It’s never been easier to get behind the wheel of a new Bentley, well, at least if sales numbers are anything to go by. Last year Bentley’s worldwide sales reached 10,014 vehicles, a new record for the ultra-luxury manufacturer from Crewe, and this year is expected to be even better. Overall volume grew by 7%, with increases in almost all major markets including both established markets like the UK and North America as well as new markets such as Russia and China.

The key reason for Bentley's success compared with its closest rivals is due to price, the Continental GT coupe and Continental Flying Spur sedan, for example, sell for roughly half the price of a Maybach 57 or Rolls-Royce Phantom. However, Bentley exec Stuart McCullough believes money is not the issue, claiming customers choose the Bentley because they find the Rolls-Royce Phantom too ostentatious, while the Maybach looks too much like a Mercedes.

With this level of sales, Bentley is also on the verge of losing significant brand-cachet. Numerous reviews have derided the Continental GT for being little more than a VW Phaeton with a bigger engine, while many critics have applauded BMW’s hands-off approach with Rolls Royce.