NEWS that Bentley Motors topped sales of 15,000 for the first time last year underlines why the Cheshire-based brand has become the world’s No 1 luxury car manufacturer.
The 15,174 figure – a four per cent increase on the 2021 sale of 14,659 – was driven by a combination of new models and demand for both hybrids and the opulent Mulliner personalisation.
Hybrids, which have been introduced under Bentley’s ‘Beyond 100’ strategy towards producing only electric cars by 2030, are spearheaded by the Bentayga SUV, which accounts for some 42 per cent of the company’s total sale.
Hot on its heels are the Continental GT and GT Convertible stablemates with nearly a third of the total while the remainder is attributed to four-door grand tourer the Flying Spur, now available as a hybrid.
The latest model to come out of the Crewe factory is an extended wheelbase version of the Bentayga, at 5.322 metres the longest luxury SUV on the market.
Capable of hitting 60mph from standstill in 4.5 seconds and on to a potential top speed of 180mph, the Bentayga EWB is powered by a 4.0-litre, 32-valve turbocharged V8 petrol engine developing 542bhp.
And apart from being packed with high spec tech the car is also the result of a nine-fihure investment to create the best rear cabin experience since the Mulsanne.
The emphasis is on wellness with the arrival of the world’s first auto climate, which senses occupant temperature and surface humidity and then determines whether to apply heat, ventilation or both.
The optional Airline Seat specification brings maximum relaxation in the rear, with backrests that recline to 40 degrees – making it easier to sleep – plus key features like posture adjustment and heated door and centre armrests.
Layout sees 4+1 seating as standard on the EWB and a seven-seat arrangement on the signature Bentayga while luggage capacity is 380-484 litres depending on seating configuration.
Throughout the cabin there are examples of new craftsmanship, like the first application of Bentley Dynamic Illumination delivering lighting through handcrafted leather, while finer sewing threads create Bentley’s softest quilt to date. In total, customers can choose from no less than 24 billion trim combinations.
Chassis and powertrain refinements include Electronic All Wheel Steering and Bentley Dynamic Ride as standard.
Bentley chief Adrian Hallmark said: “The Bentayga Extended Wheelbase is our first car truly dedicated to the onboard wellness of its occupants.
“Every Bentley gets you to your destination feeling more relaxed than when you started your journey, and yet with the Extended Wheelbase we’ve been able to go even further thanks to the adoption of world-first wellness technology embedded within our unrivalled interior cabin design.”