2008 Bentley BrooklandsEnlarge Photo
The near-unattainable Bentley Brooklands is a defining representation of British-ness in the automotive sense: the car oozes style and luxury yet, at the merest prod of the throttle, will pick up its skirts in an all but indecent manner and propel its occupants to the horizon with the help of an engine that is fundamentally 50-years old. If ever there was proof needed for the adage ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’, one need look no further than the Brooklands’ hand-assembled 6.75-litre V-8--an engine that produces the highest torque output of any automotive V-8 in the world (even though it's now actually 6.76-liters).
The Brooklands is a big car: at a shade over 5,500 pounds and just under 18 feet long, it has the most spacious cabin of any coupe in the world and yet it will cocoon the occupants in such a way that you are barely aware of its immensity.
The upright driving position allows such a commanding view of the road ahead that you are almost immediately ‘at one’ with the car. With seemingly limitless power on tap, there is an overwhelming sense of security in the knowledge that whatever you need of it, the Brooklands will deliver.
As with India and China, where Bentley Motors is in the process of opening ‘emerging market’ offices, the Middle East and Dubai in particular, they are seen as one of the fastest maturing markets for the ultimate in luxury cars.
And I think that this understatement, both in terms of power and image, is what makes Bentley the ‘must have’ car locally: it is not brash, it is not loud nor showy. It is discreet and distinguished and is redolent of the ‘old money’ qualities that have made Bentley what it is today.
With 11 percent of the production earmarked for the region--almost twice what Russia, Africa and Japan get put together--it’s clear that the marque has a serious following here.
At $350,000 for a ‘standard’ car, the Brooklands falls neatly in the upper levels of individuality, a shade above the Azure.
That may seem quite a bit of money to spend on one car, but the ‘luxury collectibles’ market in 2006 was worth $1 trillion, so it’s a small price to pay for the 660 hours it takes to create the unique Brooklands.
With over a billion color and trim permutations to choose from, you can be pretty sure that your neighbor is not going to have one exactly the same. Now that’s exclusive.