 6 is an advanced powertrain that may be a hybrid, if the copper exterior and interior elements are anything to go by; Bentley was mum on […]

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A concept previewing “the future direction of luxury and performance,” the Bentley EXP 10 Speed 6 was unveiled at the 2015 Geneva Auto Show.

Power for the two-seater Speed 6 is an advanced powertrain that may be a hybrid, if the copper exterior and interior elements are anything to go by; Bentley was mum on details beyond a proclamation that said powertrain may be in a future model line.

The automaker’s design language — wire mesh grill, round headlamps et al — was remade to make the Speed 6 “a dynamic sculpture, creating harmony between sharp lines and flowing surfaces and using twisted surfaces to imply speed.” Other features include custom luggage and an interior worthy of an English gentleman’s club.

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Jaguar Land Rover Recruiting Former British Military Personnel For Apprenticeships http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/07/jaguar-land-rover-recruiting-former-british-military-personnel-for-apprenticeships/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/07/jaguar-land-rover-recruiting-former-british-military-personnel-for-apprenticeships/#comments Mon, 28 Jul 2014 13:00:51 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=874353 With as many as 6,500 about to be made redundant in British military, and employers facing a skill shortage that hasn’t been seen since 1997, Jaguar Land Rover is leading the way to help former personnel gain the skills needed to compete in the civilian workplace. Automotive News reports the Anglo-Indian automaker, along with Ford […]

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With as many as 6,500 about to be made redundant in British military, and employers facing a skill shortage that hasn’t been seen since 1997, Jaguar Land Rover is leading the way to help former personnel gain the skills needed to compete in the civilian workplace.

Automotive News reports the Anglo-Indian automaker, along with Ford and Bentley, has developed an apprenticeship program aimed at so-called early leavers — those who served in the military for less than three years — meant to prepare them “for work in the automotive industry and to help them develop the skills that they need to apply to the recruitment process” within the company or inside the industry as a whole, according to Jaguar community officer Kate Birkenhead.

Programs such as this are becoming popular in every industry, thanks to an expanded budget of £765 million ($1.3 billion USD) for the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills under Prime Minister David Cameron. In turn, 510,000 apprenticeships began between 2012 and 2013, though more will be needed to satisfy industrial and economic growth by 2020, according to the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.

Aside from JLR, Ford and Bentley are establishing their own programs to help ready those seeking a career in the automotive industry, especially when 2 million vehicles might roll off the line in 2017, breaking the previous record set in 1972. Ford is building a training center in Daventry, where the Ford Masters Apprenticeship will be hosted, while Bentley aims to open a technical college with the help of Manchester Metropolitan University and Siemens AG by 2016.

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Crapwagon Outtake: Bentley Already Made An SUV http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/06/crapwagon-outtake-bentley-already-made-an-suv/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/06/crapwagon-outtake-bentley-already-made-an-suv/#comments Fri, 13 Jun 2014 15:13:24 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=843634 Our friends at AutoGuide.com have spyshots of the new Bentley SUV running around rather inconspicuously – a rather poetic notion, given that this thing is sure to be the face of vulgarity for the next decade. But contrary to many breathless reports on other sites, this is not Bentley’s first SUV.  In 1996, Bentley made 6 […]

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Our friends at AutoGuide.com have spyshots of the new Bentley SUV running around rather inconspicuously – a rather poetic notion, given that this thing is sure to be the face of vulgarity for the next decade. But contrary to many breathless reports on other sites, this is not Bentley’s first SUV. 

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In 1996, Bentley made 6 bespoke SUVs for the Royal Family of Brunei. Yes, you read that right. At a cost of nearly 3 million GBP each, Bentley used a Range Rover chassis as the basis for these (sort of) one-of-a-kind SUVs, dubbed the Dominator. Very little is known about them, aside from the bootlegged pics of the Dominator being loaded onto a plane for air freight to Brunei.

