“To build a good car, a fast car, the best in class”, these are the words of the late W.O. Bentley as to his vision of the perfect automobile. In 1919 he founded his car company. He built a car that was known for its durability, speed, elegance, and unique engine with four valves in each cylinder. Soon a group of car enthusiasts in England formed calling themselves “The Bentley Boys” bringing more recognition to W.O.’s cars. Bentleys also went on to win a number of races, notably the 1924 Le Mans which led to further funding for the company.
Despite the popularity of the Bentley, W.O faced financial difficulty in keeping his company afloat. It was sold to a few different companies while still maintaining the name Bentley. In 1998 the company was purchased by Volkswagen, out bidding BMW, and moved to Crewe, England. Bentley is still owned by Volkswagen and manufactured in Crewe where it has become one of the most lusted after vehicles ever.
W.O. Bentley’s original vision to build a simply good, fast car is still the cornerstone of Bentley design. Each car is hand made by specialized artists and engineers using the finest natural material. Using V8 and V12 engines makes Bentley one of the fastest vehicles, even though they are incredibly solid and heavy. They have become pop icons, first appearing in the original James Bond films and The Avengers series. In 2002, in honor of her jubilee celebration, Queen Elizabeth was gifted two custom Bentley limos. Bentley has now become the official state limousine of England. When rappers like P Diddy and Jay-Z started singing and driving Bentleys, it turned them into a household name.
Today, owning a Bentley is an ultimate luxury. It shows the world that you have made it as a financial success. After all, almost anyone can work out a payment plan on most higher end cars, but to drive a Bentley, which can cost up to $300,000, means that you are in a different financial bracket. Now after much speculation, Bentley has added a new vehicle to their lineup filling the gap for an ultra luxurious SUV, the 600-hp Bentley EXP 9 F.
Though still in the concept stage the EXP 9 F resembles a taller, boxier version of the Continental. It has a twin turbo W-12 engine that the company claims will be the fastest SUV on the market. With 23inch chrome wheels, a plush leather interior, and the ever important complete picnic dining set in the tailgate, the EXP 9 F is staying true to the Bentley standard of regal luxury. With an estimated starting sticker price of $250,000, it’ll be interesting to see who will be the first owners of these elite SUVs. One of England’s royalty, a Dubai mogul, or an American celebrity, only time and money will tell.