Bentley made a hugely successful return to public events in the USA with six debuts at Monterey Car Week 2021. A four-day exhibition of the company’s latest products and Beyond100 strategy was run entirely in accordance with CDC guidelines, keeping Bentley’s guests and staff COVID-safe throughout. All three of Bentley Mulliner’s stunning portfolios – Classic, Coachbuilt and Collections – came together for the first time, alongside a public debut of Bentley’s new hybrid range featuring both the new Flying Spur Hybrid and the Bentayga Hybrid.
The Home of Bentley in Monterey was once again the destination for more than 2,500 Bentley customers and aficionados over the course of the event, with 100 of them taking test drives in the latest products. The Home featured a different line-up of Bentleys every day, supported by a hand-crafted display detailing the company’s Beyond100 strategy – Bentley’s nine-year journey to become the world’s leading sustainable luxury mobility company. The display featured the biofuel-powered Continental GT3 Pikes Peak at its centre, surrounded by a selection of in-development sustainable materials and information on the brand’s path to complete carbon neutrality and climate positivity.
Another attraction was Bentley’s “Unifying Spur,” its body decorated with artwork created by designer Rich Morris to highlight Bentley’s new diversity and inclusion strategy that celebrates Bentley’s dedicated networks of colleagues and aims to increase diversity at management level to 30 percent by 2025.
Christophe Georges, President and CEO of Bentley Americas, comments:
“Returning to Monterey for the first time after rejoicing in our centenary at Pebble Beach in 2019 has been a fantastic experience. After the challenges of the pandemic we chose to celebrate our customers, alongside our thoroughly modern and diverse range of new models, and being able to see customers in-person after such a long time apart was a great experience for everyone. Monterey Car Week is always a highlight in our calendar, and was particularly special this year as Bentley continues to deliver the strongest results in the company’s history.”
Bacalar, Blower, a brace of Hybrids and the new Flying Spur Mulliner
The breadth of Bentley’s handcrafted model range was apparent in the cars on display this year.
The new Flying Spur Mulliner – the pinnacle of the Flying Spur range, and featuring unique Mulliner details – was unveiled at the Home of Bentley on Thursday evening. 22” Mulliner wheels with self-levelling centres, a unique “Double Diamond” front grille and satin silver mirror caps give the Flying Spur even greater elegance, and are matched in the cabin with a comprehensive suite of trim features and materials that elevate Bentley’s renowned handcraftsmanship to an even higher plane.
The Flying Spur Mulliner was joined by its Continental GT coupe and Convertible siblings to represent the Mulliner Collections portfolio, one of three arms of Bentley Mulliner. The Coachbuilt portfolio was demonstrated by the development prototype (“Car Zero”) of the Bacalar project, resplendent in new Scarab green paint and a retrimmed cabin, both specifically created for Monterey Car Week. With the first examples of 12 highly exclusive customer cars now in build in Mulliner’s workshop, the Bacalar was used for demonstration drives with some of its clients, and made a star appearance at The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering on Friday, August 13. The Bacalar then took pride of place on the Concept Lawn for Sunday’s Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.
The final star attraction from Mulliner was the representative of the Classic portfolio, in the form of the engineering prototype of the Blower Continuation Series. Having completed a 6,000 mile development and durability programme, Blower Car Zero was run on the roads around the peninsula every day during Monterey Car Week, covering 350 miles without missing a beat. Customers, media and guests were treated to passenger rides in the world’s first pre-war continuation car, to both delight and surprise at the car’s breath-taking performance.
Alongside the Mulliner showcase were new cars from Bentley’s mainstream product range. Of particular note was the public debut of Bentley’s new hybrid range, with the new Flying Spur Hybrid taking its place alongside the Bentayga Hybrid. Two thirds of Bentley’s model range is now available with a Hybrid option, as part of the brand’s journey to electrification and a first BEV by 2025.
The Mulliner family, the Hybrid range, the Unifying Spur and the Continental GT Speed Convertible formed a stunning display to welcome guests to Saturday night’s Signature Party, held at The Beach & Tennis Club in Pebble Beach where hundreds of VIP guests enjoyed an evening of fine food and drink accompanied by live music. The party followed the previous night’s private dinner at Seal Rock Beach for 150 clients, which was supported – as was the Home of Bentley – by Bentley’s new brand partner, The Macallan. Providing the finest drams for Bentley across the event – but never at a time when guests were driving – The Macallan x Bentley partnership was brought to life by regional brand ambassador Keiron Elliot, who led guests through tastings and explained the journey that the two partners will be going on together.