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Car of the Year 2009: No. 11: Bentley Brooklands

Paul Dean and Marco R. della Cava

No Apologies
The Bentley Brooklands is heavier than vehicles that deliver refrigerators, costs more than most small businesses, is big enough to overflow any carport, and contains no iPod jacks, paddle-shifting, keyless ignition, or similar modernisms. It may be one of the last behemoths, the cars with cavernous interiors in which you are coddled, not cramped. Its V-8 with twin turbochargers produces 530 hp, and all that muscle is needed to shove the Brooklands’ nearly three tons of metal and mechanicals down the interstates. This Bentley is a regal assault on frugality, practical motoring, and carbon footprints. Just this once, may God save the Queen. —Paul Dean

An Idol Even When Idle
Although electrical gremlins kept the Brooklands out of the initial round of test-drives, the downtime allowed judges more opportunity to marvel at the impeccable appointments scattered throughout this thoroughbred. With ample leather and enough wood to make a forest wince, this car appears to be the work of interior decorators instead of automotive designers. Under the bonnet, the Brooklands has a 6.8-liter twin-turbocharged V-8 that generates a gut-stirring 774 ft lbs of torque, which enables the car to reach 60 mph in five seconds. But you do not buy this vehicle to drag race a 911 for pink slips. The Brooklands could hold its own in such a race, but this car is intended more for savoring the trip than for sprinting to the finish. —Marco R. della Cava

SPECIFICATIONS:

Configuration Front-engine, rear-wheel-drive coupe
Engine 6.8-liter twin-turbocharged V-8
Transmission 6-speed automatic
Power 530 hp at 4,000 rpm
Torque 774 ft lbs at 3,250 rpm
Zero to 60 5 seconds
Top Speed 184 mph
Base Price $348,085
Price as Tested $391,465
Robb Report Rating 74.1
Bentley, www.bentleymotors.com

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