Last year may have been Bentley’s centenary but this grand old marque is still at the cutting edge.
The brand, which is just as popular with old money types as it is with soccer players and music stars, keeps reinventing itself.
And last year’s success when it sold 11,000 models – a significant sum for a range which starts at £133,100 – seems set to continue. After all, we have the new Continental making waves and the new Flying Spur is just arriving in showrooms now. Yours for £168,300.
The best car in the world? No-one at Bentley would be so presumptuous but it is arguably the best four wheels on the road – a tour de force of sports saloon agility and limousine refinement which sets the bar for Grand Tourers.
It is the first Bentley to have a retractable flying B mascot and all-wheel steering.
It is the third generation model which has unmistakable Bentley DNA allied to cutting edge innovation.
So Bentley is on a roll. And while 11,000 sales worldwide – with growing demand in China and Russia and an ever-strong presence in the United States – might not seem significant, it is twice as much as its arch-rival Rolls-Royce.
Continental GT was the biggest contributor, with sales up by 54 per cent in 2019 compared to the previous year.
It was followed by Bentayga, the SUV which itself set a new record last year, with sales up by 18 per cent.
Key to the company’s success was the introduction of several exciting new models, combined with greater global availability of other popular models, in particular the Continental GT W12 and Bentayga V8.
Demand for the Continental GT was increased by the introduction of a high performance V8 engine for both Coupe and Convertible versions.
The pioneering, go-anywhere Bentayga was also in strong demand, setting a sales record, with new Speed, Design Series and Hybrid models adding to the luxury SUV’s appeal.
The Hybrid was the world’s first luxury electrified vehicle and Bentley’s first, too.
Three limited edition models were also produced by Bentley’s bespoke division, Mulliner and all quickly sold out.