I attended Salon Privé this year and was worried I would be late, but my timing was perfect – I arrived just after the rain. Although the show was a bit wet, it didn’t stop people from attending.
The most iconic cars of this year’s event were the Ferrari F40 and F50. I have to admit, I am a bit biased towards these cars because they are rare and very hard to come by. Not only are the F40 and F50 limited in numbers, but they are also difficult to drive.
Like the previous year, I visited Anna-Louise Felstead’s stand, and as always, she had amazing paintings.
Ferrari introduced the soft-top version of the Ferrari Roma by HR Owen, called the Roma Spider. The final version of the Aston Martin DBS 770 Ultimate was also on display, marking the end of an era for V12 Aston Martins (except for the SUV).
Anyway, there were so many cars at the event. Salon Privé is the best car show in London, and you shouldn’t miss it next year.
A few weeks ago, Rolls-Royce revealed the second generation Ghost. The original unveiling was expected for February 2020; however, the COVID-19 pandemic meant it was postponed. This new generation Ghost is a state-of-art Rolls-Royce that will be heating up the competition with the latest Bentley Flying Spur.
After Bentley stopped manufacturing the Mulsanne, the Flying Spur became the flagship sedan that was expected to compete with the Rolls-Royce Ghost and the Mercedes-Benz Maybach S-Class. But how does the Flying Spur compare to the Ghost? They both have British DNA and bespoke tailoring inside the cabins, but which comes out on top?
Bentley’s Flying Spur is based on the Porsche Panamera modular platform – it is a reskinned Panamera. That is not particularly negative, because future technologies from Porsche can be implemented rapidly to the Flying Spur; however, it does reduce the exclusivity of the car. Not ideal if you are keen to own something bespoke.
Despite the shared modular platform, the Flying Spur is designed with both comfort and dynamic driving in mind. When you take to the driver’s seat of the Flying Spur, you won’t look odd. The Panamera’s suspension and drive train geometry offer a sportive driving character wrapped in luxury and comfort. It offers two engine options – W12 and V8 – mated with a twin-clutch 8-speed automatic. It is impossible to ignore the rear-biased all-wheel-drive system; Flying Spur is a proper driver’s car. The W12 engine is slowly being phased out, and this feels like the right choice. It was inherited from the VW Phaeton and was probably designed in the late 1990s. The V8 is lighter and more responsive, coming from the Porsche Panamera.
In terms of luxury, Bentley are renowned for offering some of the best interiors and attention to detail! Every part of the interior is a piece of artwork; you will be surrounded by more luxury than you can imagine. Sadly, the driving assistance systems are not as sophisticated as those boasted by the Ghost. I was expecting to see the same level of driving assistances as those in the Audi A8; however, the Flying Spur is a few years behind that. Overall, the Flying Spur is a great luxury sedan, and you will feel the Bentley DNA and experience exquisite luxury.
Moving to the new Ghost, let me start from the bottom end. The modular platform of the Rolls-Royce is unique solely to Rolls-Royce models. Whilst the Ghost does not share a platform with the BMW 7-Series; however, there is still some technology sharing with the BMW Group. With the volume of the Rolls-Royce, they can’t survive without benefitting from BMW’s know-how. Sadly, the Ghost did not receive a brand new engine, which is not too surprising given that it is not easy to redesign a V12, especially when it will be only used by three low-volume Rolls-Royce. The V12 engine is therefore based on the BMW V12.
The good news is that the Ghost is an ultimate luxury car that does not blind. The sound insulation is state-of-art engineering. It was reportedly too good and resulted in passengers experiencing motion sickness. To avoid this, Rolls-Royce has increased the amount of interior sound.
Unlike the Flying Spur, driving the Ghost by yourself still looks a bit awkward; you look like a professional driver in need of a client. In future, a possible Black series could make it more of a driver’s car. The best part of the new Ghost is the driving assistance system. BMW equipped the new Ghost with state-of-art technologies. Now, the Ghost can scan the road surface and adjust its suspension via 48-volt electric actuators, and offers perfectly refined comfort. Long journeys will certainly not be an issue with the new Ghost.
The interior quality is more sophisticated than the previous generation and is on par with the Phantom; however, I still think the Bentley is better by a slight margin (albeit a hard to notice margin!).
Finally, the new Ghost has an all-wheel-drive system adapted from BMW, which is amazing! The BMW xDrive is one of the best all-wheel-drive systems available. Rolls-Royce didn’t stop here and implemented rear-wheel drive steering to improve the driving experience. Overall, the new Ghost is more driver-focused than before, and I am sure it offers a competitive driving experience to Bentley Flying Spur.
