Bringing together a 1929 Bentley 4.5l Birkin 'Blower' and the new Bentley Continental GTC Convertible at the historic Imperial War Museum Duxford for an exclusive covershoot for luxury lifestyle magazine TEMPUS, Britain's most iconic car manufacturer BENTLEY MOTORS is taking no prisoners when it describes its legacy.
In our cover interview, Bentley's Director of Design, STEFAN SIELAFF, unveiled exclusive details about the brand's next big reveal – the Centenary Concept Car, which will be launched at the 100-year celebration on 10 July – and shared why he believes Bentley Motors cannot be surpassed by its rival luxury car manufacturers.
"As you can imagine, to celebrate the centenary of a luxury brand like Bentley is a big challenge," he said. "Bentley’s very much related to heritage, but the anniversary also gives us the chance to look into the future."
On the Bentley Centenary Concept Car (launching 10 July): “It will deal with a new propulsion technology. It will tackle the concepts of driving and being driven. It will deal with sustainability, with social responsibilities and with new and alternative materials. With this launch, we will not only create the technology statement for the future, we will also give a design statement or, perhaps we could say a sociological or a society statement from our point of view on what is the future of luxury.”
On the future of Bentley: “Our technology road maps reach as far as the next 30 year. This is something we will embed and incorporate in our centenary concept car. It will be an example of what we want to do with the brand and with our product in the next 30 years. Technology is, of course, influencing design. I always say that only with a technological innovation can you do a big jump to a big innovation in design.”
On self-driving technology: "Even when cars are driving autonomously, I believe we’ll still give our customers the opportunity to drive these vehicles on their own. Maybe not at 100% control, maybe at 50-50 or 70-30. You won’t be an object sitting in a tin box that’s delivering you from A to B. You’re still a personality who is able to make your own decisions when you’re a Bentley owner.”
On the difference between Bentley Motors and Rolls-Royce Motor Cars: “Bentley has always been a fusion of the best in both luxury and performance. This fusion will continue because Bentley will always be a vehicle that is used very individually by the owner – it’s an almost romantic sensation. Even in the future, driving a Bentley will be about the experience. When you pack your suitcase and head off on a grand tour for two days or two weeks, you are completely free. The best of two worlds is something that is contained in this performance and luxury, which is a bit different to other brands like Rolls-Royce – Rolls-Royce is pure luxury, but not performance.”
Bentley Motors' 100-year anniversary photoshoot for Tempus Magazine was shot at IWM Duxford, with thanks to Breitling and the Breitling Jet Team.
Photographer: Mark Riccioni for Tempus Magazine
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