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Similar to the bespoke Ferraris made for the Sultan, the Dominator doesn’t quite count as part of the annals of official Bentley history. But these cars were indeed made by Bentley, baring Bentley VIN numbers – and they weren’t the only ones. When you’re as wealthy as the Sultan, you can pay Bentley, Ferrari or any other OEM to build custom cars for you. Not just custom trim and color combos, but actual designs and road-going concept cars. And yes, he did ask for a series of Bentley wagons to be built. Sadly, none appear to be brown.

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Volkswagen To Triple SUV Lineup In Fight Against Toyota For Total Global Sales http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/06/volkswagen-to-triple-suv-lineup-in-fight-against-toyota-for-total-global-sales/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/06/volkswagen-to-triple-suv-lineup-in-fight-against-toyota-for-total-global-sales/#comments Wed, 04 Jun 2014 11:00:24 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=836730 With Toyota still in its sights, Volkswagen plans to triple the number of SUVs in its lineup in its fight for the top sales podium among the Global Three. Bloomberg reports the current offerings — the midsize Touareg and compact Tiguan — will soon be joined by the upcoming seven-passenger CrossBlue-based SUV that will either […]

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With Toyota still in its sights, Volkswagen plans to triple the number of SUVs in its lineup in its fight for the top sales podium among the Global Three.

Bloomberg reports the current offerings — the midsize Touareg and compact Tiguan — will soon be joined by the upcoming seven-passenger CrossBlue-based SUV that will either be assembled in Mexico or Tennessee, coupe and long-wheelbase versions of the Tiguan, the Touareg and a subcompact based on either the Taigun or T-ROC concepts. The strategy would provide VW with the opportunity to meet Toyota across the latter’s range on its way to beat the Japanese automaker in global deliveries by 2018, and would build brand strength in the United States and emerging markets such as China.

Meanwhile, Audi, Bentley, Lamborghini and Porsche are also moving further into the SUV market, ranging from the Cayenne and new Macan — both of which are expected to account for 64 percent of all Porsche sales by next year, according to IHS Automotive — to the Q1 in 2016 and Urus in 2017. The overall game would net Volkswagen an operating profit boost over 6 percent of sales over the current rate of 2.9 percent, as SUVs are considered to be more profitable than other vehicles.

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2014 Beijing Auto Show: Bentley Mulsanne Hybrid Concept http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/04/2014-beijing-auto-show-bentley-mulsanne-hybrid-concept/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/04/2014-beijing-auto-show-bentley-mulsanne-hybrid-concept/#comments Mon, 21 Apr 2014 17:00:17 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=805786 While the notion of a hybrid car that features a 6.75 liter internal combustion engine might seem a bit oxymoronic to some, rich folks like to demonstrate their environmental bona fides as much as anyone. With so many supercars like the Porsche 918 or the McLaren P1 featuring hybrid powertrains that combine green cred with […]

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While the notion of a hybrid car that features a 6.75 liter internal combustion engine might seem a bit oxymoronic to some, rich folks like to demonstrate their environmental bona fides as much as anyone. With so many supercars like the Porsche 918 or the McLaren P1 featuring hybrid powertrains that combine green cred with mind-boggling amounts of total power and torque, high end hybrids have become the automotive version of eating your cake and having it too. Bentley’s new plug in hybrid concept is based on their Mulsanne flagship and they’re featuring it at the 2014 Beijing auto show. It manages to reduce CO2 output by 70% while increasing power by 25% and has a battery-only range of 31 miles (50 km).

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It must be some kind of rule in the automotive world that says that hybrid cars must be visually different from their conventionally powered platform siblings. Bentley does it with copper. On the outside, the character lines, headlamps, radiator shell bezel, badges and brake calipers all get some copper plating and on the inside copper has been applied to the switch bezels, instruments and veneer fascias. Also copper colored is the contrasting baseball style cross-stitching on the Mulliner Driving Specification upholstery, a welcome change from the near-ubiquitous French stitching one finds on leather car upholstery these days.

The latest interior styling trend, quilted leather and what may be the next trend, contrasting cross-stitching.

