Bentley today wafts through commonly understood ultra-luxury-car circles as an established player، duking it out with high-end Porsches، Mercedes-Benzes، and others for the richest Americans' cash. But in 2003، Bentley was in a very different (and worse) position in the new-car market. So how did it go from a niche player، a British curiosity floated along by platforms and engines borrowed from Rolls-Royce، to producing more than 10،000 cars a year?، as the Car News.
The short answer is: the Continental GT، which appeared—first as a coupe، then later as a convertible—in 2003، using a classic Bentley name. This was the first modern Bentley، meaning it was designed under the tutelage of the Volkswagen Group، which Bentley joined in 1998. The GT used components that mostly came from Volkswagen and Audi، including its unusual twin-turbocharged W-12 engine. (Unlike more common، albeit still rare، V-12 engines، which have two banks of six cylinders that meet to form a V shape، a W-12 sports four banks of three cylinders arranged to resemble a W.) Unlike in the Rolls-Royce days، the Conti's components were blended with the GT's retro-modern good looks inside and out such that they weren't immediately noticeable as having been borrowed.