Bentley Reveals New Continental GT3 Race Car

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Bentley Motorsport is today unveiling an all-new Continental GT3 race car, currently in development for the 2018 motorsport season.

The second-generation Continental GT3 is the latest dedicated race car in an acclaimed Bentley Motorsport lineage that includes the 4½ Litre, Speed Six and Speed 8 Le Mans winners. The first-generation Continental GT3 has proven to be a championship-winning endurance racer, scoring 120 podiums and 45 wins across 528 races around the world to date.

Bentley’s Director of Motorsport, Brian Gush comments:

“After four years of success with our Continental GT3, we’re excited to reveal our second-generation car. The new car leaves no area or system untouched in the search for even better performance, and the early test results are promising. The new Continental GT road car has proved to be a great starting point for the development of a new racer, and the engineering development work is true to Bentley’s impeccable standards.”

It was a great honour to be involved in the development of this car. This was the first race car for any brand that I had worked on, and it was a fascinating and exciting experience. It was also the first time I had worked with Bentley Motorsport who were a great team of people, hopefully I will get the opportunity again!

The All-New Bentley Continental GT Announced

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Bentley Motors has today announcing full details of its new Continental GT, the definitive Grand Tourer. Designed, engineered and handcrafted in Britain, the new third-generation Bentley Continental GT combines spirited, focused performance with handcrafted luxury and cutting-edge technology, to create the finest Grand Tourer ever produced.

Wolfgang Dürheimer, chairman and chief executive of Bentley Motors, said:

“Bentley has been at the forefront of luxury Grand Touring for nearly one hundred years. The new, third-generation Continental GT is the pinnacle of our design and engineering achievements and marks the next step in Bentley’s journey.

“We are the world leader in luxury mobility and our products and services define new luxury in the automotive world. The new Continental GT encapsulates our desire to innovate as well as celebrate our heritage and take the Bentley ownership experience to the next, unparalleled level.”

The muscular exterior design, created using revolutionary technology, results in a lightweight, yet stiff, body. The engine is positioned further back to improve weight distribution, resulting in driver-focused, dynamic performance.

Offering four seats and improved luggage capacity for genuine real-world usability, the new Bentley Continental GT’s luxurious cabin is packed with exquisite details such as a new ‘diamond in diamond’ leather design. In addition, significant work has gone into harmonising the extensive portfolio of 15 colours across hides and carpets.

The interior design of the Continental GT is tailored specifically to the modern luxury customer, with unrivalled attention to detail that creates an effortless ownership experience. The cabin seamlessly integrates cutting-edge onboard technology with the finest handcrafted natural materials. The result is an exquisite, harmonised, connected and luxurious space.

The new Continental GT will make its global debut at the IAA Frankfurt Motor Show between 12 and 24 September, 2017.

This is now the second time I have been involved in the design and development of Bentley’s iconic Continent GT. Having now worked on the second and third generation of the car. Though this is the first time I have been heavily involved from the outset, having considerable involvement in the early concept development, platform proportions, and the final design proposal as it moved towards production. It great to finally see it in sheet metal and to be working with Bentley in this increasingly exciting time in the company’s history.

Implementing Virtual Reality into the Design Process

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Over the past few months Bentley Motors has seen a rapid rise in the use of Virtual Reality (VR) within the design process. With the increasing advancements in hardware power coupled with the new HTC Vive headsets and associated technology, Bentley’s designers and modellers have found that VR is now playing a key role in the product development of its new vehicles.

We can now walk around full-size digital models of cars and explore their overall volumes, assess their surface forms and highlights in a way that could never be realised before. This is true game-changers for designers and digital modellers alike.

One of the biggest shortcomings of digital design was scale and context. On a conventional monitor or powerwall it was impossible to truly visualise the scale of the car you were building. But seeing your CAD model rendered full-size in VR has demolished that shortcoming. The VR output from Autodesk VRED is very convincing and is allowing automotive design to progress at speeds and cost-savings that couldn’t previously be achieved. Decisions on exterior volumes and proportions can now be confidently taken without the need for expensive physical models. Likewise the same can be said about various design proposals.

We are just seeing the tip of the iceberg now, but VR is going to permutate all areas of car design, colour and trim specs, customer experience and so forth.This is a very exciting time.

Bentley EXP10 Speed 6e premier at the Geneva Motor Show

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Bentley unveils its latest concept in early March at the Salon International De L’auto 2017. This is officially called EXP 12 Speed 6e concept and showcases Bentley’s ambition to define the electric luxury segment.