The latest interior styling trend, quilted leather and what may be the next trend, the contrasting cross-stitching on the armrest.

It’s not entirely clear what the production plans are for the Mulsanne hybrid. Bentley has already announced that its plug in hybrid system will be offered initially in 2017 on the SUV that the company plans to bring to the market in 2016. Since Bentley’s chairman, Dr Wolfgang Schreiber has said that by 2020 at least 90% of Bentley’s production will be available as plug in hybrids, once their first hybrid goes on sale, expect hybrid versions of other Bentleys to follow in rapid order.

Ronnie Schreiber edits Cars In Depth, a realistic perspective on cars & car culture and the original 3D car site. If you found this post worthwhile, you can get a parallax view at Cars In Depth. If the 3D thing freaks you out, don’t worry, all the photo and video players in use at the site have mono options. Thanks for reading – RJS

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Bentley Teases Us With A BRIC Of An SUV http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/03/bentley-teases-us-with-a-bric-of-an-suv/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/03/bentley-teases-us-with-a-bric-of-an-suv/#comments Fri, 21 Mar 2014 12:45:36 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=776953   Bentley has released a teaser of its new SUV, which looks to be fairly toned down compared to the EXP 9 concept. The EXP 9, as you may remember, was the last word in tastelessness, a great signal that you just liquidated your offshore account ahead of looming international sanctions. All snark aside, the […]

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Bentley has released a teaser of its new SUV, which looks to be fairly toned down compared to the EXP 9 concept. The EXP 9, as you may remember, was the last word in tastelessness, a great signal that you just liquidated your offshore account ahead of looming international sanctions.

All snark aside, the upcoming SUV will break new ground in the market, by providing buyers with an SUV positioned above the Range Rover, which is arguably the apex luxury off-roader. Bentley will leverage the same architecture as the Audi Q7, and is looking to sell about 3,500 units (similar volume to the Continental GT and Flying Spur) at a price of roughly $230,000 – there should be plenty of margin baked into the car itself, and maybe, just maybe, they won’t have to sell co-branded Breitlings anymore.

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Bentley’s $640 Embroidered Logos Emblematic of High Priced Options From Luxury Marques http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/11/bentleys-640-embroidered-logos-emblematic-of-high-priced-options-from-luxury-marques/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/11/bentleys-640-embroidered-logos-emblematic-of-high-priced-options-from-luxury-marques/#comments Thu, 14 Nov 2013 19:00:08 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=650410 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 […]

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Is that logo worth $160?

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.

Now and then you read something and you actually have some knowledge of the topic. My day job is running a one-man custom machine embroidery shop and a lot of the work that I do is for car and motorcycle enthusiasts and clubs. I regularly embroider leather and I’ve worked on some upholstery, so while reading the Autoextremist’s review of a 2014 Bentley Flying Spur that had almost $40,000 worth of options added to a $200K base price, it caught my eye that part of that forty thousand dollars was $640 for “Emblem stitching”, embroidering the winged Bentley logo on the seat headrests. By my estimation, Bentley charging $640 for embellishing the four headrests with the company logo has a profit margin of greater than 96% (assuming their embroidery equipment is already paid for). Nice work if you can get it.

For $640, I'd embroidery the entire car on jackets for you and a passenger, with matching baseball caps. Jacket: Reed Sportswear.

For $640, I’d probably embroider the entire car on jackets for you and a passenger, with matching baseball caps, maybe for three people even. Jacket: Reed Sportswear.

