This is what a true luxury car is like.
Luxury is a tough game. Every car brand offers luxury, from quality leather to top technology, and many luxury brands have added exclusive perks concierge services. So how does Bentley stay ahead of the curve, I wondered?
By staying in step with the customer it turns out. I spent a couple of days with Bentley’s design and customer team and learned how the brand continues to keep the world’s elite ensconced in a cocoon of exclusivity while remaining a leader in luxury and in step with their clientele.
The Bentley experience isn’t just about the car, it’s about being a Bentley Owner. Before our test drive I was initiated into the world of Bentley two ways: By joining the brand’s exclusive, owners-only social media network, and by filling out an owner profile that allowed the company’s designers to understand me so they could design my ideal car.
The World of Bentley, in an App
The Bentley Network opens your world to all things Bentley. It connects Bentley owners around the globe to one another. Meet other Bentley owners through the app or find a Bentley owner meetup.
And you can get to know the Bentley ownership group through exclusive events and trips. You can get a front row seat at Monterey Car Week or Goodwood Festival or join an exclusive tour, such as the La Passeggiata, which brings Bentley owners together for a driving tour of the Cote’d Azur and the Italian ending in Venice for a return to London on the Orient Express. All side by side with your Bentley brethren and sisterhood.
The Experience of a Lifetime- Custom Designing Your Own Luxury Car
Maybe the most immersive of Bentley experiences is the customization of your new Bentley. As a new owner you’ll fill out a short survey that asks about things such as your favorite hotel, your favorite travel destinations, where you like to shop, the brands you love the most. Then the Bentley team in Crew, England, led by chief of design Darren Day, who you’ll get to work with, starts to design your car. They’ll assess your likes, your aesthetics and your preferences and translate that into the ideal car for you.
My tastes run the spectrum from sublime to bold, a fan of Neiman Marcus and vintage rock ’n’ roll, a love of luxury brands but without the weight of ostentatious badges.
Bentley nailed it. The vision board they assembled from my survey answers tapped a handful of things I love but I’m sure I hadn’t mentioned. The overall feel was modern and fresh, with just a touch of sparkle (every girl needs sparkle!).
And, they put me in a Bentayga, truly my first choice among Bentleys. I love this SUV’s size and scale, the flexibility of all wheel drive and seats that fold down to afford more cargo space, and the driver experience was stellar. It is responsive, easy to drive and in true Bentley speak, “It has that.”
And, it fits my sublime but bold aesthetic perfectly. Yes, it bears the Bentley “B” badge, but the shape and scale of the Bentayga is a bit stealth; it’s not a lighting rod for lookie-loos or law enforcement with a mean streak.
And this allowed me to flow in with traffic, take on the curves of the road and the beautiful scenery and to truly enjoy the feel of a bespoke luxury car.