British Luxury Cars
By Lyndon Bell
Interesting fact; all British cars currently sold in North America, except Mini, are luxury models. And, in truth, no other country does luxury cars like England. With their long history of hand craftsmanship, the likes of which is readily discernable in the models from Aston Martin, Bentley, and Rolls-Royce, these cars are truly distinctive. Another interesting fact; while all are manufactured in England, only one (Aston Martin) is currently owned by a British company. Volkswagen of Germany owns Bentley, Tata Motors of India owns Jaguar and Land Rover, while BMW of Germany owns Rolls-Royce.
Photo Credit: Aston Martin
British Luxury Cars: Aston Martin DB9
One of the things the Brits do very well is blend luxury and performance, and nowhere is this more evident than the superbly crafted Aston Martin DB9. With heritage going back to the Aston Martin DB1 of 1948 (named for the then owner of Aston Martin, David Brown), the DB9 is the most iconic Aston model in the product range. Routinely numbered among the most beautiful cars in the world, the Aston Martin DB9 is an outstanding example of British luxury cars. The DB9’s 510-horsepower V12 makes 457 ft-lbs of torque. Pricing starts at $183,700.
British Luxury Cars: Aston Martin Rapide S
The Aston Martin Rapide S is both sleek of line and highly refined. So deftly does its appearance blend in with the rest of the Aston Martin lineup (all coupes), at first glance you might miss the fact it is a four-door sedan. From the impeccable outfitting of its interior, to its outstanding performance potential, the Aston Martin Rapide S is a singularly luxurious automobile. Power comes from a 5.9-liter V12 producing 552 horsepower, 457 ft-lbs of torque, and a zero to 60 of just over four seconds. Pricing starts at $198,250.
British Luxury Cars: Bentley Continental GT
The original Bentley Continentals were named for their preternatural ability to cover ground on the European continent very quickly. Today’s Continental GT model range follows suit with a range of eight- and 12-cylinder engines. Fitted to both coupes and convertibles, Continental GT engines range from 500 horsepower and 487 ft-lbs of torque for the base V8, to 616 horsepower and 590 ft-lbs of torque for the top 12-cylinder. With all-wheel drive and a hedonistic luxury quotient, Bentley’s Continental GT models also perform like the sports cars with which they typically share garages. Pricing starts at $177,500.
Photo Credit: Bentley
British Luxury Cars: Bentley Flying Spur
The former Bentley Continental Flying Spur is now the Bentley Flying Spur. The Continental prefix was dropped for the 2014 model year. Nonetheless, it still delivers all of the goodness of the Continental GT—with more than adequate room for four very fortunate individuals. For the 2014 model year, the Flying Spur is offered with one engine choice—a 616-horsepower, turbocharged 12-cylinder, making 590 ft-lbs of torque. The Bentley also got a mild styling update for 2014. Easily one of the most capable luxury sedans offered today, Bentley Flying Spur pricing starts at $200,500.
British Luxury Cars: Bentley Mulsanne
Imperious, imposing, impressive, and intimidating; Bentley’s flagship is one of the most aggressively luxurious cars available. Embodying outsized performance and luxurious accommodations rivaled by only one other car (Rolls-Royce Phantom), if you want to see what British luxury cars are truly all about, this is it—right here. With every possible luxury feature you could imagine, along with sumptuous beyond belief interior materials, the Bentley Mulsanne singlehandedly redefines “extraordinary”. Power comes from a twin-turbocharged 6.8-liter V8 delivering 505 horsepower and an absolutely astounding 752 ft-lbs of torque. Mulsanne pricing starts at $298,900.
British Luxury Cars: Jaguar XF
Dialing it down a notch pricewise, the Jaguar XF is a mid-range luxury offering. Still, in true British luxury car fashion, dynamic performance is paired with a comfortably plush interior treatment. Currently the smallest of Jaguar sedans, the XF is absolutely a Jaguar, which is readily evident in every measure. With engines ranging from a 2.0-liter turbocharged four making 240 horsepower and 251 ft-lbs of torque, to a supercharged V8 making 550 horsepower and 502 ft-lbs, you can get Jaguar XF configured just as mildly or wildly as you’d like. Pricing starts at $46,975.
British Luxury Cars: Jaguar XJ
One of the most distinctive cars on the market, the Jaguar XJ is a thoroughly contemporary luxury sedan. Duly substantive, in traditional Jaguar fashion, the interior is opulent, albeit in a very tasteful fashion. But, don’t let that fool you into thinking the XJ is completely genteel. This is still a British luxury car, which means it goes like crazy. With engines ranging from a 340-horsepower supercharged V6 making 332 ft-lbs of torque, to a 550-horsepower supercharged V8 making 502 ft-lbs, the XJ is just as powerful as it is luxurious. Pricing starts at $74,200.
