When extraordinary cars meet extraordinary people, extraordinary things happen.
It’s an ambitious guiding philosophy and one that Bentley has driven home since 1913, when W.O. Bentley and his brother went into business importing racing cars from Doriet in France. It was the smallest of catalysts – an aluminium paperweight – that sparked the idea for an aluminum alloy that could withstand the heat of an engine. This set in motion a chain of events that would lead to Bentley becoming a doyen of the car design and manufacturing industry, and one of the most instantly recognisable silhouettes on our roads.
Every Bentley is built by hand at a single factory in Crewe, in the north-west of England, where their dedicated craftsmen and women meticulously see through every process that goes into making the finest luxury cars, using only the very best materials. And while form follows function, in a typically British approach to design, Bentley has revolutionised the automotive world by fusing cutting-edge technology and precision engineering.
It is this outlook that has resulted in some of the most esteemed motors, such as the Continental GT in 2003, a grand tourer so powerful and luxurious that it still has no serious competitor, and the Mulsanne, from 2010, a beautiful and comfortable car, but one that can hit speeds of around 200mph.
But Bentley is about so much more than fine craftsmanship and design; it embodies people who empower experiences, each one surpassing the last, in a world without limits. W.O. Bentley’s customers were drawn to his belief that a ‘life ordinary’ was one to be left in the slow lane. In the early days, this bon vivant spirit was championed by the Bentley boys and girls; today it is upheld by racers, rock stars and royalty, visionaries and aficionados. People don’t just buy a Bentley to drive it, they buy a Bentley to become a living part of its story.
Sometimes it takes a little friction to create a spark. When W.O. Bentley came to blows with Tim Birkin over the supercharger, the tension between the two men led to the creation of the Bentley Blower, which went on to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1928.
It remains part of Bentley lore today because it exemplifies the very same attitude that continues to drive the business forward – Bentley employees should always strive to achieve remarkable things.
Anticipating future developments in the industry is all part of this pursuit of the extraordinary. This philosophy guided its latest release, the EXP-10 Speed 6, a two-seater sports car whose design caused quite a stir when it was first exhibited at the Geneva International Motor Show last year. Then there is the Bentayga, also released in 2015, the most luxurious SUV on the market, which pushes the limits of both performance and insightful design, complete with illuminated treadplates and panoramic roof.
In the words of Wolfgang Dürheimer, Chairman and Chief Executive, ‘Our cars are used to chauffeur Her Majesty The Queen on state business and to race on the world’s most punishing race tracks – and everything in between.’ How many companies can lay claim to that breadth of experience? Whether you’re a true driver or truly driven, Bentley’s infectious approach to life can’t fail to galvanise you.
BENTLEY PYMS LANE, CREWE, CHESSHIRE CW1 3PL +44 (0)8456 891508