To give you some perspective, I was once asked by the owner of a 1978 Corvette if I could embroider the ‘Vette’s 25th Anniversary logo on the new leather seat covers he was putting in the car. I think that I charged him $75, most of it for digitizing the logo into an embroidery design, a one time fee, and since I was working on an already constructed item and needed to take special steps to be able to get it hooped and on the machine I charged a lot more for the actual stitching than I would normally charge for just embroidering a flat, blank piece of leather. Assuming I already had the design digitized, if someone gave me a piece of leather and asked me to embroider something with a stitch count similar to that of the Bentley logo, for one item I’d charge no more than $15 and for quantity contract work $5 or less, including labor and profit. The equipment isn’t cheap, a modern, single head embroidery machine today runs maybe $12,000-$15,000 new, but that’s peanuts compared to most of the machinery in Bentley’s Crewe factory. Even used in limited production, at $160 a logo, embroidery equipment gets amortized pretty quickly. Also, a logo like that takes only minutes to stitch, so labor costs for someone to operate and watch the machine are minimal. Bentley is charging $640 for about $20 worth of embroidery. Of course, if they have to match a customer’s request for a specific color thread, costs do go up. A 5000 meter spool of embroidery thread, good for hundreds, maybe thousands, of logos, costs about $7.

As I said at the outset, I don’t have a problem with making a profit and I certainly don’t object to charging people to put logos on things, since that’s what I do, but for 640 bucks, I’d not only embroider your logo on the leather for a carfull of of headrests, I’d put the logo and a detailed embroidery of the car itself on a couple of made in the U.S.A. matching Nappa leather jackets, jacket price included. I guess I have to figure out how to market my embroidery services to Bentley buyers.

Ronnie Schreiber edits  Cars In Depth, a realistic perspective on cars & car culture and the original 3D car site. If you found this post worthwhile, you can get a parallax view at Cars In Depth. If the 3D thing freaks you out, don’t worry, all the photo and video players in use at the site have mono options. Thanks for reading. RJS

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Rolls-Royce “Intensively Thinking About” Selling An SUV http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/09/rolls-royce-intensively-thinking-about-selling-an-suv/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/09/rolls-royce-intensively-thinking-about-selling-an-suv/#comments Thu, 12 Sep 2013 12:00:02 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=516585 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. The least expensive […]

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Illustration by Garrett Bradford. All rights reserved, used with permission.

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.

The least expensive Rolls-Royce, the BMW 7 Series based Ghost, starts at more than that price. BMW owns Rolls-Royce while another German automaker, Volkswagen, owns Bentley. “We are intensively thinking about entering the SUV segment,” Mueller-Oetvoes told Bloomberg in an interview at the Frankfurt auto show. “The SUV segment is very interesting. It has been incredibly stable during the crisis, and I think a luxury niche will develop.”

Crossover frenzy seems to be gripping the auto industry at all price points, including among luxury brands. The Rolls-Royce announcement follows previous news that Maserati would sell the Levante SUV starting in 2015 and CUV concept reveals at the Frankfurt Motor Show by both Jaguar and Infiniti.

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Illustration by Garrett Bradford. All rights reserved, used with permission.

 

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Bentley Greenlights Quarter Million Dollar Crossover http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/09/bentley-greenlights-quarter-million-dollar-crossover/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/09/bentley-greenlights-quarter-million-dollar-crossover/#comments Wed, 11 Sep 2013 18:27:37 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=515961 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 […]

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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.

VW Group has been fairly adept at slicing their luxury wurst carefully so that its premium brands don’t directly compete with each other, so the Lamborghini CUV is likely to slot in below the Bentley in price. The new Bentely CUV, expected by some to wear the name Falcon, will likely go on sale in 2016. Though roughly based on the EXP 9 F concept, Bentley says that there will be significant changes in the production version. The EXP 9 F, pictured above, was widely criticized for its styling.

While the Automotive News story on the new Bentley CUV says, “In the future, new and redesigned Bentley vehicles will share platforms and engines with other Volkswagen Group brands,” that’s not a new situation since the Bentley Continental models already share a platform with the Audi A8 and the VW Phaeton. Bentley currently uses brand specific engines but they are all VW Group designs built in a VW Group factory.

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Megamos Crypto Is Broken And Your Bentley Is Gonna Get Ganked http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/07/megamos-crypto-is-broken-and-your-bentley-is-gonna-get-ganked/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/07/megamos-crypto-is-broken-and-your-bentley-is-gonna-get-ganked/#comments Sun, 28 Jul 2013 19:29:50 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=497243 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 […]

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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.

