Bentley Brooklands (2007): first official pictures | CAR Magazine

Bentley Brooklands (2007): first official pictures

Published: 15 March 2007 Updated: 26 January 2015

Bentley Booklands coupe: the lowdown

Bentley is going back to the future with this classic coupe. Called Brooklands, the two-door nods back to Bentley’s 1920s racing triumphs at the Surrey circuit. Indeed, the Brooklands represents Bentley at its most traditional. The coupe is based on the Arnage saloon, and its V8 engine dates back to 1959. However, the twin turbocharged unit has very modern, totally dizzying outputs of 530bhp and a monolithic 774lb ft of torque. Just 550 Brooklands coupes will be hand-built in total, with first deliveries in a year. Expect a price around £225,000 – before sumptuous personalisation, that is.

How it looks

The Brooklands’ Arnage roots are unmistakable. The mesh grille, twin headlamps, pronounced character line linking the wheels and side vents are naturally present. The look is chop top Arnage, with the roof line dropped and pillarless sideglass installed. With the Brooklands, Bentley designer Dirk van Braeckel wanted to ‘create a powerful, muscular and rakish grand touring coupe with classic British proportions’. The Crewe factory is particularly proud of the floating rear screen, clearly demarcated from the boot unlike in most coupes. It’s a feature that demands individual hand-welding of the rear wings to the C-pillars: robots could not create a single pressing to fit around the screen.

Under the skin

The Brooklands shares its running gear with last year’s sportier Arnage T. It jettisoned the old four-speed slusher for a sharper six-speed automatic transmission, channeling all that grunt to the 20-inch rear wheels. Drivers can manually switch gears via the stick, although there are no paddles. The coupe benefits from a 30bhp power hike and a smidgen more torque , creating the most powerful V8 in Crewe’s history and ensuring supercar levels of acceleration. Expect 0-62mph in around 5.0sec, and around 180mph all out. The 6.75-litre engine has twin, low inertia turbochargers to minimise lag and a reprofiled camshaft. Acceleration should be up there with a 777’s, so ESP is fitted to help keep the rubber in contact with tarmac, should you be a little heavy with the right foot.

The inside story

Bentley says the Brooklands is the world’s most spacious coupe, with more room than any rival for heads, legs and knees. There are four figure hugging-seats, designed to accommodate four adults unlike the Continental GT’s 2+2 configuration. And the Brooklands’ rear seats are set further back than in its Azure sister car, because there’s no need to package a folding roof and rollover protection. The dashboard layout is shared with the Arnage, although the interior can by trimmed in a multitude of materials and shades. Bentley claims the cockpit is spacious yet sporty, with the odd dynamic flourish such as aluminium pedals to emphasise the point.

By Phil McNamara

Group editor, CAR magazine