The final verdict is yours—the differences between the Bentley and the Rolls-Royce are such a close margin that, ultimately, it comes down to personal taste.
Bentley’s least iconic vehicle, the Bentayga has received a facelift. It was first introduced in 2015 and became the best-selling vehicle in the Bentley portfolio. In my opinion, this is not surprising, it should have been introduced a decade ago. The Bentayga is based on the Audi Q7 using the same MLBevo modular platform. It essentially shares everything with the Audi Q7.
Honestly, on paper, there is nothing not to like about the Bentayga, yet the exterior design is nothing short of a nightmare. When it was first introduced it had the same outdated front-end aesthetic from the Continental range. The Bentley Continental family was introduced in 2004, and ultimately, the Bentayga possessed this same 1990s years later, past the millennium!
Even despite this, loyal customers continued to order the Bentayga with its outdated look. Thankfully, Bentley decided to upgrade the front-end, giving it a complete overhaul. The result; the front-end is now improved, and the rear-end resembles a real estate version of Flying Spur.
Sadly, Bentayga’s design needs to be revised and taken back to the drawing board. Whatever they do, one side of the SUV looks terrible. I saw the rejuvenated Bentayga recently, and yes from the front, it looks better, but it looks terrible from behind and even more bizarre from the side. Despite this absurd design issue, the price tag is floating around £200,000!
The interior received a make-over as well, and now it looks the same as those in the Continental family, which is positive. Don’t expect different interiors for different vehicles, that era passed a long time ago. Nowadays, car companies try to keep costs as low as possible to survive. If the interior is designed well and is easy to use, I am happy to see it inside different models under the same brand.
Long story short, the Bentayga will be Bentley’s saving grace in these uncertain economic times. If you are looking for an SUV that is capable of performing under light off-road conditions, is reliable (I am betting that Audi is part sharing), and exudes luxury, then the Bentayga is your SUV!
The time has arrived, the last Bentley Mulsanne has been manufactured after a period of 11 years. The era of the 6.75-lt V8 engine is finished, and the ‘real original’ Bentley has ceased to be. From now on, when you buy a Bentley, you will be buying a Porsche Panamera modular-platform vehicle.
The Mulsanne was one of the iconic designs of the Bentley, and it was the only ‘driver’s car’ luxury sedan. You will look ridiculous if you drive a Rolls-Royce, but the Mulsanne was different from the others, and that era is gone now.
The last car was manufactured for the US market, as you can see from the orange sidelights. Bentley manufactured 30 examples of the Mulsanne 6.75 Edition. This edition is based on the Mulsanne Speed with 530 PS power coming from the iconic 6.75-lt V8 engine. That engine was first used in the 1959 Bentley S1. Then it only produced 180 PS – and now 530PS!
Until further notice, the Bentley Flying Spur (aka Panamera) will be filling the space of the Mulsanne. And there will be a hybrid version of this car by 2023.
When you spot a Mulsanne on the road, then, keep in mind that it is not manufactured anymore.
A few weeks ago, Bentley built their last 6.75-lt V8 engine. It was only used for the Mulsanne model. The iconic engine had been built for 60 years. It started its journey as a 180-hp engine, but now produces 500-hp. This engine became a part of the Bentley heritage: it was reliable, powerful and delivered the required torque without any hesitation. It revved up to 5,000 rpm, but was more than enough for a smooth acceleration.
Sadly, the sales of the Mulsanne fell heavily, and people were leaning towards SUVs. Therefore, Bentley had little option but to cease production of the Mulsanne and the iconic V8. The W12 will take over the role of this engine for the foreseeable future. Nonetheless, it won’t create the same emotional experience.
I know that using a 60-year-old engine is not considered logical nowadays. On the other hand, manufacturing the same engine for a long period enables it to realise its potential and reach a level of near perfection (in a manner of speaking).
The end of the Mulsanne and the 6.75-lt V8 marks the end of an era at Bentley.
Around January this year, Bentley announced that they had ceased production of their Mulsanne model, and that a new model wouldn’t be replacing it. Sadly, everyone is now obsessed with SUVs and ignores sedan cars. As a result of this trend, Bentley sold only around 500 Mulsanne vehicles last year: higher than the Rolls-Royce Phantom but far less than the Arnage. The Arnage used to sell around 1,200 units per year.
