The 15 Best Bentleys Of All Time

Making a list of the "best" Bentleys presents a challenge as it would be difficult to classify any Bentley as "not great." Long heralded for being a maker of exquisitely fine automobiles, Bentley sits in the corner of the marketplace where only the ultra-wealthy get to play. Its cars have for years been priced well above the price of a modest home for most Americans and, perhaps, the price of many homes in other parts of the world. That is not to say they are not priced as such for no reason. While it would be easy to speculate that the profit margin on a Bentley is substantial, the automaker pours an impressive amount of resources into making its cars among the finest in the world.

The name Bentley carries with it a certain cache that exudes power and notoriety. The company has a long history with its beginnings nearing the birth of the auto industry itself. Also, while the current Volkswagen-owned company concentrates on fine luxury vehicles, founder W.O. Bentley was keen to have his cars on the race track and built many of the fastest cars in early motor racing history. The Bentley story is an interesting one and the products that have come from it are some of the most desirable ever made. This is a list of perhaps the best 15 Bentley vehicles made to date.

Blower Bentley

Starting with one of the best known of the early models, the Blower Bentley was one of the special racing-type cars to set about the tracks of Europe in search of checkered flags. Bentley lists the car as having a 4.5-liter four-cylinder engine with a Villiers root-type supercharger that produced 240 horsepower. The blower was added at the behest of independent race driver Tim Birkin, was able to propel the car to a second-place finish at the 1930 French Grand Prix, and set a Brooklands lap record of 137.96 mph in 1932.

Founder W.O. Bentley had protested against adding a supercharger to one of his cars as his philosophy of the day was to make engines larger to increase power and performance. However, by the late 1920s. Bentley was not in full control of the company and was overruled. 50 Blower Bentleys were produced. One example is still owned by the company and has been used to recreate the vehicle bolt by bolt brand new models by the heritage division within the Bentley Motor company.


It seems the SUV has been one of the most controversial topics of conversation among car enthusiasts since the mid-90s. It got especially touchy when certain vaunted sports car brands broke into the business of family haulers and roused the ire of the brand purists. However, sales of the SUV are now a staple of all carmakers and it simply must be included to remain competitive. Therefore, Bentley entered the family wagon market with the Bentayga in 2015.

It should be a given that if Bentley is going to build a new kind of vehicle, it will be done with exacting attention to detail and replete with luxury accouterments. The manufacturer's website lists engine options as a V8, 6.0-liter W12, or a V6 hybrid. Performance is impressive with the slowest 0-60 mph time of just 5.8 seconds and the fastest time of just 3.8, which is awfully fast acceleration for a grocery hauler. It also offers stunning interiors with soft diamond-stitched leather on the seats, dash, doors, and most other exposed interior panels. A bevy of electronics round out the SUV with power everything, heated and cooled everything, and enough walnut and brushed aluminum to keep a Saudi prince happy.

2002 Bentley State Limousine

As Bentley is among the most stereotypically British brands in existence, one might assume that naturally her majesty Queen Elizabeth II would own a Bentley limousine in her fleet. But, until 2002, that would be wrong. Individuals had owned early Bentley models, but not until the creation of the Bentley State Limousine in 2002 did one reside in the official fleet, per the manufacturer.

Building bespoke motor cars for aristocrats and tycoons is nothing new to Bentley. That said, building a car not just for royalty, but for the Queen, requires another level of personalization. Since the car would not just be a means of transportation, but a showcase of the country itself, the Bentley State Limousine is the most highly customized and personalized vehicle ever made by Bentley.

Details from Bentley show the car is built upon the Arnage model but differs vastly from the standard car. The Limousine is wider, taller, and has larger windows all around. Its doors and seats are produced specifically to make it easier for the Queen to enter and exit the car. So much car went into building it that Bentley used a model the same height as the Queen to aid in its development. It also was built with security concerns in mind, but those details remain a state secret. It is a Bentley that is literally fit for a queen.

8 Litre

The last car to be designed by W.O. Bentley, the 8 Litre is an impressive machine. True to Bentley's philosophy of creating power by adding displacement, the 8 Litre was the largest engine available at the time, and Bently guaranteed it would not only go 100 mph but that it would do it quietly. It was launched at an unfortunate time as its 1930 launch happened just as the world sank into depression, something that surely hurt sales of a large, opulent luxury cruiser. 100 cars were built from 1930-to 1932, according to the manufacturer.

Bentley lists several key points about the car. Its giant engine produces between 200 and 230 horsepower and was cast from Elektron, a magnesium alloy that is strong, but light. It was recorded going 101.12 mph in 1939 and W.O. Bentley's personal car was acquired by the company, restored, and is now provided to the CEO for personal use. Jay Leno is one of the more famous owners of an 8 Litre and the car is featured on his show, Jay Leno's Garage. In the episode, it is apparent that Leno has a strong affinity for the car and it is easy to see why.


The Bentley Turbo R is an attractive large car with reserved styling that packs a bit of a hidden punch inside. As the name suggests, the engine is turbocharged. It is a rarity for its day as turbos were mostly reserved for small, high-performance versions of passenger cars or other sports cars, like a Porsche. However, this Bentley is equipped with a hefty 6.75-liter V8 engine outfitted with a single turbocharger and intercooler, a setup unlike any other luxury car at the time.