A brief bit of research suggests that every VW Group product made since circa 2001 or even earlier uses the Megamos Crypto system. Porsches may also be involved. A real-world implementation of the hack that will be demonstrated at USENIX could theoretically be launched from near the car; once it’s done its thing, any car thief should be able to do the whole “gone in 60 seconds” business with it. There’s apparently a well-distributed hack that allows BMWs to be started and stolen once access to the OBD-II port is gained, so in this manner at least Audi is doing a solid job of catching up to the Bavarian market leaders.

While the British High Court might still be naive enough in 2013 to think that this kind of knowledge can be suppressed by legal fiat, the rest of us out there might want to take some advice from Antoine Dodson: Hide your Audi, hide your Gallardo, ’cause they’re stealing every one out there!

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Bentley Confirms SUV, Built at Crewe, for 2016 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/07/bentley-confirms-suv-built-at-crewe-for-2016/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/07/bentley-confirms-suv-built-at-crewe-for-2016/#comments Wed, 24 Jul 2013 12:30:58 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=496792 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 […]

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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.

GREEN LIGHT FOR BENTLEY SUV

-Fourth model line to be built in Crewe
-Sales will begin in 2016
-Over 1,000 UK jobs created
-New model will be true to Bentley’s brand hallmarks
-Extremely positive customer response to an SUV by Bentley

(Crewe, 23 July 2013). Bentley Motors today confirms that it will proceed with the development of the Bentley SUV, the company’s fourth model line. The SUV will be made in Crewe and will go on sale in 2016. It will create over 1000 jobs in the UK. Over the next three years Bentley will invest more than £800 million in its headquarters at Crewe and the development of new models.

UK Prime Minister David Cameron, who was present together with Dr Martin Winterkorn, Chairman of the Board of Volkswagen Group for the announcement at Bentley headquarters in Crewe, said: “This £800 million investment and a thousand new jobs from Bentley is fantastic news for both Crewe and for the UK as a whole. It is another important milestone in strengthening our economy.

“One sector that we know is sprinting ahead in the global race is our booming automotive industry. One vehicle rolls off a production line somewhere in the UK every 20 seconds and we have just launched the Government’s Automotive Industrial Strategy to help continue this success for years to come.

“I am delighted that Bentley will be building their new vehicle here, not only creating a thousand jobs, but safeguarding many more, as well as increasing training opportunities for highly skilled apprentices.”

Dr Winterkorn said: “The Volkswagen Group believes in the UK as a competitive location for industrial production. Bentley fans all around the world are looking forward to the brand’s first SUV. Together we will make this new Bentley another true Bentley – powerful, exclusive and successful.”

Business Secretary Vince Cable said: “This is a welcome commitment to the UK from a major international car maker. Our automotive industrial strategy proves this government’s commitment to working with world-class companies like Bentley to create jobs and promote exports.

“Bentley was the first firm I visited as a government minister and serves as a real example of high value manufacturing. They export more than four out of every five cars they make in the UK to the rest of the world.”

Bentley’s Chairman and Chief Executive, Dr Wolfgang Schreiber, added: “This is excellent news for Bentley and for the UK. Bentley is increasingly successful and this new fourth model line will leverage the success of the global SUV market. The support of everyone involved with the Company has been fundamental to this decision, which will ensure sustainable growth for the company.”

The SUV will be a thoroughbred Bentley true to the brand hallmarks of luxury, performance, quality and craftsmanship. The styling will set it apart from any other SUV on the road and will be true to the Bentley design DNA. It will be the most luxurious and most powerful SUV in the market. The response from customers to a Bentley SUV has been extremely positive in the last 16 months.

