Last week we reported on spy photos of the new Grand Bentley (which won’t be the name, as we said), and today comes confirmation that the new Bentley will launch at Pebble Beach on 12th August.
We also get a new picture, which this time shows the back of the new Bentley (the last picture of the Grand Bentley we were teased with was the front). And it confirms pretty much what we said last week. The shape is reminiscent of the pre VW-era Continentals – the Continental R. All swooping and stylish – just how a Bentley should look.
This will be the first ‘Big Bentley’ of the VW era, and coincides with Bentley’s 90th Anniversary. And although there has been criticism that the VW Bentleys aren’t real Bentleys, that has more to do with them being a victim of their own success than anything else.
Although far from ubiquitous, the Continental and its convertible and saloon siblings are a much more common sight on our roads than any previous Bentleys have been. That, coupled with the penchant of premier league footballers for the marque, has seen the perception of Bentleys change. But at least they are now properly built and do, in our opinion, still encompass much of what W.O. Bentley believed was essential in a proper road car.
So the new Big Bentley is a landmark for Bentley and VW. It now seems clear that the new Bentley will still offer a variation on the ancient 6.75 litre V8 that has been a staple of the Bentley marque for decades, but other engines, including Bentley diesel and Bentley hybrid, are likely to follow, not to mention a Bentley Bio-Fuel.
As for the name, that will be revealed at Pebble Beach. What will it be? Anyone’s guess. We favour Bentley R or Bentley 7 litre (with options on the theme for different engines). Any thoughts?