China full of eastern promise for Bentley
Bentley sir? Yes, with wings on, please. Frederic Manby introduces the Chinese takeaway for the wealthy.
MAHARAJAS were renowned for their fleets of RollsRoyces, often adapted as shooting platforms for big game hunting.
Meanwhile, their tenants lived in subservient poverty.
Today, it is the Chinese who are displaying the trappings of capitalism in a country where the majority are stumbling along under the crumbling yoke of communism.
Good on Bentley, then, for feeding this hunger for avarice with a bespoke pair of limos. The Continental Flying Spur Speed China and the Continental GT Design Series China are glittering at the 2010 Auto China Show, in Beijing.
China is Bentley’s third largest market. It now has nine dealers and last year sold 421 cars. Four more shops open this year.
What does the Chinese fat cat want in his Bentley? Well, Bentley is offering orange metallic paint for this first time – and more use of contrasting colour details in the cabin, including orange for the stitching.
“These cars will be further distinguished by some subtle exterior and interior ‘Design Series China’ motifs. These include an exterior wing badge, treadplate and name badge positioned on the centre console – all bearing the Design Series China signature,” reports Bentley. Did it say subtle? The Flying Spur Speed China, based on the world’s fastest saloon car, is fitted with an exhaust which has been made quieter and suspension which is more comfortable “which emphasises the car’s superior ride quality for both driver and passengers”, notes Bentley. I think we could do with that in the Yorkshire Dales, too.
Other swanky bits for China include a display case for the ignition key, maybe for pride of place in the jade-rich display case.
Geoff Dowding, Regional Director, Asia and Middle East, comments: “Bentley has a long and proud tradition of creating exclusive cars designed to meet the styling and driving tastes of our customers, wherever in the world they might be.
“Designed and offered exclusively for our customers in China, these specialedition Bentleys showcase our styling and engineering teams’ abilities and also underline our desire to create cars for this influential market.”
IN DEMAND: Bentley’s Continental GT Design Series China.