For much of Bentley's history, it was owned by Rolls Royce and Bentley vehicles were often the more sporting of the two. The Turbo R was definitely a sporting sedan, especially in its later years from about 1994. Car and Driver reviewed the 1994 model and gave it mostly good marks with extra points for the excess torque provided by the forced induction V8. The matched grain leather, polished wood panels and inserts, and thick wool carpets were also high points. Perhaps the only complaints were that the seating position was so high –- Bentley calls this a "commanding driver's position" –- that tall folks may nearly scrape their head on the headliner.

The best of these cars are the later ones from 1994 onward. The Turbo RT finished off the last couple of years of production and the big V8 put out 400 horsepower then. These later cars can be had at auction for around $30,000, such as this one featured on Classic Driver.

Continental GT Speed

Bentley has used the Continental name for some time but the best of these is surely the current model. The Bentley of the Rolls Royce era was a more sporty version of the Roller while the modern Bently is a true luxury sports car. While it could technically be classified as a grand touring car as the name suggests, the twin-turbo W12 engine with its, according to the manufacturer, 650 horsepower and top speed of 208 mph, its performance meets or exceeds the most capable of sports cars on the market.

The Continental sets itself apart from the earlier Bentleys that represented a stuffy upper class that desired cars to be large and well-appointed and rode on a cloud. This new coupe is a more aggressive Bentley with attitude and the performance to match that hugs the road and sticks to corners. However, it is still nicely equipped and still wraps its occupants in luxury and quiet comfort. It just happens to get to the country estate a bit sooner.

We previously detailed the many things to love about this car, including things like electronic all-wheel steering, Bentley Dynamic Ride, and a choice of up to 26 colors of leather. It is an impressive car and it demands an impressive price, near $300,000 depending on options.


With many projects, it takes a few times to get it right. That is why it is such an achievement that when W.O. Bentley created his first car, he got it right on his first outing. According to the company he founded, Mr. Bentley's original vision was to create "a fast car, a good car, the best in its class." The 3-Liter resulting from that vision not only came out good and fast, but it also won races.

Bentley is obviously a company proud of its history, as it includes a wealth of information about its past cars, including the 3-Litre. The development of this car began after W.O. Bentley returned from the Great War and set about building a car immediately. The resulting vehicle was introduced in 1919 and its first official buyer in 1921 with orders placed by the likes of the Duke of York, Prince of Wales, and even King Edward VIII himself. From the start, Bentley was a car for aristocrats who appreciated fast, quiet cars with meticulous attention to detail.

The 3-Liter was in production from 1921 to 1929 with a total run of 1,622 vehicles produced. It won LeMans in 1924 and 1927 and was said to have generous low-end torque that propelled the car effortlessly. Surviving models can still be found at auction today for anywhere from about $100,000 to $450,000, according to Glenmarch auction resource.

Mulliner Bacalar

The Mulliner Bacalar represents the ultimate in English sporting style. While modern Bentleys have taken a departure from their traditional, staid styling, the Bacalar turns the notion of proper English design on its head. With a far more radical posture than any other Bentley, the Bacalar makes a statement beyond saying "I have more money than you" as other Bentleys are want to do.

Available as a highly limited edition from the Mulliner bespoke division of the company, the Bacalar is a two-seat roadster that does not serve much more purpose other than to show off. However, it appears to be a great way to do that. As of the time of this writing, the Bacalar is still in production, but we reported on the details before. It is a roofless W12-powered custom creation from Mulliner coachworks and features some of the most exclusive materials possible. It also shares no body panels with other Bentley vehicles except a door handle.

This should prove to be one of the most valued and impressive Bentley cars ever made. Car and Driver says the allotment of 12 vehicles is already sold out, and those lucky dozen ponied up nearly $2 million each for the privilege of owning it.

Speed Six

Early Bentley cars were built for speed so it should come as no surprise that one of their most celebrated models was a LeMans racer, the Speed Six. As is the case with all early LeMans racers, road-going versions had to be available and the Speed Six was no exception.

It was common for early Bentleys to be sold as a chassis with a body to be completed and installed by a coachbuilder. The Speed Six was raced as an open car bodied racer and also built into a closed top car for daily use. It was also in this form that general manager Woolf Barnato endeavored to win a novel competition in one of his cars by beating a popular train. In the days before air travel, well-heeled Britons took the "Blue Train ” from Calais to the Cote D'Azure for summer holidays away from the gray skies of London. It was an overnight journey that was about 24 hours in length. Barnato traversed the same route by car, not only beating the train to Calais but making it all the way to London with minutes to spare (via Hemmings).

The race had been more of a publicity stunt than anything but it certainly earned Barnato bragging rights for his brand. The Speed Six was not lacking for reasons to brag as it also won the 1929 LeMans 24-hour race as well as the Grand Prix d'Endurance in 1930, according to Bonhams.

