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Bentley brings Brooklands Down Under

Bruiser: Big new Brit is powered by a 395kW/1050Nm 6.75-litre V8.

Bentley's hand-built Brooklands coupe arrives in Australia, priced from a cool $660K

Bentley logo17 Mar 2008

BENTLEY'S blistering new Brooklands will make its Australian debut at the official invitation-only opening of the new Bentley Sydney showroom next Thursday evening (March 27) – direct from its global launch at the Geneva motor show earlier this month.

Lifetime production of the exclusive hand-made British mega-coupe will be limited to 550 examples, and the first two years of Australia's allocation of six cars is already a sell-out, despite the $660,000 starting price and extensive options list announced last week.

European deliveries began this month and the first Australian customer coupes will arrive late this year.

Some examples of the most powerful V8 Bentley model ever produced are still available from the third years' production in 2010, but be prepared to pay a premium for a host of optional extras, ranging from an extra pair of boot-stowed umbrellas ($580) all the way to a set of carbon-silicon carbide brake discs ($88,798).

Measuring 420x40mm at the front and 356x28mm at the rear and gripped by eight-piston callipers, Bentley says they're the largest-diameter brake discs of any current passenger car.

54 center imageStandard Australian fare will include a painted radiator shell, 2-D Bentley Winged B mascot, chromed rear number plate appliqué, dark tinted stainless steel matrix grille, large-bore twin oval exhaust outlets with rifling detail, lower front wing vents, Bentley jewel filler cap, 20-inch 16-spoke painted disc alloy wheels, drilled alloy pedals, two-tone hide-trimmed multi-function steering wheel and fluted hide sports seats with co-ordinated sandwich piping and front massage function.

A chromed radiator shell will cost buyers $3282, while a 3-D Winged B radiator mascot will set you back $8251 and two types of Mulliner Sports and alloy wheels are priced either side of $20,000.

Inside the fully leather-lined cabin that Bentley says offers more rear passenger space than any other coupe, piano black and burr walnut are no-cost options over the standard veneer finish, dark stained burr walnut. Aside from no fewer than 16 other interior veneer choices ranging between $3000 and $10,000, customers can choose there own leather colour for $12,278.

Audio options include an Alpine radio/CD/MP3 player with six-disc changer and JL speakers ($15,579), a "premium high end" version of same for $27,972 and a reversing camera ($6487).

At the business end of Bentley's new flagship luxury four-seater coupe - which features a bespoke first-class interior, coach-built exterior and borrows its name from the 1992-1997 forebear produced prior to Volkswagen Group ownership – lurks an even more muscular version of the $545,000 Arnage T sedan's 1000Nm hand-built 6.75-litre twin-turbo V8, which received a significant upgrade for the 2007 Arnage and Azure convertible.

Mated to the same six-speed automatic transmission in the Brooklands, it sets a new world record for a production automotive V8 by delivering 395kW of power from 4000rpm and a dam-busting 1050Nm of torque from an even lower 3250rpm. The changes are thanks to freer-flowing induction and exhaust systems and recalibrated engine management.

It's enough to propel the 2655kg, 5.4-metre B-pillarless coupe to 100km/h in 5.3 seconds, on its way to a top speed of 296km/h. All-important 80-120km/h overtaking acceleration is dispatched in 3.1 seconds. Not surprisingly, combined average fuel consumption is a voracious 19.5L/100km and CO2 emissions a smoky 465g/km.

To match the outstanding performance is a "very stiff and uniquely engineered" chassis with specially developed 8.5x20-inch wheels and 255/40-section Pirelli P-Zero tyres, which is claimed to deliver both the Arnage T's handling and the Arnage R's ride comfort.

In other Bentley news, the rejuvenated British brand last week also announced a 13.1 per cent or $A31 million increase in operating profit for 2007, to set a new record for the historic marque at $A265 million.

Bentley's most profitable year ever came as a result of a seven per cent sales increase to exceed 10,000 annual vehicle sales for the first time, thanks in part to an 18 per cent sales rise in the Asia-Pacific, which included a 93 per cent sales boom in China alone, where Bentleys found 338 new homes in 2007.

Australia's Brooklands launch and Sydney showroom opening will be attended by Bentley Motors' Asia-Pacific regional director Tim McKinlay, Australia and New Zealand regional manager Ed Striebig and Greg Duncan, the executive chairman of Bentley Sydney, a division of Trivett Bespoke Automotive.

Read more:

First look: Bentley's bahnstorming new Brooklands


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