Customer tastes have significantly changed over the years; to be honest, an SUV is a really good vehicle. Regardless of its brand, you will get lots of boot space, all-wheel drive, good handling, and the vehicles are spacious and comfortable to be in. SUVs are the most suitable vehicle for humankind, however, people like me still avoid them as much as possible. SUVs are nice but they are not as good in terms of handling as a sedan car. The Bentley Bentayga is an excellent SUV, but it is not like a Mulsanne.
The Mulsanne is meant to be ending production now, during spring 2020, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic production has been postponed to the end of summer 2020.
Only 30 units of the final edition of the Bentley Mulsanne will be produced and they will be powered by the iconic 6.75-lt V8 engine, which produces 530 horsepower! This engine has been in production since 1959 and will be gone for good after the last Mulsanne.
Honestly, I love the Mulsanne! It was heavy and relatively slow, but it was like a living room on wheels. Despite its size and weight, it was a really good handling car. You won’t be able to chase a Porsche 911 with a Mulsanne, but you will enjoy a more engaging driving experience than even a Rolls-Royce Phantom can provide.
I have shared some of my photos of Bentley Mulsanne from HR Owen Bentley dealer in Mayfair, London.
The new Bentley Continental GT is basically a mansion on wheels. Even though it shares the same modular platform with the Porsche Panamera, it is still 2.2-tonne! However, you are getting lots of luxury. You might be saying that a massage seat is available with the Renault Megane, but you get more than a massage seat in a Bentley.
You will get state-of-art attention to detail making for a luxury experience. The new Continental’s interior is a luxurious visual experience, and you love looking at the details.
Even though the S-Coupe offers better and more enhanced driving assistance systems and a little bit more comfort, you won’t get this visual experience with a Mercedes-Benz.
Long story short, the new Bentley looks stunning from the inside. It offers an average level of technology. However, the Bentley team told me that they will be transferring more technology directly from the Porsche. As they share the same platform, implementation will be easy.
The Bentley Continental GT is designed for long journeys. It is not a car to compete with or race a Ferrari.
I know it is bit late to write about Autosport International 2018, but it is on purpose to refresh your memories! I would like to start with the Bentley Continental GT3. It is basically based on the Continental GT which you can buy from a Bentley dealer. However, a couple of things are different than the road-going version.
It is lighter! The Continental GT3 is designed for racing, not for showing off. Therefore, Bentley has removed anything that is not necessary for racing. The end result is a weight of 1.3-tonne! The engine? As the GT3 is a racing machine, Bentley has not revealed the real figures relating to power output. However, they claim it is more than 550-HP from a 4-lt V8 twin-turbo engine. Again, the Continental GT is more powerful than this car, but it is heavier!
At the moment, you can see this Bentley in the Intercontinental GT Challenge.
Ettore Bugatti once said that a Bentley racing car is the world’s fastest truck. I think, when he made this statement, he would never have thought that Bentley would make an SUV one day!
A long time after Ettore Bugatti made this statement and Mattel introduced Barbie, Bentley introduced a pink SUV that is capable of doing 300 km/h!
Last month, Bentley’s iconic dealer, Jack Barclay HR Owen, opened its doors after refurbishment. The new interior should be crowned with something really special, and they have done it with a pink Bentley Bentayga.
Bentley had been thinking about making the Bentayga for a very long time, and introduced the first concept vehicle in 2012. I saw it at Goodwood! However, I really wondered how this particular shade of pink ended up in the colour scheme of the Bentley Bentayga.
This is because the Bentayga was really a question mark project for the Bentley, and they were really wondering if people were ready to pay £200,000 for an SUV.
Apparently, people are ready to pay £200,000 for an SUV and even if it is in pink.
At the moment, I am not sure if the pink Bentayga is still available at the HR Owen Mayfair dealership.
The Bentley Mulsanne Grand Limousine by Mulliner is one of the largest saloon cars on the market. When you order one with the standard extended wheel base, the rear seating area becomes a living room. Usually, the extended wheel base is more than enough for someone looking forward to having a long journey with the comfort of home.
However, there are some people who would like have to more than standard. So, Bentley Mulsanne Grand Limousine is born!
The end result? A car that is six times larger than the average London flat! It has lots of seats inside, I couldn’t even count all of them. It is really, really long and heavy. However, whoever orders this Mulsanne is not really bothered with the acceleration as long as it accelerates faster than the average person’s car.
If you are planning to have a house on four wheels, the Bentley Mulsanne super-extended wheel base is your car.