The wait is over. The first batch of Bentleys has arrived in Kenya and will soon be seen on the roads.
Dimitris Karakoulas, the Porsche Centre Nairobi general manager said they are getting ready to deliver six Bentleys to their affluent owners.
A buyer who has purchased a champagne gold model said he paid between Sh30 million to Sh45 million, a cost that depends on the level of customisation.
‘‘The starting price is $265,000 (Sh27.2 million) and sky is the limit, considering all the personalisation possibilities Bentley is offering to the customers. Bentley is the synonym to extraordinary luxury and performance combined,’’ Mr Karakoulas said.
Globally, Rolls-Royce may be seeing surprisingly younger ultra-rich buyers —45 years old, down from 57 years old—but Kenyans of all ages are buying Bentleys.
‘‘Bentley customers belong to all ages, but for Porsche though, it is about 40-45 years,’’ Mr Karakoulas said.
More powerful than Range Rover
In Kenya, buyers prefer the Bentley Bentayga, an SUV, however Mr Karakoulas said they have received orders for the Flying Spur (sedan) and Continental GT (two-door coupé).
‘‘We also expect the Mulsanne to be available in the near future,’’ he said.
Luxury is in the details and the Bentley Bentayga has demonstrated how a high-end 4x4 vehicle can differentiate itself from the competition, starting with its unconventional exteriors looks.
The only standard thing is the four tyres and the powerful 600hp (447kW/608PS), 900Nm, 6.0 litre W12 engine that’s mated to an 8-speed gearbox.
While it wins the power battle hands down, it does more. The vehicle allows a wider range of personalisations from a choice of three models; Bentayga, Bentayga Diesel and the top of the range Bentayga Mulliner which costs about $460,000 (Sh47.3 million) locally.
You can have your vehicle in numerous colours bundled into eight categories. The matrix grill comes in black, but you can request for a chrome finish to add some bling to this barge.
Privacy glass too is an option that gives the vehicle a sporty silhouette. A tow bar is available, but I doubt you will want to pull anything with this vehicle.
Instead you might opt to have the boot installed with telescopic bars and straps to manage luggage.
Better still, go for the Mulliner picnic hamper. It contains luxury cutlery and glassware engraved with the Bentley logo.
The three compartments are installed into the rear with custom engineered docking mechanisms that allow you to pull them out for easy access. It works well with the optional event seat that slides out as a bench for fresco dining in the wild of the Maasai Mara.
On arrival you will have access to two bottles of perfectly chilled champagne bottles and Bentley flutes designed by David Redman also from London.
The silver cutlery is from no less than Robbe & Berking while the cups are from French porcelain maker Havilland.
If you buy a Bentley, you must at bare minimum own a Breitling Mulliner Tourbillon timepiece.
To make the long journeys bearable, you have a better than great sound system with the option of 10.2 inch entertainment tablets to work or watch TV from. You can also have a mobile tablet to see and control all the vehicle’s onboard features.
If the standard Bentley entertainment unit will not suffice, pick the Naim. Designed specifically for Bentley, it is driven by a 1920watt amplifier and features 20 speakers, including 9 midrange and tweeters.
It has four bass speakers and a 300 sub-hoofer. The standard unit only has a 12-channel amplifier capable of send 700W of sound through 12 individual speakers.
Loads of leather
The inside of the Bentayga, as expected, is covered with loads of leather. You can pick from 10 colours with five different split options.
The emblem can be embroidered on the backrest just below the headrest. The steering wheel is hand-stitched and you can opt to have single or duotone.
Of course you can have it heated, but in Kenya this will be overkill. You will pick a main hide that covers most surfaces and a primary hide for contrast.
To give your interior a more bespoke feel you can decide to have the fascia and rear picnic table decked in veneer to further elevate rear passenger comfort.
If you fancy, for an additional cost, you can add wooden cabinets to hold watches and jewels, have a gun safe, cigar humidor or bullet-proof the Bentayga. Bentley also has lambswool floor mats that will have you barefoot on every journey.
The coming of the British luxury car underlines Kenyans’ increased spending on expensive objects of personal enjoyment and for some, the thrill is in driving or sitting in the passenger seat of a gorgeous vehicle such as the Rolls-Royce, Maybach and the BMWs 7 Series.