Brand Battle: Bentley VS. Rolls-Royce

Rolls Royce | January 1st, 2010 by 39
rolls-royce-vs-bentley

2010 starts a bit different here. Instead of focusing on our usual BMW vs. the world comparisons, we decided to change the focus on one …

2010 starts a bit different here. Instead of focusing on our usual BMW vs. the world comparisons, we decided to change the focus on one of BMW’s most successful acquisitions: Rolls Royce.

In 1998, British luxury car maker Rolls-Royce has been sold to BMW for $571 million – despite promises of a higher bid from rival Volkswagen. At the time, BMW said that they wanted to invest about $1.6 billion in Rolls-Royce over the next 10 years. Skipping forward 12 years, the Rolls-Royce acquisitions proved to be very successful, both for BMW and the UK high luxury automaker. The latest Rolls Royce Ghost model is being said to be sold even before it hits the market.

At the highest end of car luxury, Rolls-Royce has a significant opponent: another British automaker, the VW-owned Bentley. Both brands are highly respectable, with a long history in the high-end luxury segment and with a status icon attached to them.

Valued at hundreds of thousands of dollars, many of these ultra luxurious models remain a dream for many of us and the lack of driving tests, make it even harder to properly compare them. Therefore, we propose to focus today on the heritage, design, road presence, value, quality and technology of these cars, and the photos below will help us to pass on a fairly accurate judgment.

Brand Battle: Bentley VS. Rolls Royce

Rolls Royce Phantom Coupe

Brand Battle: Bentley VS. Rolls Royce

Prior to the Ghost unveiling, the Rolls Royce Phantom Coupe was the latest addition to the British automaker’s line of vehicles. Featuring a driver-oriented interior, the large grand tourer is powered by a mammoth V12 6.8 liter engine that produces 453 horsepower and 531 lb-ft of torque — with nearly 400 lb-ft, or 75 percent, available at just 1,000 rpm. One interesting detail about the Phantom Coupe is that it features rear-hinged coach doors which add considerably to the ease of access to the rear seats as well as to the overall aesthetics. Base price is situated around the $400,000 mark.

Rolls Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe

Brand Battle: Bentley VS. Rolls Royce

Considered to be a direct competitor to the Bentley Azure and even Continental GTC, the $448,000 Drophead Coupe is powered by 6.8 liter 48-valve V12 engine producing 453 horsepower and 531 lb-ft of torque, and runs from 0 to 60 in 5.5 seconds. The Rolls Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe makes the ultimate statement when it comes to luxury and wealth.

Rolls Royce Ghost

Brand Battle: Bentley VS. Rolls Royce

Launched at the Geneva Motor Show in a concept form and carrying the name EX200, the Ghost is Rolls Royce’s latest bet. With record sales in 2007 and 2008, RR hopes to return to high sales sometimes in 2010 and the Ghost can be the model that will pull them through.

The new Rolls which is built atop the most recent BMW 7 series platform, will be manufactured at the Goodwood plant and it will share some interior and exterior materials with the Phantom and Drophead Coupe, but fit into a shorter wheelbase. At the same time, RR Ghost has a very modern and round design giving the impression of a smaller and sportier luxury vehicle. RR Ghost has a very modern and round design giving the impression of a smaller and sportier luxury vehicle.
It use a twin-turbo V12 6.6-liter engine backed up by an eight-speed automatic gearbox. Maximum output is measured at 563 horsepower and 570lb ft of torque.

Base price: $310,000

Rolls Royce Phantom Black Edition

Brand Battle: Bentley VS. Rolls Royce

In July 2006, Rolls Royce produced a limited edition run of 25 cars called the “Phantom Black. A special metallic Diamond Black paint is used on the body, complemented by twin silver coach lines. Under the bonnet the 6.75 liter V12 engine has been treated to gloss black inlet manifolds, chrome plated top covers and new black Rolls-Royce badges. The near silent motor provides 453 horsepower, enough to propel the Phantom Black from 0-60mph in just 5.7 seconds and on to a limited top speed of 149mph.

The base price back in 2006 was set at $310,000.

The Competition

Bentley Continental GT Speed

Brand Battle: Bentley VS. Rolls Royce

The Bentley Continental GT is a two-door ‘two plus two’ grand touring coupé released in 2003, replacing the previous Rolls-Royce-based Continental R and T. A few years later, Bentley released a more powerful GT, dubbed Speed. Power comes from Volkswagen’s 6.0 liter W12 twin-turbo engine that outputs 602 horsepower, 553 lb-ft pf torque, with a top speed of 325 kilometres per hour (201.9 mph) and a 0-60 mph time of 4.3 seconds. Continental GT Speed uses an AWD drivetrain.

