When you think of automotive luxury, chances are good that the names Rolls-Royce and Bentley spring to mind first. Few cars say you’ve made it quite like the juggernauts from the latter with their impeccable style and the roar of their V8 or W12 engines. While they may have power and handling to deliver a thrill, the best place to be is in the back seat, as you get chauffeured around town in peerless luxury. But you actually have to make it for real to consider owning one, since none come in under the six-figure mark, while most ask for a lot more.
Established in 1919, the brand quickly made a name for itself by winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans multiple times in the years that followed. However, sporting prowess is not what springs to mind when the automaker is mentioned today. The company has had close ties with Rolls-Royce in the past, with a series of mergers and acquisitions in its history. Today, they compete against each other in the ultra-elite luxury segment.
Lineup of Bentley Cars
There are only a handful of models in the current range of Bentley vehicles, with a select few offering multiple configurations. All the models are highly prestigious offerings, though, so it is difficult to do more than just scratch the surface in a summary of each of the new Bentley car models.
- Bentayga - The only real SUV in the lineup, it is presented with a gasoline powertrain and, for 2020, as a hybrid. In standard configuration, it gets the choice of a V8, a W12 in the Speed variation. The most capable of the lot develops 626 horsepower and 664 lb-ft of torque on the Speed trim, which is directed to all four wheels to launch the high-rider up to 60 mph in just 3.8 seconds. It boasts supreme ride comfort and a fair amount of cargo capacity if you stick with the standard five-seat format and avoid the third-row setup.
- Continental GT - The less dear of the enormous executive sedans, it is presented in coupe or convertible guise. Both share the same set of power plants, with maximum outputs ranging from excellent to holy moly. Despite its ponderous size and heft, it is remarkably nimble, thanks to a host of advanced technologies that manage body roll and steering. More discerning buyers love the Mulliner variants of each configuration, which offer bespoke, hand-crafted styling.
- Mulsanne - The priciest vehicle to bear the brand’s logo, it is also among only two that sport the ‘Flying B’ hood ornament that is reminiscent of the Spirit of Ecstacy found on Rolls-Royces. However, 2020 is the final year in its life cycle, so we’ll be saying goodbye to the super torquey V8 that throws out 752 lb-ft (811 lb-ft on the Speed). It is as customizable as it is large, with an extended wheelbase version available for those who like to be driven around in style. The EPA review of its gas mileage revealed terrible consumption of 10/16/12 mpg.
- Flying Spur - Replacing the outgoing Mulsanne as the flagship moving forward into 2021, the Spur utilizes the same V8 or twin-turbo W12 found on other motors in the garage, but it does so much more with them. Mated to an eight-speed automatic gearbox, it gets the hefty sedan going in under four seconds and reaches a top speed of 207 mph. The interior is certainly spacious and it makes a token effort at being practical with a 14.8 cubic foot trunk.
- Bacalar - Designed by the masters of hand-crafted opulence over at Mulliner, it is the most elite two-door convertible in the world. In fact, only 12 units exist. Every inch has been painstakingly tailored to deliver unparalleled class and elegance, but this also means they are incomparably extortionate. Purchase estimates are somewhere in the two-million-dollar range.
Bentley models and price list
If you need to ask the price of a Bentley, the chances are that you cannot afford it. The starting price alone would cripple most buyers, while the top-end of the range is truly for the 1%.
||6.8L V8 Gas
||6.8L V8 Gas
||6.0L Twin-Turbo W12 Gas
||4.0L Twin-Turbo V8 Gas
||6.8L V8 Gas
|Bentley Continental GT
||4.0L Twin-Turbo V8 Gas
|Bentley Continental Flying Spur
||6.0L Turbo W12 Flex-fuel (FFV)
|Bentley Flying Spur Hybrid
||2.9L Twin-Turbo V6 Hybrid
||6.8L Twin-Turbo V8 Flex-fuel (FFV)
|Bentley Bentayga Hybrid
||3.0L Turbo V6 Hybrid
What to Consider Before Buying Bentley Motor Cars
At this price point, it is only natural to expect something extraordinary from your investment. And, the premium manufacturer does not disappoint. We are hard-pressed to find anything to complain about, here is a list of the strengths and apparent weaknesses, nonetheless:
- Oodles and oodles of style
- Massively powerful engine options
- Surprisingly fun to drive when you are not being chauffeured
- Enormous interiors with top-notch materials
- Built-to-order customization
- Almost nobody can actually afford these beauties
- Customization pushes the absurd cost higher
- Limited editions are super rare
What is the most expensive Bentley?
To be honest, even the cheapest new Bentley car could be mistaken for the most expensive. However, the $177k Bentayga is almost designed for paupers by comparison to the Bacalar. The exact pricing for the most exclusive nameplate varies depending on exactly how it is hand-crafted. Only 12 were produced, though, so you can expect the cost of a 2021 Bentley Bacalar to be somewhere in the ballpark of $2,000,000, if you even manage to find one in the US.
Which Bentley car is the quickest?
While the new Flying Spur with its impressively W12 engine is a natural-born sprinter, it is actually the Continental GT that claims to be the fastest of the 2020 Bentley motors. And with a 0 to 60 mph benchmark time of 3.6 seconds, we aren’t arguing. It also earns top marks and in our books as an overall package.
What is Mulliner?
Some buyers are not satisfied with the standard exclusivity of the brand’s lineup, and desire something a little more personal and special. For these discerning shoppers, nothing less than a Mulliner hand-crafted ride will do. The sedan and convertible types of the Continental GT get this special treatment, as well as the hyper-exclusive Bacalar. Both the interior and exterior are tailored to your every whim. And though they retain the same levels of performance as their baseline siblings, they supply infinitely more style and sophistication, which is saying something.
For more information, check our buyer’s guide, where we review the types of Bentleys sold in the USA, including a spec sheet, safety and reliability ratings, and a full list of dimensions - height, width, weight, length - as well as pictures and videos to peruse.