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Lamborghini Urus To Bow In 2017 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/05/lamborghini-urus-to-bow-in-2017/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/05/lamborghini-urus-to-bow-in-2017/#comments Mon, 13 May 2013 11:30:36 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=488210 BRIC nation plutocrats, start saving your rubles and rupees. Lamborghini’s vulgar Urus SUV is set to bow in 2017, according to a report by Car and Driver, giving the new global elite a successor to the iconic LM002. C/D reports that the Urus will bow after the upcoming Bentley SUV, with a sticker price between […]

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BRIC nation plutocrats, start saving your rubles and rupees. Lamborghini’s vulgar Urus SUV is set to bow in 2017, according to a report by Car and Driver, giving the new global elite a successor to the iconic LM002.

C/D reports that the Urus will bow after the upcoming Bentley SUV, with a sticker price between $150,000 and $2000,000. Power will come from Audi’s 4.0L twin-turbo V8. While the LM002 provides Lambo with some precedent to offer an SUV, Jack Baruth has brilliantly argued that the introduction of the Urus heralds the end of the brand’s reputation as the last word in unchecked hypermasculine antisocial motoring. Or perhaps, the start of it, depending on your tastes.

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Bentley SUV, Imported From Bratislava http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/03/bentley-suv-imported-from-bratislava/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/03/bentley-suv-imported-from-bratislava/#comments Tue, 19 Mar 2013 15:26:24 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=481708 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. Apparently, VW’s board may demand that production take place in Bratsilava, where vehicles like the Volkswagen Touraeg are built. While Eastern European […]

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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.

Apparently, VW’s board may demand that production take place in Bratsilava, where vehicles like the Volkswagen Touraeg are built. While Eastern European factories have long proven their ability to produce reliable, high-quality vehicles, it would be a huge departure for Bentley. And of course, it all comes down to money.

In a stunning expropriation of today’s environmentally friendly vernacular, Bentley chief Wolfgang Schreiber told Autocar

“We want to build sustainable cars that make money, but we have the components and the craftsmanship skills in Crewe.”

In this case, “sustainable” has nothing to do with polar bears or rainforests, but simply “making a lot of profit off of a Touraeg” by building it in a low-cost country. So how would VW get around this?

If the model were to be built in Bratislava, it would be the first Bentley sold without the famed ‘Made in Crewe, England’ plaque since some examples of the Flying Spur were built in Dresden in 2005/06. Instead, a ‘Designed in Crewe, England’ plaque would likely feature.

Rather than trot out the usual backward-looking tropes about “heritage” and “brand values”, let’s recognize that we’re in a different era, and any honor associated with the Bentley brand went out the window when they produced those ghastly Breitling Bentley watches. Instead, let’s applaud Bentley and the VW Group for the absolutely predatory cynicism involved here. They know they can make a very profitable vehicle (a high margin ultra-luxury SUV) even more profitable by building it in Slovakia, because the nouveau riche of the BRIC Countries – and America, for that matter, will not give a lick as to its country of origin. Bravo!

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Monday Mileage Midget: Vecchio Combustible Paradisio! http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/02/monday-mileage-midget-vecchio-combustible-paradisio/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/02/monday-mileage-midget-vecchio-combustible-paradisio/#comments Mon, 25 Feb 2013 13:00:10 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=478880 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 […]

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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.

 

Here we have a 2008 Mercury Grand Marquis GS with only 3,289 miles.

I love the interior on this one. It just screams out, “Road trip!” with those large cupholders and the virtually untouched seats.

And here we have a 2001 Mercury Grand Marquis GS with only 10,702 miles. Pardon the sun glint but I’m not the one taking these pictures.

Finally, if you are willing to go a bit beyond the usual automotive blue plate specials, there is…

A 2005 Honda Pilot EX with AWD and 15k miles.

A loaded up for 1994, Ford Ranger STX. ABS, Cruise, 5-Speed, Ice Cold Air, AM/FM Radio with the all too essential cassette deck and alloy wheels. A ride that may have cost less out the door in 2009 than it did back in 1994. This one has 22,375 original miles.

Finally, if you find yourself owning a lifetime supply of Grey Poupon and houndstooth sportcoats, you can buy yourself one of these.

