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China's Luxury Car Market Booms – Chinese Women Drive Ferrari Sales. Wait, WHAT?

Monday May 3rd, 2010 at 11:55 AM
Posted by: michael.leroy

China FerrariFerrari and other luxury automakers are looking East for new sales

If were not able to snap up a Ferrari 599 GTO before they sold out, maybe a woman in China bought Ferrari’s newest super car from right under your nose. According to GoAuto.com.au, Chinese Women are driving Ferrari sales in the People’s Republic of China. 20 percent of the 220 Italian super cars were sold to women this year. In the West, only five percent of Ferrari’s sales are to women.

Ferrari is hoping to at least double sales in the PRC. China has weathered this recession much better than we have in the U.S. and its wealthy elite are chomping at the bit to buy luxury cars.

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Next Bentley Arnage To Feature Audi Turbo-Diesel

Wednesday April 1st, 2009 at 8:44 AM
Posted by: tonyb

Bentley Arnage

More news about Bentley being slowly dragged, kicking and screaming, into this whole eco-awareness deal. This time, it seems that the next iteration of their Arnage will be available with a diesel mill under its expansive hood.

It has long been rumored that Bentley is interested in diesel engines. Bentley is caught between a rock and a hard place, engineering-wise. Their cars weigh many, many tons, yet there are increasing environmental demands, which usually means smaller engines. Smaller engines will not do for Bentley, so, enter the diesel. An oil-burner would enable the boys from Crewe to continue offering the kind of performance for which they are known, while improving fuel economy, and also cut down on pollutants with the latest developments in particulate filter technology.

Bentley corporate sibling Audi, which has carved out a nice niche for itself in diesel propulsion, seems to be a match made in motor heaven; just look what Audi did to Help Lambo work out its production & management kinks. So, now reports suggest that at long last, an Audi diesel is set to be installed in the next Arnage sedan.

The rumored diesel is a V12 turbo-diesel used in the current Audi Q7 TDI, cranking out 500 horsepower and a foundation shifting 738 lb-ft of torque, perfect for what Brits call “a big saloon.” Of course if it was up to me, I’d like to see Audi cram that into one of its S3s, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves here. A diesel V12 of that capability would fit quite nicely under the stylish hood of a Bentley.

Source: AutoBlog

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Bentley's Future: Less Weight, Diesel and PHEV

Wednesday March 25th, 2009 at 8:33 AM
Posted by: tonyb

Bentley Motors

Here’s a bit of a surprise, Bentley, long seen as a car of excess has begun to look at things in a little more frugal manner. Coming to market along with the next gen Continental model will be new powertrains and more than just that, weight reduction will also be part of the program.

Franz-Josef Paefgen Bentley CEO mentioned at this years the Geneva Motor Show that an all-new powertrain would appear in Bentleys by 2012. He did not give specifics, but the rumors flew that it would be a diesel, since Bentley is part of the Volkswagen group. A diesel would be an obvious choice with its high torque being a good match for the big British luxury machines. All of the current Continental variants are powered by very impressive twin-turbo W12s with VW DNA.

If Bentley forgoes the diesel route, another option theorized would be a plug-in electric vehicle. Since Bentleys already cost you an arm and a leg, they could more easily absorb the cost of batteries and hybrid hardware. The hybrid system being developed by VW and Porsche, and most probably headed for SUVs, is modular enough that it could be adapted to other vehicles. Adding plug-in capability would be technically easy, and could allow the Continental to operate silently at lower speeds on electricity.

Now about that diet. The new Continental SuperSports that bowed in Geneva actually started as a weight reduction project, and THEN flex-fuel capability was added to the engine. The next gen Continental is expected to drop about 400 lbs through increased aluminum and high strength steel. Good, these cars were pretty hefty to begin with.

Source: AutoBlogGreen

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Speed Sells: Bentley Unveils New Continental GTC Speed

Wednesday January 7th, 2009 at 11:11 AM
Posted by: m35man

Bentley Continental GTC SpeedOn Jan. 6th, Bentley kicked off the New Year with the unveiling of the Continental GTC Speed, a more powerful version of its Continental GTC convertible aimed at attracting younger buyers to the luxury marquee.

This isn’t a car; it’s a rocket. It’s been engineered to achieve 203 mph. If I owned this vehicle I’d lose my license in a month. A new generation of driver wants this type of speed and apparently Bentley is listening in a big way.

The new Continental GTC Speed will debut at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit next week and will be touted as the most powerful Bentley convertible ever built.

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300 Layoffs Coming to Bentley

Tuesday November 11th, 2008 at 10:1111 AM
Posted by: tonyb

Uh-oh, this can’t be a good sign. For those of you that have been living in a snow cave for the past however-long, there’s been this whole, world-wide financial shake up. And it looks to be pretty bad. How bad? Bad enough for Bentley to lay off upwards of 300 people.

Yes, it would be THAT Bentley. The Bentley of Bentley Boys fame from Le Mans in the 20s. The Bentley that for years was the sporty half of Rolls Royce.

If Bentley is having trouble selling cars, that means one of two things: either the cars aren’t very good, or there are fewer rich people willing to buy them.

It ain’t number one, I can tell you that, because the cars that Bentley has been turning out for the past while been simply outstanding for what they are. As you know, I’m a light weight sportscar kind of guy, so something like a Bentley Mulsanne is not exactly my cup of tea. I do however, respect them. Any car that weighs that much that can hustle that fast you have to respect. And they’re amazingly comfortable inside.

Anyway, that leaves us with option two: Fewer rich people willing to buy them.

Seems that is the case, Bentley is cutting the night shift on the Continental line at Crewe in response to falling sales.

Uh-oh, this can’t be a good sign.

Source: CarScoop

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