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Bentley models, news & reviews
By Gavin Green
12 February 2008 10:27
It is quite an extraordinary car, this Bentley Brooklands. Think of it how you will (two-door version of the Crewe’s Missile Azure T, hardtop version of the Azure), but it's definitely blindingly fast. Yet blissfully relaxed. And just 550 will be made.
There's also something really rather nice about doing 150mph in a leather-and-wood lined drawing room. The scenery may be rushing by – and keep feeding the power to those rear wheels and the scenery will soon speed by at 184mph – yet inside your spacious cocoon all is fuss-free gentility. In front, there is a slight burble and growl from the big pushrod V8, 49 years old but still growing strong (and getting stronger). Below, the autostrada conveys the odd bump and thump but mostly the suspension does a fine job of wafting you over the blacktop. Just as the steering is communicative yet well damped, so the whole car keeps you in touch with reality yet isolates you from the hurly burly of fast motoring.
Well it’s certainly the fastest Bentley on sale. And no wonder it has such big speed. The twin-turbo V8, a fettled version of the engine used in the Arnage T, is the most muscled V8 in motor industry history (774 lb ft of torque, no less). Maximum power is 530bhp, at an easy-revving 4000rpm. Zero to 60 is covered in only 5.0 seconds and, more significantly, 30-50 takes only 1.7 seconds.
Yet it is no conventional sporting coupé. It’s way too relaxing for that. That gutsy low-stress engine (the war paint on the classic white-on-black chrome-bezel dials stops the fun at only 4600rpm) contrasts to most sporting V8s, V10s and V12s, which bellow and wail as their cranks spin to dizzying speed. There is none of the powerful frenzy of an M6, a Ferrari Grand Tourer or an AMG CL.
Rather, it is a car that rises above all that, a car of the utmost grace and good manners, a gentlemanly car that never intrudes on its owner and makes few demands from its driver (other than financial – we’re talking a £230,000 asking price and 14.5mpg average).
So though the performance figures are from a sports car, the driving experience is more like being in the luxury cabin of a large motor yacht. Pass the cigars and turn up the Brahms.
Click 'Next' the read the rest of our drive of the Bentley Brooklands
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Bentley Brooklands (2008) CAR review
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Michael.MP - calm down!
Yes its CO2 figures are high, and it's fuel consumption likewise - but they're only building 550, most owners will not be driving 12,000 miles a year, and even if they all did then the fuel consumption and CO2 emissions would be about the same as for 2,200 new Ford Fiestas.
I'd rather have the 550 Bentleys on the roads than 2,200 Fistas, quite frankly...
The focus on individual cars' emissions and fuel efficiency (or otherwise!) seems to be increasingly targeted at small-volume manufacturers of high-consumption cars, yet the impact on the environment of the tiny numbers of these cars actually in use (and the likely low-ish annual mileages they will cover) is minisucle in porportion to the outrage of the green lobby - who should perhaps be called the green-with-envy lobby?
18 February 2008 10:22
18 February 2008 08:09
Bentley Brooklands !
Amateurs of Dinosaurs, have a good look at the Bentley Brooklands while you still have a chance.
Outrageously inefficient energy guzzlers like this one should soon be outlawed.
Not even a Monarch should be forgiven for parading in one of those.
With the treats of global warming running wild, even the extravagantly rich will have to cruise in lighter, more acceptable “FU” vehicles.
As far as I am concerned, people can ride in extravagantly over-prised diamond studded cars designed by the Luxury Article Industry Mafia or whatever, as long as they are fully recyclable and use only the amount or energy that is acceptable in today’s reality and not one drop more.
A very prominent Energy Company CEO voiced something to that effect very recently.
16 February 2008 20:43
Absolutely stunningly beautiful. Look fwd to the roadtest with the Phantom FHC.
16 February 2008 01:45
Whatever the BB may lack, however OTT it may be, it has real presence. Anyone with £250K odd to spend on a BB will doubtless have an Aston Martin in the car pool if it's beauty they want. And an S class for everyday. Really, comparisons are pretty irrelevant in this market sector.
15 February 2008 17:20
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