Wolfgang Dürheimer, chairman and chief executive of Bentley Motors, said:

“The EXP 12 Speed 6e is a concept to show that Bentley is defining electric motoring in the luxury sector, with the appropriate technology, high quality materials and refinement levels you’d expect from a true Bentley. This concept enables us to engage with luxury customers and gather feedback on our approach.”

“Bentley is committed to offering an electric model in its future portfolio and we are interested to receive feedback on this concept,” Dürheimer concluded.

Bentley underlined that an all-electric model will not compromise the quality, refinement and high performance levels expected of the luxury brand. These renowned Bentley characteristics such as immediate, effortless surge of torque and grand touring range will be combined with new high performance technology such as rapid inductive charging and state-of-the-art on board concierge-style services for an effortless ownership experience.

Bentley believes that the concept will open discussions with luxury car buyers of the future – millennials, members of Generation C and the rising affluent in developing economies – to understand the desired expectations from a future electric luxury car ownership experience.

The luxury brand’s electric car strategy includes the introduction of PHEV models across the Bentley model range over the next few years, starting with the Bentayga in 2018.

Like the EXP 10 Speed 6 before it, this was a project that I was heavily involved in. Working closely with John Paul Gregory, Head of Exterior Design, I was instrumental in designing and developing this all electric cabriolet version. It is a car that I am very proud of, and one that I hope signifies a new era for Bentley Motors.

HRH The Princess Royal opens new Bentley Research & Development Centre

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Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal today visited the Bentley Motors headquarters in Crewe to open a new research and development centre – 25 Pyms Lane – which is home to more than 400 Bentley engineers.

The new building covers 7,200 square metres over four storeys and was constructed in just seven months. The building marks the first stage of Bentley’s headquarter expansion which continues to develop the site as an industry-leading, modern, efficient manufacturing facility.

Commenting on the visit, Wolfgang Dürheimer, Bentley Chairman and CEO, said:

“Our research and development centre, 25 Pyms Lane, is where a new generation of Bentleys will be developed, which will continue our commitment to luxury, performance, quality and engineering excellence.”

“We are honoured that we could welcome Her Royal Highness once again to our expanding headquarters, not just to celebrate the continued evolution of our site, but to demonstrate first-hand the skill of our engineers, craftspeople and trainees here in Crewe.”

Before unveiling a plaque to officially open the new building, The Princess Royal visited Bentley’s flagship showroom, CW1 House, and then toured the main production facility where the company’s four model lines, Bentayga, Continental, Flying Spur and Mulsanne are handcrafted.

Her Royal Highness also met both apprentices and colleagues working on bespoke training islands in wood and leather, learning more about Bentley’s innovative approach to training young people and continuously improving the skills of colleagues in all areas of the business.

Bentley’s manufacturing apprenticeship programme has recently received national recognition by The Princess Royal herself, being named outstanding by the inaugural Princess Royal Training Awards, created to recognise learning and skills development in industry. Her Royal Highness will host the Awards ceremony at St James’s Palace in November.

Bentley wins ‘Team of the Year’ award from German Design Council

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Bentley’s Design Team, under the leadership of Director of Design, Stefan Sielaff, has collected the ‘Team of the Year’ award at the prestigious Automotive Brand Contest, hosted by the German Design Council.

The judging panel praised the team’s ‘passion, expertise and joy’ in creating outstanding models, and noted how Bentley’s design approach is successfully future-proofing the luxury brand.

Speaking at the ceremony in Paris’ Maison de Polytechniciens, Stefan Sielaff said:

“This award recognises the continuing passion, attention to detail and craftsmanship that our luxury customers appreciate. I passionately believe that personalisation and authentic materials – which are already fundamental elements of Bentley’s appeal – will be the keys to success in the luxury car market of the future, so to be recognized here is a very promising sign.”

Sielaff was joined in Paris by Rolf Frech, Bentley’s Board Member for Engineering; Romulus Rost, Head of Interior Design, Colour and Trim; J.P. Gregory, Head of Exterior Design; Head of Modelling and Design Operations, Kevin Baker; Jeffrey King, Head of Advanced Surfacing and Luis Santos, Head of Design Projects.

Bentley also picked up two other significant Automotive Brand Contest awards for the new Bentayga: ‘Best of the Best’ in the Interior category and overall winner in the Exterior Premium Brand category.

Andrej Kupetz, CEO of the German Design Council, said:

“Under the design leadership of Stefan Sielaff, Bentley is transforming into a luxury brand for the future. With their specific skills in designing every facet of a luxury car, the team’s achievements are impressive in every respect. In every Bentley, every new model series, every concept car, the observer can sense the passion, expertise and joy with which the designers are plying their trade.”

