Bentley’s new Continental GT V8 recently clinched twin honors at the 2019 News UK Motor Awards, with the grand tourer crowned as People’s Car of The Year by Jeremy Clarkson. The Continental GT V8 was also named “Best British-Built Car” following a poll among the readers of prestigious UK publications The Sun, The Times and The Sunday Times, as well as by listeners of talkSPORT.
Following these recognitions, Bentley at the Walpole British Luxury Awards led the roster of this year’s winners, which includes premium brands Church’s, Burberry, FLOWERBX, Smythson, and Dunhill. Among those also cited were fashion designer Dame Zandra Rhodes and Ewan Venters, CEO of upmarket department store Fortnum & Mason.
Collecting the People’s Car of the Year award was Bentley regional director for the UK Sarah Simpson, who said, “We are delighted that the Continental GT V8 has been recognized both as the best British-built car and as the People’s Car of the Year. With the launch of the GT V8 in the UK, the success of the Continental GT here will go from strength to strength.”
For his part, Clarkson called the Continental GT V8 a “wonderful, wonderful car… particularly when you sit inside.”
“I want one,” he said.
The Continental GT in 2018 won 19 awards from publications in the UK, Europe, Russia, and China. Its overall success at the 2019 News UK awards builds on last year’s inaugural event, where the GT claimed the “Luxury Car of the Year” title. The award-winning trend has continued this year, with the GT being crowned the Middle East Car of the Year and the GT Convertible winning a WardsAuto Best Interior award, as well as honors in the German Design Council’s Automotive Brand Contest.
Meanwhile, the Walpole British Luxury Awards program, held at The Dorchester in London’s affluent Mayfair district, was attended by more than 350 luxury industry creatives, executives, and influencers, all of whom gathered to applaud both Britain’s established luxury companies and emerging talent alike for their outstanding work in the luxury sector.
Dedicated to celebrating the best high-end products and services coming from a range of British businesses — such as fashion, fragrance, fine jewelry, hotels, automobiles and accessories — the annual Walpole British Luxury Awards also fosters the premium goods industry’s unique qualities through mentorship programs, events, research, and public affairs with the British government and those of the rest of Europe.
Bentley was chosen in the new Future Legacy category that has been added to this year’s awards’ list. The iconic luxury carmaker was recognized because it chose to use the power of its heritage, on which it built a visionary and relevant story for the future. Honored in particular was the Bentley Centenary program which presented the future of luxury mobility through the EXP GT 100 concept car.
The EXP 100 GT is a zero-emission, all-electric concept car that is also fully autonomous. Created to celebrate Bentley’s centenary year, it sets a new benchmark for sustainable luxury by adopting 5,000-year-old Copper Infused Riverwood, 100 percent organic leather-like textile that is a byproduct of winemaking, and British-farmed wool carpets and embroidered cotton interior surfaces, among other items. Even the car’s paint is made from recycled rice husks.
To bring the EXP 100 GT to life, Bentley collaborated with companies which also help protect the tradition of British craftsmanship, as well as put sustainable innovation at the top of their priorities.
Walpole CEO and Harrods managing director Helen Brocklebank called the EXP 100 GT “a technological tour de force of design and driver excitement.”
The winners of the prestigious Walpole British Luxury Awards were selected from a shortlist of brands across 10 categories by a panel of industry experts, headed by Walpole chairman Michael Ward and Brocklebank.