Bentley Takes Flight (Sort Of)
In 2016 Bentley Motor delivered 11,023 vehicles globally, which was a nine percent increase over its sales in 2015. The number one region for the marque was the Americas, which accounted for about a quarter of all sales; 2,792 cars were delivered in the region.
Another market that is undoubtedly exceedingly important to Bentley (in addition to China, which is exceedingly important to all automakers, especially those who are luxury brands or trying to be) is the Middle East.
In 2016 there were 1,239 vehicle delivered to the Middle East, which was down slightly from the 1,274 in 2015.
Which brings us to the in-car falconry kit that the company has developed for the Bentayga SUV, the Bentayga Falconry by Mulliner (Bentley’s “personal commissioning division”).
There is no better way to describe this than to use the company’s own words because you might not believe it if we didn’t:
At the heart of the Bentayga Falconry by Mulliner are two individual natural-cork-fabric-trimmed units: a master flight station and a refreshment case. These sit on a movable tray that allows for easy access. Inside the master flight unit is a special Piano Black veneered drawer – with a saker falcon crest – containing bespoke storage for all the equipment required for this unique sport.
Beneath this is a laser-embossed Hotspur hide stowage tray with individual compartments for a GPS bird tracking unit, binoculars and hand-crafted leather bird hoods and gauntlets, all of which are available as an additional option. The refreshment case houses three metal flasks and durable cups, a blanket and refreshing face cloths.
Two individual perches are stored in a special natural-cork-fabric-trimmed case which slots into a hard pocket built into the side of the boot. A boot-floor and rear-sill protection cover – also in cork – is discreetly integrated into the rear of the Bentayga. Using this reversible feature in conjunction with the in-car perch, falconers can prepare their bird in comfort and shade.
Inside the Bentayga’s Hotspur-hide-trimmed cabin, there is a removable transportation perch and tether on the central armrest, and an exquisite example of Mulliner’s skill with marquetry. The sweeping desert scene – featuring a soaring saker falcon – was created using 430 individual pieces of wood sourced from all over the world and hand-crafted over nine days.
There is no indication what this costs.
But presumably if you have to ask, you don’t need to know.
A young(ish) guy that I’ve known for a number of years, a man who spent the better part of his career writing for auto buff books and who is a car racer on the side, mentioned to me that his wife has a used Lexus ES Hybrid.
The mid-size 2005 Pathfinder, Nissan's largest design and development program to date, involved three technical centers, and took 36 months and countless trans-Pacific trips to complete. Though it borrows major components from the full-size Titan pickup and Armada SUV, it's not just a downsized clone.
The Lexus ES sedan is more than just an offering within the company’s lineup.