Base price: $182,000

Bentley Continental Flying Spur

Brand Battle: Bentley VS. Rolls Royce

The Flying Spur was introduced for the 2006 model year. A direct result of Bentley’s new owners, the Volkswagen Auto Group, the sedan shares its basic underpinnings and some mechanical bits with VW’s late Phaeton. In 2009, Bentley gave its Continental Flying Spur a slight facelift. It uses the same engine as in the GT Speed with the same power output: 602 horsepower and 553 lb-ft of torque at 1,750 rpm.

Base price: $177,000

Bentley Azure T

Brand Battle: Bentley VS. Rolls Royce

It is a higher performance version of Bentley Azure, the large four seater convertible introduced by Bentley in 1995. Under the bonnet, it features a twin turbocharged V8 6.8 liter engine, rated at 500 hp and 1,000 Nm (740 lb-ft) torque. It has 0-60 miles per hour time of 6.1 seconds (0-100 km/h at 5.5 seconds), 0-100 mph time in 12.1 seconds (0-160 km/h in 12.0 seconds) and a top speed of 179mph (288 km/h). The engine is mated to a smooth-shifting ZF 6-speed automatic transmission.

Base price: $370,000

Bentley Mulsanne

Brand Battle: Bentley VS. Rolls Royce

Back in August 2009, Bentley took the wraps off its latest model: Mulsanne, the flagship ultra-luxury sedan that replaces the Arnage model. Its direct competition comes from Rolls Royce’s Phantom. It is set to arrive in showrooms in 2011 and it uses a revised version of the 6.75-liter V-8 engine, which has been updated with cam phasing and variable displacement technologies to help reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. It outputs 505 horsepower and a massive 752 pound-feet of torque, the latter delivered at just 1,800 rpm. Drive is sent to the rear wheels via a ZF 8-speed automatic transmission equipped with steering-wheel mounted paddle shifters.

No pricing has been announced at this moment.

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[Images supplied by HighestofHigh at GCZ ]

  • michael

    Bentley Mulsanne is just ugly… the front just looks completely wrong – I think VW should have really really reconsidered the lighting clusters.

    It’s a shame really as the Continental is a very good looking car

    • Linden

      1. Yes, RR and Bentley are perfectly comparable as ultra luxury cars. They only have different styles for different kinds of rich people. Of course you must be one of them to really understand. The approach has nothing to do with the mere mortals preferences. It is very common that a wealthy person as an American pop star a Russian corporate tycoon or an Arab Prince have both brands (frequently more than one of each among other prestigious models). Both carry all the genetic panache just at their badges.
      2. The Mulsanne is not ugly. It is just as fine as caviar – not for the common Joe taste.
      3. And remember, if one goes to the soul the only real Rolls Royce in the bunch is the Mulsanne with the marvelous 6 ¾ liter V8 from Crewe, the real RR engine.

  • badger

    true..
    bentley mussanne is ugly
    and a footballers car.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1293096462 Ramon Juarez

    Bently Mulsanne isn’t as bad as you say… it’s just not htat pretty!! At least it’s prettier than the Arnage!!!

  • XC

    I think that both brands are nicely styled, and decidely a dream to own. But I really like what BMW has done with RR, even if you know that BMW is behind this cars, and share the quality of manufacturing for example, they have kept ‘away’, so to speak, from the design and direction of the RR brand. That doesn`t happen with Bentley. It somehow has ended up with some sort of corporate image. I do prefer RR products, but Bentley’s are very nice cars indeed, in particular the 2007 Bentley Continental GT Diamond Series – 60th Anniversary at Crewe. What a nice car!

  • http://therecessionspecial.com SWAN

    There is no competition here, the Bentley is for the rich peasants(those who like to drive uber luxury cars) and the Rolls Royce is for the WEALTHY(Those who pay to be driven in uber luxury cars.

    Hats of to Bentley, its a great looking car for 2nd Place.

    All Hail Munichs Own

    • Saleem

      Ummm AUDI

      • saleem

        How dare you thumbs down the truth. The truth in Engineering.

    • ayrton

       Epic comment
      Thumbs up :)

  • Joe

    In person there is really no comparison. The RR brand is so much more menacing and makes a much bigger statement. Mind you so does their price :)..

  • Elio

    The Ghost is such a beautiful car when you see one in the flesh. By far the nicest of the Rolls Royce range and makes the Phantom look gargantuan.

    • efoza

      Yes i saw a test car 2 weeks ago in London and it looked fab

  • Josh B

    For my next car purchase im looking at the Bentley Continental range. I think its a suberb looking car in any base form with surprisingly fantastic performance. Although its a steep price from my current BMWs being the 7 and 6 series i find that it retains a better re sale value and prestige. So from where i stand i can justify the more money a little. Re RR i love the ghost and the drophead coupe but number one, here in Australia its far far more expensive then the Bentleys and Two, its a RR. Which isnt a bad thing, its just i dont have a driver nor would i ever want one and i could never drive one because its not who i am. The bentley GT is sporty, sexy, fast, luxuries and cool. Its a progression from BMW.
    The RR is not a reflection of my personality. Never the less i love them and dream of having one.

