2010 Bentley Brooklands Review

Brooklands

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2010 Bentley Brooklands Overview

Regal and imposing, the 2010 Bentley Brooklands deserves a place in automotive history as one of the greatest luxury coupes ever built. In a time when technology has changed how we design and build cars, it’s nice to know that the folks at Bentley Motors are dedicated to preserving the lost art of custom coach building.

Only 550 Bentley Brooklands coupes will be made, each one custom crafted to order. All will share the same layout and powertrain, but beyond that, each can be considered unique. Paint colors, leather hues and interior finishes can be individually selected from Bentley’s extensive portfolio. Owners desiring the ultimate in exclusivity can even provide their own samples and swatches, which the artisans at Bentley will transform into one-of-a-kind paint and trim details.

Even though it seats only four passengers, the 2010 Brooklands checks in at a scale-straining three tons. Despite its huge size, the Brooklands is well-proportioned and certainly makes an impression at the valet stand. The body panels, exquisitely formed and laser straight, are finished with some of the most lustrous paint ever seen on a production automobile.

Under the 2010 Brooklands’ massive hood lurks Bentley’s famed 6.75-liter V8 engine. Despite its ancient design (it was first introduced in 1959), the "six-and-three-quarter liter" V8 is still able to meet stringent European emissions standards while at the same time producing ungodly amounts of power and torque. Though it revs to only 4,600 rpm, the Brooklands’ V8 makes 530 hp and a stupefying 774 lb-ft of torque. This incredible output is made possible by two huge intercooled turbochargers and a sophisticated engine management system. Power flows to the rear wheels via a 6-speed automatic gearbox, heavily reinforced to cope with the stress of all that torque.

Though the Brooklands’ acceleration is quite impressive, the coupe’s extraordinary heft makes for handling that is slightly ponderous. While pitch and roll are held reasonably in check, the Brooklands simply can’t cope with quick changes of direction. The upside of the Bentley’s road-hugging weight is a superbly composed ride, even with the low-profile 20-inch tires. The optional carbon-ceramic brakes, though very expensive, do a magnificent job of stopping this behemoth and are nearly impervious to fade.

Inside the Brooklands, occupants are treated to finishes that dazzle the senses. The specially selected leather hides are amazingly supple and fragrant, while the polished, box-matched wood trim looks as if it belongs in the drawing room at Windsor Castle. The coupe’s ergonomics are far from perfect, and the relative lack of features might surprise some buyers, but the old-world craftsmanship on display isn’t likely to be seen again for some time.

Some might regard the 2010 Brooklands as an anachronism, a relic of stuffy old British tradition. Others might view it as a vulgar, ostentatious symbol of wealth and conspicuous consumption. Yet motoring enthusiasts who value tradition should applaud the fact that our modern world can still produce a timeless classic.

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