2008-2011 Brooklands

Named for a motor racing circuit from the early 20th century, the Brooklands is a late model Bentley of uncompromising quality. Unlike the cars Bentley pushed to their limits on those tracks in the early days of racing, the Brooklands is not meant for competition. It is meant to make a statement and that statement is "I am rich." Perhaps that is hyperbole but not entirely inaccurate.

The Brooklands is a luxury car that straddles two eras. Its design hails from the time when Bentley and Rolls Royce were intertwined and all their parts were English only. The Brooklands retains the same 6.75-liter V8 first developed in 1959 with a whole lot of updated engineering courtesy of the current corporate overlord, Volkswagen. Yet the car remains a highly refined yet powerful status symbol. The old V8 is now turbocharged and pushes the nearly 6,000-pound car effortlessly with 774 pound-feet of torque (via Car and Driver).

At an original cost of about $400,000, the Brooklands is a car for the ultra-wealthy, yet Bentley had no trouble selling nearly all of them in advance. It is a car of extreme opulence that harkens back to a time when refinement and luxury were more important than technology, and that is what makes it a great Bentley.


The Mulsanne sat atop the Bentley Hierarchy for more than a decade and bowed out in 2020. But with its end also came the end of the longest engine production ever. The Mulsanne featured the 6.75-liter V8 that powered Bentley and Rolls-Royce Vehicles from 1959 until the companies split to different buyers in the late nineties. Rolls-Royce, owned by BMW, began using engines developed by the parent company almost immediately while Bentley continued with the V8 in some models and introduced VW engines in others.

Being the last of the line in no way means it is inferior in any way. We reported on the final model and found that it is as sublime and extravagant as a luxury car can get. With a list price of $342,000, it should be at the top of the game. And while it uses an engine with a design more than a half-century old, nothing looks or feels dated about it. The 2019 model year coincided with the anniversary of the founding of the company and Bentley released a special W.O. Bentley edition to commemorate the date.

R-Type Continental

By 1952, the post-war period was coming to a close and the work of getting Britain back to work was in full swing. With this economic momentum was a desire for ever-increasing levels of luxury and excess in consumption and Bentley was happy to fulfill demand.

Unlike modern Bentleys that spare no expense and offer premium performance, Classic Driver explains that the R-Type Continental was built to be a fast car from the start and used strict standards in attaining the goal. Not only was the body constructed out of aluminum to save weight, but the window frames and seat frames were also made of aluminum for the same reason. Even a radio was considered too heavy to keep on board. The end result was a beautiful car powered by a 4.5-liter six-cylinder engine producing 153 horsepower that succeeded in moving the R-Type to 118.75 mph in 1951. 208 cars were made and the retail price of each one reached an astounding £6,928. To put the price in context, this figure represented about fifteen times the average wage of a Briton at the time. It is among the most exclusive Bentley vehicles ever made (via: Bentley Motors).

Flying Spur

When considering any product or range of products, it is easy to say the newest is the best. The newest ones have the benefit of the latest technology, up-to-date styling, and no history to possibly tarnish any reputation. That should be kind of a no-brainer. That said, the newest flagship Bentley really is the best Bentley to date and really is an impressive machine. It earns its place on this list on merit.

With the Mulsanne exiting the stage and taking its venerable V8 with it, Bentley needed a new flagship to head the pack at Crewe. Enter the Flying Spur, Bentley's newest flagship sedan that, according to the manufacturer, arrived with not just an all-new VW-derived engine, but a range of VW-derived engines. Bentley buyers can now choose from a 6.0-liter W12, 4.0-liter V8, or 2.9-liter V6 paired to an electric hybrid drivetrain. The new Flying Spur is a fantastic showcase of elegant and opulent technology. It is packed with touch screens, adaptive controls, power everything, and plenty of driving aids. Somehow the designers have also managed to introduce a conservative styling that is aggressive and modern, and the interior spares no expense in surrounding passengers with opulent luxury. Unsurprisingly, it looks, acts, and feels like modern Bentley should.


Luxury cars are made for the most discerning of buyers. However, Bentley could be considered ultra-luxury. Loaded with the finest materials and the best technology available, they are also priced such that attaining one is well beyond the ability of even the best paid among us. They are priced for the ultra-wealthy and one might say there is no price too high for these buyers. This is the world of bespoke luxury and that is the world of Mulliner, a coachbuilder that caters exclusively to the most fortunate souls on Earth, whose wealth and power either runs a nation or rivals that of a nation.

Today, Mulliner is a three-pronged business. According to the official Bentley website, Mulliner's core functions are Coachbuilt, Collections, and Classic. The Coachbuilt section builds cars based on existing Bentley chassis for custom cars, like the Bacalar or the state limousine. The Collections section is where customers can get existing Bentley offerings customized at their direction. It is the concierge-like service where almost no request is too much and fees for such service will no doubt correspond to the audacity of the requests. Lastly is the Classic section, which concentrates on Bentley's heritage and works with customers on restorations with painstaking detail. This service is building brand new copies of classic Bentleys from original plans including the Blower Bently and a copy of the 1939 Corniche. Expect to see more classic Bentleys coming from Mulliner — for a price.