A 1997 Bentley Brooklands. Gorgeous. 30,021 miles. Need I say more?

Well, if I must. This may have been one of the last old school designs that you could get before bulbous bling started to take over. The difference between the Bentley Brooklands of 1997…

and the Bentley Brooklands of 2008

is a classic representation of how elegance in automotive design gave way to gaudiness. The most recent generations of the Grand Marquis and the Pilot represent much of the same. Well earned prestige, that ended up completely subverted by those who thought the protruding plasticidity of Escalades and fingernail thin chrome treatments would be the way of the future.

Mark my words. The 1997 Brooklands will be a classic for all the right reasons. The 2008 model won’t be nearly as well received when it comes time for tomorrow’s classic car shows. It may be a hot auction commodity by then. But only because they sold so few of them.

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NAIAS 2013: Hashtags Abound http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/01/naias-2013-hashtags-abound/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/01/naias-2013-hashtags-abound/#comments Mon, 14 Jan 2013 14:24:40 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=473674 Why does this Bentley have a hashtag on the license plate? Maybe this will become a new trend in locales where license plates can fetch millions of dollars…which also happen to be big markets for ultra-luxury brands.

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Why does this Bentley have a hashtag on the license plate? Maybe this will become a new trend in locales where license plates can fetch millions of dollars…which also happen to be big markets for ultra-luxury brands.

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The Positive Side Of The EU Malaise: No Urus http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/10/the-positive-side-of-the-eu-malaise-no-urus/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/10/the-positive-side-of-the-eu-malaise-no-urus/#comments Thu, 11 Oct 2012 13:35:48 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=463491 There is a GOD: With Europe paying a lot of penance for its sins, we might be spared hell in form of a Lamborghini and Bentley SUV. In order to save cash for Volkswagen, the company may put the Lamborghini Urus and the Bentley SUV, codenamed  EXP9F, on ice, Reuters says. The decision will come […]

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There is a GOD: With Europe paying a lot of penance for its sins, we might be spared hell in form of a Lamborghini and Bentley SUV. In order to save cash for Volkswagen, the company may put the Lamborghini Urus and the Bentley SUV, codenamed  EXP9F, on ice, Reuters says.

The decision will come on November 23, when the Supervisory Board reviews planned spending on equipment, factories and vehicles. In crisis times, extravagant projects are first to go.

The show-off SUVs won’t bring much to the bottom line, says a study of IHS Automotive.

The forecast sees the Bentley SUV peak at fewer than 4,000 cars in 2016, while the Lamborghini Urus could reach a maximum of fewer than 2,400 in 2018. Lamborghini especially needs to keep a low profile. The brand never made money since bought by Volkswagen. It is considered a boardroom toy, and its sole reason for being is that the Volkswagen board has Bugatti, and the Audi board wanted a toy of their own.

It the Paris auto show, Volkswagen CFO Hans Dieter Poetsch signaled the possibility of further austerity measures:

“In this environment, we need to have a considerable amount of liquidity available. It’s normal that one looks for items that aren’t imperative.”

 

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This Rolls Is Not. Let’s Hope The Girls Are http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/09/this-rolls-is-not-lets-hope-the-girls-are/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/09/this-rolls-is-not-lets-hope-the-girls-are/#comments Tue, 11 Sep 2012 10:18:42 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=459862 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 […]

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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.

The Indonesian Kompas newspaper reported about “exploding sales” of Rolls Royce in Asia. And then, the Jakarta paper that prides itself of its “high-quality writing and investigative journalism” showed a picture of the Bentley Mulsanne, surrounded by eight gold-lamed and well-heeled Asian beauties.

The translated caption says “Rolls-Royce surrounded by pretty girls.” Half true at best. While the pictured presumptive Rolls definitely is a Bentley, we hope that all the girls are in fact girls. The story is datelined Bangkok, Thailand, can’t be careful enough.

Tip of the blangkon to Petrus

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