Bentley has announced its intention to produce “the world’s most exclusive coupé”, a limited edition run of just 550 cars propelled by the most powerful engine Bentley has yet produced. The new Bentley Brooklands is a stylish, four-seater grand touring coupé – muscular and rakish, with classic British proportions. The long bonnet, short front overhang and long rear overhang, plus the low roofline, steeply raked screens and pillarless side glass aim to convey both power and movement.
Bentley’s Chairman, Dr Franz-Josef Paefgen, claims the company has taken inspiration from the exploits of the ‘Bentley Boys’ at the famous Brooklands racetrack in the 1920s: “Bentley’s proud sporting pedigree was the inspiration for our new coupé, capturing all the style, power and splendour of that era.”
The car’s sporting design cues are matched by the performance of Bentley’s Crewe-built V8 engine – a 530bhp, twin-turbocharged 6.75-litre unit that produces an astounding 1050Nm of torque. As with the latest Arnage, the V8 engine is mated to six-speed transmission, while a sophisticated, locking torque converter and ESP system help the driver to access that prodigious power. A semi-automatic function allows manual gear selection for greater driver control.
Each Brooklands coupé will be hand-assembled, using traditional coachbuilding techniques. For example, according to Bentley, “The ‘floating’ rear screen is a contemporary take on traditional coachbuilt Bentleys. The lower edge of the screen sits well above the upper edge of the boot lid to provide a flowing, flawless line to the back of the car. This can only be achieved by individually hand-welding the rear wings to the C-pillars.”
Meanwhile, the Brooklands’ four-seat architecture and deeply bolstered seats give the interior a distinctly sporting feel, complemented by design accents such as aluminium foot pedals and footrest. A new, single-piece, hide-trimmed roof lining flows uninterrupted from the front windscreen all the way to the rear of the car, mirroring the long, sleek profile of the exterior.
In true Bentley grand touring tradition, the interior designers sought to offer the highest levels of comfort and legroom, while the pillarless window design enhances the feeling of space. The Brooklands’ cabin is wider both front and rear than the previous Bentley Continental R coupé – the rear by 10 per cent – and exceeds the interior leg, knee and headroom of any luxury coupe on sale today. Individual rear seats with electrically- operated sliding cushions, set further back than on the Azure, are separated by a new centre console, incorporating both storage and cupholders.
Performance figures have not yet been confirmed but the new Brooklands coupé will deliver supercar levels of in-gear acceleration combined, says Bentley, with Arnage refinement. Deliveries are expected to start in the first half of 2008.
Text: Charis Whitcombe
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