Volkswagen AG's Bentley is going to try to entice Maybach’s customers such as Samuel L. Jackson, Jay-Z and King Juan Carlo, The British high-end car maker is aiming to capitalize on Daimler AG’s decision to terminate the ultra-luxury brand.
At the Detroit Auto Show, Bentley CEO Wolfgang Duerheimer said that Maybach’s move to withdraw is a “business opportunity” that the company will explore. Last November, Daimler said that it intended to terminate the output of Maybachs, which begin at $380,000.
He said that even with an endorsement from Jay-Z, who is the owner of one of the cars and has destroyed another one with a blowtorch. It was also seen in a music video released four months earlier.
Other Bentley customers are: Russian oil billionaire Roman Abramovich, and the Sultan of Brunei. He said that the Bentley boss has heard feedback from some Maybach clients and is "in the process" of writing to others, says Autonews. Under the leadership of CEO Dieter Zetsche, Daimler is concentrating on the core Mercedes brand's top-flight S-Class and is introducing pricier versions designed to acquire and enlarge Maboosuper-rich client base, beginning next year.
However, Bentley and BMW AG's Rolls-Royce Motor Cars hope that those consumers that models that have the prestige badge will defect to their luxurious models, the Phantom and the Mulsanne. Michael Tyndall, an auto specialist with Barclays Capital in London, said that analysts like taking their chances with Maybach customers. He added that there has to be something more exclusive than a Mercedes. This is why the Rolls or Bentley are being considered.
Bentley disclosed that both the Continental GT and the Continental GTC will be equipped with the twin turbocharged 4.0-liter engine. This allows the two models to achieve power-to-emissions levels that are more exceptional considering that they are part of the high luxury sports car segment.
Since the V8 engine comes with variable displacement that offers highly advanced engine management system, and when under a light throttle load, ensures a smooth shift, almost indiscernible, to V4 from V8. This is not the only feature as the V8 engine also comes with low friction bearings, high pressure direct injection, and thermal management.
There is even a charging system that allows for energy recuperation plus an advanced turbo package that allows for enhanced efficiency. In terms of figures, the maximum power offered by the V8 engine is at 500 bhp (507 PS/373 kW) possible at 6000 rpm. Torque is remarkably high at 660 Nm (487 lb ft) available from 1,700 rpm and up to 5,000 rpm, a rather wide range. Indeed these numbers reveal that it has the power and performance that Bentley has been known for.
Another feature that differentiates the new V8 engine from other Bentley models is its highly recognizable sound. Its power is indeed excellent and when paired with the automatic 8-speed transmission, it allows for a close ratio. In fact, acceleration from 0 to 60 mph (0 to 100 km/h) is possible in nearly 5 seconds.
Maximum speed is measured at 180 mph or 290 km/h. Equipped with the V8 engine, the Continental models are able to get exceptional fuel efficiency as well as lower CO2 emissions. This is unique especially in the luxury performance segment and allows the vehicle to go at least 500 miles (800 km) using only one fuel tank.
With the new V8 engine fitted in the Continental, Bentley is able to fulfill its commitment to protecting the environment as fuel efficiency and CO2 emissions are better by 40%. Bentley said though that official figures are expected to come out by the early part of 2012.
While the Continental GT and the Continental GTC are differentiated from the other models with the V8 engine, they stand out as well with their muscular character. Helping with this is the lower part of the black bumper in the front with a matrix three-segment separated by the unique strakes in the same color as that of the body.
There is also the Bentley 'B' badge in red enamel and black gloss matrix grille that has center bar and chrome frame. On its rear section, there is also the 'B' bootlid badge in red enamel and dark lower valance. When coupled with the 'figure eight' exhaust tailpipes in chrome, the modern and athletic personality of the new V8 engine is enhanced.