Commenting on the two prizes awarded specifically to the Bentayga, Kueptz added:

“With the Bentayga’s interior, Bentley has transformed its design history and specific details of the brand into an entirely new vehicle configuration. What has been created is a perfect, British luxury interior.”

Congratulations team! It’s fantastic to be recognised in this way.

John Paul Gregory becomes new Head of Exterior Design at Bentley Motors

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Bentley Motors has today announced that John Paul Gregory will be its new Head of Exterior Design after SangYup Lee, the previous head, left earlier in the year

John Paul has spent more than 8 years with Bentley, most recently holding the position as Advanced Exterior Design Leader.

On John Paul’s promotion, Stefan Sielaff, Director of Design at Bentley Motors, commented:

“John Paul’s experience at Bentley is invaluable. He brings a passion for the brand and a deep understanding of the direction we wish to go in. This is an important time for the company as we look ahead to new models with John Paul, alongside our highly-skilled design team, bringing many insights and ideas to inspire the next great Bentley.”

Before joining Bentley in 2008, Gregory spent four years as an Exterior Designer for Volkswagen in Wolfsburg, following completion of a Masters Degree in Automotive Design at Hochschule Pforzheim University in Germany. Prior to this he studied in his native UK, gaining an Honours Degree in Transportation Design at the University of Northumbria, England.

On his appointment, John Paul Gregory commented:

“Bentley has an illustrious design history with an instantly recognisable, distinctive design language, one I am already very proud to play a part in evolving. I look forward to helping shape the next chapter and maintaining Bentley’s iconic status as a creator of luxurious, desirable, high performance cars.”

During the time that JP and I have worked at Bentley we have become great friends, so it is of particular pleasure to see him move into this pinnacle role at Bentley Motors. Congratulations!

Sir Peter Blake creates Pop Art Bentley for charity auction

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14 April 2016

Bentley Motors has teamed up with the godfather of British pop art, Sir Peter Blake, to create a one-of-a-kind Bentley Continental GT V8 S Convertible. This unique car will be auctioned for charity by Bonhams at the Goodwood Festival of Speed on 24 June.

Bentley commissioned Sir Peter to deliver the world’s first pop art Bentley, drawing on inspiration from the acclaimed artist’s celebrated career at the forefront of the famous British pop art movement. Bentley has donated the car to the Care2Save Charitable Trust, which provides palliative and hospice care around the world.

Commenting on this individual commission and the Charitable Trust, Kevin Rose, Bentley’s Member of the Board for Sales, Marketing and Aftersales, says:

“Sir Peter has designed a strikingly colourful car, encapsulating exactly why he is thought of as one of Britain’s leading artists. It was a fascinating project to be part of, particularly for the skilled artisans in our bespoke Mulliner division, who worked closely with Sir Peter to bring this design to life. We have proudly supported the Care2Save Charitable Trust and the hospice movement for more than 25 years and so take great delight from donating this inimitable car for such a worthwhile cause.”

Sir Peter Blake, perhaps best known for designing the sleeve for The Beatles iconic SgtPepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album, comments:

“I am proud to have been involved with transforming this beautiful car, and have enormous admiration for the people at Bentley who brought my design into being, to produce this one-off lovely car.”

The Bentley By Me campaign launched earlier this year, allows people the opportunity to donate any amount from £1 to help transform hospice and palliative care around the world, with the opportunity to win a Bentley.

Using the money raised from the Bentley by Me and Bentley By Blake campaigns, The Care2Save Charitable Trust will work with organisations and charities in other countries to educate and empower them to build their own sustainable and affordable hospice and palliative care models.

More information on the Bentley By Me campaign can be found at www.care2save.co.uk/bentley

First Bentley Bentayga rolls off the production line

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The very first Bentley Bentayga rolled off the production line in Crewe today, in what has been a very exciting day here at the factory, marking the culmination of 4 years hard work by everyone involved. This also marks the first time that Bentley has had 3 product lines available for sale. The other two being the Continental and Mulsanne ranges.

This has been one of the biggest investment programmes in the company’s history and is a massive success story for the factory in Crewe and for the local economy. The first Bentayga’s will be available for customers in early January.

Bentley Chairman and CEO, Wolfgang Dürheimer, commented today:

“Bentley Bentayga will be the benchmark against which all other SUVs are measured, defining a new segment – the luxury SUV.”

“This car is a celebration of UK manufacturing at its very best, not only reinforcing our commitment to industry in this country, job creation and significant investment, but to our home in Crewe. This is an important moment in our history, where we reflect and celebrate, but also look ahead to delivering this extraordinary car to our customers.”

Even after all this time working in the industry, it never fails to be exciting to see a new car launched that you have been so involved in. And what a special and historic car this is.

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