Ultra-luxury British vehicle builder Bentley Motors has ambitious plans to be all-electric by the end of the decade. However, you can’t truly look at the future without examining the past and present. So, Bentley invited our own Stephanie Hart to England to explore Bentley’s new Heritage Garage and their world-famous production facilities in Crewe.

STEPHANIE HART: I’m here in the UK at Bentley’s headquarters in Crewe. 4,000 people are employed here and all five of Bentley’s models are produced here. I’m going to take you behind the scenes and show you how it’s done, but first I’m gonna take you back in time.

Bentley’s stunning new Heritage Garage shows off the most historically significant Bentley models from the last 100 plus years. Every decade of Bentley is represented. There are 45 cars in the collection– 37 road cars and 8 race cars. 

All of the vehicles here are maintained in full running order. This collection provides a clear picture of where the Bentley of today comes from.

Starting with the oldest Bentley on the planet. It was built in 1919 by Bentley’s founder W.O. Bentley.

Exploring Bentley's Crewe Campus 2

MIKE SAYER: What he wanted to combine was a car that was suitably quick, so had performance, could be driven a long way without tiring you out, and was comfortable. And that’s true of every single car that’s been made by this company ever since. 

STEPHANIE HART: So now we’re taking a look at the 1930 8-liter. Tell me a little bit about this vehicle?

MIKE SAYER: So this is one of the most special cars that we own. This was W.O. Bentley‘s masterpiece. This was the car which he was most proud. It was the one where he thought, perfectly linked performance and luxury and grand touring.

STEPHANIE HART: The Mark V Corniche is my favorite in the collection. It’s a one of one. Tell me a little bit more about this amazing vehicle?

MIKE SAYER: So, there are three key lines on here that still define the modern Bentley of today and they are this very pronounced rear haunch here, the slope of the roof line at the back…


MIKE SAYER: And then this very pronounced front power line that flows from the top of the front wheel and then blends into the side of the car. 

STEPHANIE HART: Gorgeous, very elegant.

Exploring Bentley's Crewe Campus 3

MIKE SAYER: This is our 1991 Turbo R, another important turning point in Bentley‘s history. This is the car that changed Bentley’s fortune, so it caused a complete reversal. Suddenly, Bentley was outselling Rolls Royce. Bentley got its performance credentials back and it was the start of a rebuild of the brand all the way to where we are today.

STEPHANIE HART: The cheesiest feature on this vehicle is the horn. Let’s test it out… and there’s another sound… two options.

It was captivating experiencing the Bentley DNA from the last 100 years or so, up close and personal. Just beyond the Heritage Collection, my Crewe visit continued inside the Factory. About 14,000 cars a year are produced here. And production here is carbon neutral and sustainability prioritized.

WAYNE BRUCE: The veneer that we use from our trees comes from fallen trees, but we’ve introduced new, more sustainable finishes which are proving very popular.

STEPHANIE HART: As I explored, I learned fine craftsmanship, engineering expertise and cutting edge technology make each luxury vehicle special. 

GARY LAZENBY: A normal day at Bentley is 80 cars being processed through here. All of these are inspected by eye by a colleague.

Exploring Bentley's Crewe Campus 1

STEPHANIE HART: It’s amazing to watch as a raw piece of material is transformed into a gorgeous finished product. A personal touch contributes to Bentley’s reputation as the most sought-after luxury car brand in the world.

CRAFTSPERSON: So…over, under, and through.

STEPHANIE HART: As I learned, cross-stitching a Bentayga can be very relaxing and rewarding.

One-on-one interactions and customization options are truly limitless over here in Mulliner, which is Bentley’s personal commissioning division.

BEN LINDE: This is where we came from and it’s recreating that. It’s exciting for the customers in one way. Next door is where we want to be going to. So, we use the Bacalar and the Batur as platforms for technology, for materials…to really stretch the Bentley brand into the future.

STEPHANIE HART: That future is on a fast track, as Crewe evolves to produce 100-percent fully electric vehicles by 2030.  

MATTHIAS RABE: Basically, we are creating the biggest product offensive Bentley ever had. This five and five; That means five new electric cars in five years, and I can promise you it will be absolutely pure Bentleys. 

STEPHANIE HART: Evolving from the world’s largest producer of 12-cylinder petrol engines to having no combustion engines at all requires Bentley to re-invent itself as the most sustainable luxury car company in the world. And after visiting Bentley’s headquarters in England, it’s clear to me it’s achievable as Bentley is on top of its game.