New Model News

First new Bentley Blower made in 90 years hits the road for 8,000 km of modern testing

The Bentley Blower Car Zero is the prototype for the Blower Continuation Series.

Photo courtesy of Bentley Motors

After 40,000 hours of work, Car Zero has been assembled. It's the first prototype of the Bentley Blower Continuation Series, an exclusive run of hand-built vehicles that are a replica of the 1929 Bentley Blower.

The 12 customer cars, all already sold, will be crafted from design drawings and tooling jigs used for the original four Blowers built and raced by Sir Henry "Tim" Birkin in the late 1920s. Specifically, it Bentley's own team car (Chassis HB 3403, engine SM 3902, registration UU 5872 - Team Car #2) that serves as the master model.

The company has laser-scanned each part of the car to measurement accuracy - 1,846 individual parts. Of that, 230 are actual assemblies, one of which is the engine. When fixings and interior trim are counted, the number grows to several thousand total parts. Bentley Mulliner, the custom arm of the Crewe, England-based company, has been tasked with the build, working together with specialists and suppliers.

Bentley Blower Car Zero

Photo courtesy of Bentley Motors

A number of local producers have been tapped to assist with the builds. Israel Newton & Sons Ltd., a 200-year old company based near Derby, has created the car's heavy-gauge steel, hand-formed, and hot riveted chassis. The Vintage Car Radiator Company, based at Bicester Heritage, has crafted exact recreations of the some of the Blower's key components – including the mirror-polished, solid nickel silver radiator shell and the hand-beaten fuel tank formed in steel and copper.

West Midlands supplier Jones Springs Ltd, which has 75 years of experience under its belt, made leaf springs and shackles to the car's original specifications. The father and son team at Vintage Headlamp Restoration International Ltd in Sheffield recreated the Blower's headlamps while Ludlow-based Lomax Coachbuilders created a new ash frame for the car.

The Blower's new 4.5-liter engine was originally designed by Bentley Motors founder W.O Bentley (1888-1971). It's been recreated with the help of specialists including NDR Ltd in Watford.

Blower Car Zero is the prototype that will be dedicated to testing and development in advance of the 12 customer cars being built. The luxury automaker says that the car will be subjected to "months of durability and performance testing".

It wears a gloss black paint job and has an Oxblood red leather interior from Bridge of Weir. As per the original spec, the seats are stuffed with a total of 10 kilograms of natural horsehair. The 12 customer versions of the car have already been specified.

"Seeing Car Zero come together over the last weeks and months has been astonishing. The very latest digital design techniques came together with genuine artisanal hand-crafted artistry – often using manufacturing methods true to the 1920s. It's only through this fusion of old and new that we could craft these cars, with the skills of our engineers mirrored in those of our specialist suppliers. We've issued thousands of drawings and specifications for components, and watching them arrive into Mulliner and then seeing the car take shape has been hugely rewarding. Now we start the next phase – testing and development, ahead of the build of the 12 customer cars."

The Blower Continuation Series is the first customer-facing project delivered by the new Bentley Mulliner Classic portfolio, one of three new divisions of Mulliner alongside Coachbuilt (currently developing the Bacalar) and Collections (responsible for the Continental GT Mulliner).

Car Zero now goes on to face real-world durability testing including sessions of gradually increasing duration and speed that will also check the car's performance under harsh conditions. The program is designed to achieve the equivalent of 35,000 kilometres of real-world driving across 8,000 kilometers of track driving, and simulates the undertaking of rallies including the Peking to Paris and Mille Miglia.

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General Motors and Lockheed Martin will design a prototype of a vehicle that's capable of traversing Mars.

Photo courtesy of General Motors

Toyota and Hyundai aren't the only automakers getting into the extra terrestrial mobility game. A new partnership between Lockheed Martin and General Motors will develop the next generation of lunar vehicles to transport astronauts to the surface of the Moon.

NASA's Artemis program has plans to send Americans back to the moon. Like the military did when they asked for an off-road-worthy transport vehicle for combat support use in the early 1940s, NASA is asking the automotive and aeronautics industry to develop a Lunar Terrain Vehicle (LTV) to enable astronauts to explore the lunar surface father than ever before. The Apollo rovers only ventured 4.7 miles.

Lockheed Martin brings a 50-year history of working with NASA on a variety of deep-space human and robotic spacecraft, such as NASA's Orion exploration-class spaceship for Artemis, to the table. The company's crafts and systems have been to every planet in the solar system.

Lockheed Martin General Motors Partner to Develop Next-Generation Lunar Rover www.youtube.com

"This alliance brings together powerhouse innovation from both companies to make a transformative class of vehicles," said Rick Ambrose, executive vice president, Lockheed Martin Space. "Surface mobility is critical to enable and sustain long-term exploration of the lunar surface. These next-generation rovers will dramatically extend the range of astronauts as they perform high-priority science investigation on the Moon that will ultimately impact humanity's understanding of our place in the solar system."

General Motors, which first worked with NASA during the Apollo missions and helped develop the Apollo Lunar Roving Vehicle (LRV), that was used on Apollo 15-17 missions, is bringing its electric battery and autonomous vehicle technology know-how to the partnership.

"General Motors made history by applying advanced technologies and engineering to support the Lunar Rover Vehicle that the Apollo 15 astronauts drove on the Moon," said Alan Wexler, senior vice president of Innovation and Growth at General Motors. "Working together with Lockheed Martin and their deep-space exploration expertise, we plan to support American astronauts on the Moon once again."

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The 2022 Bentley Bentayga S combines dark exterior accents with new dynamic capability.

Photo courtesy of Bentley Motors

Following a mid-generation facelift, Bentley is upping the ante once again on its popular Bentayga SUV. This time, the change comes in the form of a new model - Bentayga S - that is designed to be the sportiest offering in the crossover's lineup. This is the first time an "S" version of the Bentayga has been offered.

Its sport-tuned abilities come courtesy of standard Bentley Dynamic Ride, an anti-roll technology that plays with the model's 15 percent increase in damping in Sport mode to deliver a more engaging drive mode. The automaker has retuned the brakes for the car. It now lightly brakes the inside rear wheel at corner entry to sharpen the front axle turn-in.

The model continues to have four drive modes (Snow and Wet Grass, Dirt and Gravel, Mud and Trail, and Sand) and continues to be able to ford up to 500 mm of water.

2022 Bentley Bentayga S

Photo courtesy of Bentley Motors

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The Bentayga S rides on standard 22-inch wheels in the buyer's choice of one of three finishes while a larger-than-traditional spoiler takes up room out back. Black exterior accents give the Bentley a unique look while a newly designed, free-flowing sports exhaust provides a robust sound out the rear of the car. Gloss black side sills and front and rear lower bumpers work with dark tinted head and taillight lenses, black door mirrors, and black split-oval tailpipes complete the look.

Powering the auto is a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 that gets 542 brake horsepower and 568 pound-feet of torque. The power plant moves the car from zero to 60 mph in just 4.4 seconds with the accelerator at the floor and it has a top speed of 180 mph.

Bentyaga S's cabin has new seats, unique stitching, a fresh color split, and Alcantara upholstery. "S" badging can be found on the passenger fascia, instrument panel graphics, and illuminated treadplates.

Buyers can get the car in a four-, five- or seven-seat configuration. The seats are fluted with stitching contrasting and complementing the hide color.

In front of the driver is a fully digital instrument cluster that was designed to be reminiscent of high-end chronographs. Drivers can customize the look of the display.

Pricing for the model has yet to be released, but is expected to be a premium on the current Bentayga starting MSRP of around $166,000.

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