Bentley’s design conundrum

5 03 2011

For a long time I wasn’t the biggest Bentley fan. Always enjoyed them, but didn’t always love them…that changed and now I’m 100% sold on the big Brits. Even from a colder perspective, just strictly as a product one has to admit that they’re at a perfect point: not as flashy as a Rolls Royce, certainly more driver oriented and much more exclusive and appealing than anything that Germans have the offer in terms of luxury.

Now that being said, Bentley has a huge problem that in my personal view, messes up – even if it is in a superficial, small way – every single car they release into the market, and this flaw is: the rear. Yes, the rear. In every single Bentley from the last (more or less) 10 years you always get the same reaction: you start at a front and go “Amazing, beautiful car”, you check them out in profile and think “fantastic elegance, they’ve really done it this time!”, but then you get to the rear and inevitably the word “hideous” comes to mind, messing up all those cool points from before. It’s like the designers lost their will to live just before the cars were finished.  I can’t wrap my mind around the fact that no one stops these things from being made when the car is still in the design stage.

A little illustration of the issue – a few images from Bentleys that look amazing until they turn their backs on you:

The Continental T, an amazing looking thing,  loads of charisma and extremely attractive lines, a killer look.

Its ugly rear.

The Arnage R. A beautiful, fast super luxury ride. Like the Continental T, great presence and one of the most recognizable faces in the automotive world, unmistakably a Bentley.

Its ugly rear.

The Brooklands. Just look at it, magnificent! You can feel the respect and admiration you’d get driving one of these continent size coupes.

Its ugly rear.

See my point? And the most worrying thing about the trend is that is still going on right now. Bentley presented the Muslanne recently and it’s the exact same thing! I wish Bentley would get its stuff in order and stop messing up perfectly good car design. Don’t get me wrong, no matter what a Bentley will sell like hotcakes, but for the true enthusiasm of a car’s greatness, as a whole, plate to plate, the palate requires something more sophisticated and if there’s one company who should be able to provide that for you, its Bentley.

#betterBentleybutts

Image sources:

Continental T

Arnage R

Brooklands

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