I must say that being a journalist offers some truly pleasurable moments. Indeed, here I am sitting on the back seat of an azure 1999 Bentley, stretching my legs and admiring the glossy honey-hued walnut veneer, my feet sunk into a silken cloud of fur as I inhale the wonderful fragrance of a very well-cared for, just-like-new automobile. Unfolding outside, a view of rugged red rocks, canyons and promontories sculpted by a wind that has been sweeping this landscape for millennia. We’re in Oman, the land of incense and the setting chosen by Bentley to hold the press preview for its new Brooklands coupe.
Extreme Sports Car Luxury Sold out across the world even before its unveiling, Bentley officially presented the Brooklands coupe at the Geneva Motor Show. This car gives a superb performance and the company plans a strictly limited lifetime production of 550 models, all of which hand-assembled, of course.
In addition to the serenely classic majesty of its design, this super-luxury land yacht affords the sports experience of a coupe enhanced by the ultimate comfort of a very smooth drive, leaving me free to enjoy the panorama of infinite space and the divine silence of the red dunes of Oman, while dreaming of the warm Turkish sea waiting to welcome me.
The cabin, which spans 5.5 metres, is much roomier than any other coupe in the world, a real lounge in which a lady like myself can easily stash a bag of any size, including those magnificent old-style beauty cases unsuited to modern air travel. The legendary “by Crewe” engine is the most powerful V8 ever made, 6.75 litres, hand-assembled and turbocharged, using a new obstacle- free airflow system, to help push power to 537hp, delivering 100km/h in 5.3 seconds and a top speed of around 296km/h. The automatic six-gear transmission is one of the most reliable planet-wide. For braking power, the Brooklands is equipped with large-sized discs mounted on a production line tourer, built to last as long as the car itself and designed to give highly effective stopping power.
What is luxury if not the extreme celebration of detail, to which Bentley takes an almost fanatical approach? While the Brooklands has the distinctive exterior of a pleasing British design, the interiors are the highest attestation to the opulence of the brand. Fine and fragrant leather upholstery offered in 25 different colours, deluxe walnut veneer that completely covers the dashboard and central console and top-of-therange aluminium controls with a vintage flavour. And for those looking for the absolute in customisation, Bentley offers an infinite range of possible combinations.
The sensual controls are an open invitation to jump behind the wheel and drive off into the sunset, while the four-paddle steering wheel with imprinted logo gives the car a traditional feel. Highly modern complements such as a top-roll mounted satellite navigation system, audio system with MP3 play & 6-disc auto-changer, Bluetooth rSA P telephone system, and air conditioning system with individual front and rear settings add the final touch. For extra comfort, the Brooklands also has massage seats. Of course, incorporated seat belts and lateral airbags come as part of the package, while electronic controls are also supplied for the back seats, ensuring maximum driving pleasure.
Test driving the Brooklands across the dunes of Oman was a revelatory experience, it let me enjoy the ride and not only the destination, the car and myself, as well as the world beyond. Accompanied by my dreams and my imagination, I was able to abandon myself to the pleasure of the moment. Pampered by a discreet and devoted luxury, cradled by the safety of advanced technology.
Visit Bentley today: Bentley Motors Limited, Gulf Business Centre, Crowne Plaza Offices, Sheikh Zayed Road. Tel. +971 (0)4 329 1083.
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