British Luxury Cars: Land Rover Range Rover Evoque
The first four-cylinder Range Rover product ever is also the smallest Range Rover model ever (to date). A new breed of luxury automobile, the Range Rover Evoque pairs strong on-road performance with the off road capability its family name demands, while also serving up tasteful urban transportation. Available as either a two-door or a four-door, the Land Rover Range Rover Evoque has established a new paradigm within the Range Rover family. Power comes from a 240-horsepower turbocharged four, delivering 250 ft-lbs of torque. Pricing starts at $41,100.
British Luxury Cars: Land Rover Range Rover
Its name synonymous with luxury, the Land Rover Range Rover is justifiably notable for delivering an outstanding degree of comfort, luxury, and utility. Range Rover heartily embraces the British luxury car dictum and applies it to a completely different situation. No other SUV can outperform the Range Rover in an off road setting. Further, none offer the style and craftsmanship of the Range Rover’s interior accommodations. It is, quite simply, the benchmark. Engines range from a 340-horsepower supercharged V6 with 332 ft-lbs of torque, to a 510-horsepower supercharged V8 with 461 ft-lbs. Pricing starts at $83,300.
British Luxury Cars: Land Rover Range Rover Sport
“Infused with a degree of on the road prowess worthy of the most respected sport sedans in the world” solidly characterizes the essence of the amazing Land Rover Range Rover Sport. Living very thoroughly up to the “Sport” suffix of its name, the Range Rover Sport hungrily devours winding mountain roads with ease; sacrifices none of the Range Rover’s off road capability, and reigns as the most luxurious model in its competitive set. Engines range from a 340-horsepower supercharged V6 with 332 ft-lbs of torque, to a 510-horsepower supercharged V8 with 461 ft-lbs of torque. Pricing starts at $62,600.
British Luxury Cars: Rolls-Royce Ghost
Silent, swift, sumptuous, and seductive, the Rolls-Royce Ghost serves as the “entry-level” to the most highly coveted line of luxury cars in the world. As Rolls-Royce automobiles go, the Ghost is nicely understated in that its looks don’t give you the impression the ground is laboring to support its substance. Yet the Ghost does a wonderful job of conveying all a Rolls-Royce should convey. Exceptionally tasteful in every measure, and absolutely bristling with cutting edge tech, the Rolls-Royce Ghost delivers up to 593 horsepower and 575 ft-lbs of torque from a twin turbocharged 6.6-liter V12. Pricing starts at $263,200.
British Luxury Cars: Rolls Royce Phantom
The standard by which all other luxury cars are judged, the Rolls Royce Phantom is the ne plus ultra of its genre. Large in both reputation and physical size, the Rolls-Royce Phantom possesses a presence only one other car can approach (Phantom’s Bentley Mulsanne cross-town rival). Powerful, quiet, smooth, and completely unrestrained, a Rolls-Royce Phantom says you’ve really got it all—there’s nothing else out here for you. Easily the top of mind of British luxury cars, the Rolls Royce Phantom represents the best of the breed. Power is adequately supplied by a 6.75-liter V12. Pricing starts at $402,940.
British Luxury Cars: Rolls Royce Phantom Coupe & Drophead Coupe
OK, let’s say you love the way the Phantom does what it do, but you feel a bit ostentatious rolling by yourself in your Phantom sedan. This is why God created the Phantom Coupe and Drophead. With these, you can enjoy all of your hedonism in a bite-sized package. Yes, a really BIG bite-sized package—but at least these versions of the Phantom look more reasonable when driven by their owners. Delivering everything we admire about Phantom, with two fewer doors (and/or a convertible top) Pricing starts at $433,500 for the Coupe and $470,000 for the Drophead.
Photo Credit: Rolls-Royce
British Luxury Cars: Rolls-Royce Wraith
Essentially a two-door Rolls-Royce Ghost (both cars are largely identical and outfitted the same), the Wraith’s fastback styling makes it more of a “personal” Rolls-Royce. Outfitted like a true Rolls-Royce through and through, the Wraith delivers absolutely state of the art comfort and convenience, while endowing the Rolls-Royce lineup with an outstanding performer. Thoroughly surpassing the Ghost in power output though, the Wraith brings 624 horsepower and 590 ft-lbs of torque to the fore from the twin-turbocharged 6.6-liter V12. Pricing starts at 284,900.