As a nation of luxury car enthusiasts, the global brands Bentley and Rolls Royce have remained household names for almost one hundred years. Regardless of where you are around the world, seeing a Bentley or Rolls Royce drive past is guaranteed to make you stop and stare. There is something truly mesmerising about the handcrafted designs of the worlds most prestigious vehicles; all of which continue to innovate each year to create models that exceed all expectations.
With so much history between the two much-loved brands, it can be tricky to tackle the question of what is better, the Bentley or Rolls Royce? With years of experience providing supercar hire in London and surrounding areas, we have been lucky enough to experience the beauty of both vehicles. With this in mind, here we break down the two and compare their key selling points.
Bentley Or Rolls Royce? – What Are The Differences?
If you are a millennial, then it is more than likely that all you would have known is the rivalry between Bentley and Rolls Royce. However, if we delve back into history, the two popular brands, were, in fact, somewhat siblings. For almost seventy years, Bentley was owned by Rolls Royce, and in terms of vehicles, they offered customers almost identical models. The only way to differentiate the two brands would be through their badges, and unique radiator surrounds.
Although the pair worked side by side for nearly seven decades, in 2003, they grew to become rivals. Both were taken over by well-known German manufacturers with Bentley being based in Crewe and owned by Volkswagen AG. Rolls Royce, on the other hand, is now owned by BMW but based in Goodwood. Shortly after their split, both brands worked towards designing advanced vehicles, hoping to win the top spot in the world of luxury cars. After meticulous planning and preparation, the Rolls Royce RR4 was created as the first car to rival the Bentley Continental series.
It’s no surprise that both Bentley and Rolls Royce have had roaring success since their transition to new ownership and independence. However, while they are rivals, their goals remain very different. While Bentley set the annual objective to sell huge figure of 20,000 vehicles each year, Rolls Royce plays it cool with a more realistic 6,000 – both of which are yet to meet their sales goals.
Back in 2014, Rolls Royce beat their historical record by selling a vast 4,063 vehicles including popular models such as the Ghost, Wraith and Dawn. Unfortunately, it wasn’t long before this figure dropped. In 2017, sales decreased to 3,362, which was mainly due to their decision to stop producing the much-loved Rolls Royce Phantom – the brands most popular model since 1925. As expected, Rolls Royce bounced back in 2018, which proved to be their most successful year. They sold 4,107 vehicles across 50 different countries; an increase of 22% from the previous year.
Although Bentley is yet to reach their goal of 20,000 vehicles sold in one year, they do triumph Rolls Royce in terms of sales statistics. Back in 2015, Bentley successfully delivered 10,100 cars to their customers – their third consecutive year reaching the 10,000 mark, according to Bentley Media.
In terms of investment, it’s no shock that both Bentley and Rolls Royce both come alongside a considerable price tag. If you’re looking to purchase a Rolls Royce, you’re going to be looking at around £400,000 at the cheapest, and it doesn’t stop there. Back in 2013, Rolls Royce was commissioned to design the most expensive vehicle in the world. The Rolls Royce Sweptail was an entirely bespoke vehicle manufactured for a super-yacht and aircraft specialist – coming in at an astonishing $13 million! The lucky (and incredibly wealthy) owner drew up a wishlist of things he wanted to be incorporated in his Rolls Royce, which design director, Giles Taylor, then brought to life. He wanted to combine the dramatic feel of the 1925 Phantom I Round Door, the sleek angling of the 1934 Phantom II Streamline Saloon Park Ward and the coachwork of the 1934 Gurney Nutting Phantom II Two Door Light Saloon. The final product featured hand-built coachwork, polished Macassar ebony trims, the first-ever Macassar-veneer clock and compartments to home the owner’s personal devices. You can find more information, along with stunning photos, of the Rolls Royce Sweptail on GQ Magazine.
When it comes to treating yourself to a Bentley, the average price is around £250,00 – not exactly ‘affordable’ but considerably less than a Rolls Royce. The highest amount ever paid for a Bentley was £7 million. Unlike Rolls Royce, the sale wasn’t for a brand new, bespoke vehicle, but instead a vintage 1912 Rolls Royce Silver Ghost. Also known as the ‘Corgi’, the model was based on the toy car with the same name. The 1912 Rolls Royce Silver Ghost was sold to the new owner at an auction, where two bidders went back and forward placing offers in €100,000 increments.
It is somewhat tricky to compare the overall performance of the Bentley vs Rolls Royce as there are a plethora of different models available; all of which have their own quirks. Instead, we’re going to delve deeper into the history of each to uncover their fastest vehicles produced.
The most powerful Rolls Royce ever produced was the unmistakable Wraith. With a starting price of £250,000, the Rolls Royce Wraith balances the beauty of the Phantom with a 10% increase in power. It features a beastly 624 horsepower V12 engine, allowing the speed to skyrocket from 0 – 60mph in just 4.4 seconds. The top speed is an impressive 155mph which can be reached using the 8-gear automatic transmission. Although there has been a substantial boost in power, drivers most definitely do not have to compromise comfort. With every journey, drivers are completely isolated from any engine noise or vibration.
Bentley, on the other hand, beat their performance record with their contemporary 2017 Continental Supersports. With a 6-litre, twin-turbocharged W12 engine, drivers can enjoy reaching 60mph in as little as 3.4 seconds. The Continental Supersports top speed is an enormous 205 mph, which is five miles per hour more than any vehicle ever made by the brand. This makes the 2017 Continental Supersports the fastest four-seat convertible in the world!
What’s Your Verdict?
After comparing the main selling points of the Bentley vs the Rolls Royce, it becomes incredibly tricky to choose which brand takes top spot in the world of luxury vehicles. Many of the decisions are merely based on personal preferences from appearance and performance to the history of each company.
If you are interested in putting the Bentley and Rolls Royce rivalry to the test, then why not take a browse through the cars we have to offer? From 4×4 car hire in London to wedding car hire in Milton Keynes, Royal Rentals have the perfect vehicle for every occasion!