Bentley’s Brooklands, the replacement for the Continental T, tends to get overlooked because of the overwhelming popularity of its little sibling, the Continental GT. Being the flagship coupe, this was a much more luxurious and expensive vehicle than the GT, so that rarefied air suits it well. Luckily, just because the Brooklands is the big, well-appointed alternative doesn’t mean it is devoid of any sporting aspirations. Along with a well-sorted suspension, the big story here is the engine.
That engine happens to be the famous 6 ¾ litre V8 that has been around since the Beatles were still together. In this application, however, it has been strapped with a duo of turbochargers so that it produces 530 bhp, propelling the big coupe to a top speed of 296 km/h. Even more impressive than the power is the pavement-punishing 774 lb-ft of torque, which gives this L-Series engine more torque than any petrol V8 before it. Even with a 2,650 kg kerb weight, this prodigious power output allowed the Brooklands to reach 100 km/h in just 5.3 seconds. An optional £20,000 carbon-ceramic braking system is given the unenviable job of reining in all that inertia. Meanwhile, gearchanges are handled by a ZF-sourced 6-speed automatic. And while the suspension is kept soft enough to provide a pleasant ride on any surface, it remains sporty enough to give drivers confidence on backroads.
The Brooklands isn’t just a big, powerful coupe; it was also one of the most luxurious cars in the world during its production from 2008 to 2011. Acres of leather, stainless steel, and wood trim provide occupants with the highest levels of tranquillity – anytime the engine isn’t pinning them back into their seats with its tidal wave of torque. From any angle and no matter how closely inspected, it is clear that Bentley crafted the Brooklands with great attention to detail.
Bentley really outdid themselves with this one, making a gorgeous, powerful, athletic vehicle that is tough to find fault in; aside from an enormous price tag, that is. With an asking price of £230,000, just 550 Bentley Brooklands were made. After production ceased, no real successor was ever made by Bentley: the closest you will get to a Brooklands today is the fabulous Rolls-Royce Wraith.