Motor Mouth

Bentley mixes heart-stopping pace with space in its exclusive Brooklands Coupe. Now we're torquing, says Sathnam Sanghera.

by
Last Updated: 06 Nov 2012

According to a recent survey of more than 1,000 women, the most seductive woman of all time has Jennifer Lopez's nose, Kelly Brook's hair and body, Halle Berry's eyes and Angelina Jolie's pout, and sports Marilyn Monroe's white frock.

Which is all very well, except that such a person - dubbed Angelle L'Brook by the PR gimps behind the poll - won't come into being unless (a) a great many celebrities die simultaneously, having all spontaneously agreed to donate their most famous body parts, and (b) we see some pretty rapid developments in transplant technology.

The analogy extends to cars. Manufacturers are forever dreaming up Frankenstein creations - combining the features of a limo with a sports car is a common experiment - but these are rarely the sum of their parts. The Maserati Quattroporte looks great, for instance, and promises both sportiness and comfort, but delivers poor versions of both. The Ferrari Scaglietti is fabulous, but only because it is essentially a sports car: the seats in the back are impractically titchy.

So my expectations for the Bentley Brooklands, an attempt by the Crewe manufacturer to take the Arnage into sportier territory, were so low. As an idea, it's ludicrous, not least because the Arnage T is the only sporty limo that currently manages to pull it off. To soup it up would be to upset a balance as delicate as that of, say, the human circulation and respiratory system.

But they've done it anyway. Two of the Arnage's four doors have gone. The roof is a full 47mm lower. The whole thing has been plonked on specially developed 20-inch wheels. And the 530bhp twin-turbocharged 6.75 litre engine is the most powerful that Crewe has produced in 60 years, developing the highest-ever torque output of any V8 automotive engine in the world.

It's a good job Bentley has also souped up the brakes with the largest-diameter discs of any production passenger car on sale - otherwise you'd be demolishing properties all around Mayfair. This car is heart-stoppingly fast.

Which means it's a preposterous limo, right? Well, I got to test it out when I drove to a wedding and offered to take the father and bride to church. I immediately regretted the offer when I remembered the car had two doors and I envisaged the bride getting stuck in the back. But it was a breeze: on top of everything else, the Brooklands offers the most spacious rear cabin of any coupe in the world. As a transplant, it's a success. And not a speck of blood shed.

I'LL TAKE ONE ...
Exclusive - only 550 are being made.
Beautiful.

THANKS BUT NO THANKS ...
Laughably expensive.
Laughable fuel economy.
First-year production already sold out.

SPECIFICATION
Bentley Brooklands Coupe £230,000
Engine: Twin-turbocharged V8, 6.75 litres
Combined power: 530 bhp @ 4,000 rpm
Torque: 774 lb/ft @ 3,200rpm
Transmission: 6-speed automatic (Tiptronic)
Fuel: 14.5 mpg (combined cycle)
CO2: 465 g/km
0-60 mph: 5.0 sec
Top speed: 184 mph

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