  • Adnan

    The bentleys look great, but if i were to buy one the fact that it is just really a VW is just a killer for me so id buy a rolls royce

    • XC

      Interestingly, I think the same way about Audis, in particular the TT. Just to know that its platform is shared with the Golf makes me wonder why should I pay so much more money for a fancy-suited VW Golf! I perfectly know that there are many other ‘technical innovations’ from Audi, and that the make great cars, such as the R8, but its slogan ‘Truth in Engineering’ sounds contradictory to me… I guess that VW AG hasn’t done enough to try to eliminate that public’s perception. But how can you do that if VW Group consists of 342 Group companies! Instead, BMW and Rolls-Royce are pure breeds, (at least in public’s perception, regarding RR). That truly makes the difference for me…

  • LMendez

    I think the Rolls Royce brings much more in terms of “luxury feeling” to it’s owner than does Bentley. I dunno, I just feel like that :P

  • Doug

    These guys are trying to modernize a design that’s –fundamentally– 50 years old. The bentley continental is fairly attractive, and putting it through badass maneuvers in that british zombie movie (doomsday?) was a good move to change the image.

    But these other ones… I can’t help feeling that socially they persist in telling everyone else not just that the owner is wealthy but also out of touch.

  • Kels

    The Mulsanne will tear the Phantom into shreds!

  • Optimus Prime

    shame on VW after all the work u putin in on Audi i xpcted the Bentley concept to be a hit but you r loosin ur touch…. n as 4 Bmw congrats wit ur campaign on the RR, that car jst exceeds evrybdys dream, 2 find urslf jst touchin the xterior dat is truly Heaven on earth… kip up the gud work. u nva diapoint us!!!!!!

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  • nick

    Easily the Rolls Royce beats up the Bentley…. They are faster and EASILY more comfy. And theyre awesome to drive
    too!!!

  • n8n

    All the RR cars are beautiful, bu there’s no comparison to Bentley Continental GT !!!!!!!!!!! :D I love this car! ;o

    • Jgutleber

      Just got a Bentley gt 2012 . Power will de the my prefer word to described i work hard and I Always dream to have later in life ,I think bentleys is for yong and sussesfull and rolls royce is for older and settled ( more calm ) maybe with a Chofer but not literally , my husband is a gear head with a gt 40 and zr1 and he agrees whit me on this …

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  • aj

    i have taken a test drive in a bentley coup convertible and just sat in a rolls royce ghost sat in a bentley brooklands and looked in a rolls royce phantom. both bentley and rolls royce are very similar. i like them both.

  • Joe

    Everyone says that Rolls Royces are meant to be driven in, however, the new Ghost is made for drivers. It sort of resembles the Phantom, however, it has a more sportier feel. However, compared to the Flying Spur, I’d say the bentley wins with the interior. For 100k less, you can get a flying spur that has a better interior, and the same exterior that gets envious looks from other drivers. Even though RR Ghost is made for drivers, flying spur has much more power and an overall better driving experience. If I were to buy an ultra luxury car, I would buy the bentley and spend the remaining 100k on an audi r8!!!!

  • http://www.driveabc.co.uk Driving lessons

    Nice post, Bentley it’s a nice car but it will never beat Rolls Royce

  • http://twitter.com/glaucoafsantos Glauco A.F. Santos

    os dois…

  • Dhrishajs

    BENTLEY continetal gt is the best.

  • George

    The black Phantom edition is so timeless and classic

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  • junaid quadri

    i love these new models and looks its great to be a part.

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  • dreaming big

    Honestly I think that both is amazing cars and even though bentley comes from vw it doesn’t prove anything.. Bentley is my choice between these two.. But if I had the money I would go for aston martin.. Not in their price range but easily the sexiest car alive

  • car fanatic

    Bentley’s interior looks great with half the price of rolls royce. it is stylish, aristrocratic , modern and beautiful. and they offer a Breitling too.
    so Bentley > Rolls Royce

  • Joseph23006

    The Rolls is for those of conspicuous consumption, the show off, the in your face! The Bentley is for those who need to make no statement, nothing more need be said.

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  • Deronda Smith

    Deronda
    All the Rolls Royce’s & Bentley’s are beautiful luxury cars in my eyes!! My vision is to be behind the wheel of my very own Rolls Royce and/or Bentley one of these days. I can’t wait…just wish me all the BEST!!! -Deronda :)

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