The British luxury car maker Bentley — owned by Volkswagen since 1998 — is continuously developing a new model range with the code name BY 611, which will consist of three new cars. The first one is the Bentley Continental GT Coupé, introduced at the Paris Motor Show back in autumn 2002. Its production has started only recently, and the very first cars are being delivered to customers now. The Continental GT is already sold out for one year.
Next in line is the Bentley sedan, due for launch in November this year, and finally a convertible for release in 2005. According to latest rumours, the convertible may be assembled at Karmann in Osnabrück, Germany.
With the new model range, Bentley is about to enter new territory against Mercedes, BMW, and Jaguar, and prototypes of the new models were tested at the same location as its competitors, the famous German race track Nürburgring. The test cars there are cleverly hidden under a Phaeton or Audi body to mislead curious onlookers.
The interior will still be made and fitted by the craftsmen at Crewe in Great Britain. Inside Bentley uses the same fine quality materials as the bigger models in the range. Designers have also been careful to make sure no visible components bear any resemblance to those used in other VW products. Power comes from a 560-hp W-12 twin-turbo engine; top speed is 318 km/h. An all-wheel drive transmission ensures maximum traction on slippery roads.