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Bentley's 91,000 pounds car for first-time buyers

The 'affordable' Bentley is launched today. The pounds 91,000 luxury Brooklands, named after the Surrey racing circuit, is aimed at 'first-time buyers'.

Vickers, the manufacturer, is confident the 125mph four-door saloon, which boasts a 6.7 litre engine, hand-stitched leather seats, deep pile Wilton carpets, hand-finished burr walnut veneer door trims and a 10-speaker sound system, will be a success.

The company hopes to sell about 100 of the new cars in the UK in the first year and about 400 worldwide. 'It is very competitively priced. We see it as a 'conquest model'. People who perhaps hadn't had a Bentley before may feel one is now in reach. There is great confidence in the recovery of the luxury car market,' Ian McKay, marketing director, said.

Specialist carmakers have been hard hit during the recession in the UK and in important foreign markets.

Output by Rolls-Royce, the Vickers subsidiary which makes Bentleys, was 43 per cent lower in the first half of this year than last year.

Aston Martin, the luxury sports carmaker, produced just 23 cars in the first half of this year and Jensen, which rose to fame with its classic Interceptor, is set to go into liquidation unless a rescuer emerges.

Meanwhile Ford came up with cheaper alternatives yesterday, relaunching a relaunch. The company unveiled new Escorts and Orions, redesigned only two years ago after a pounds 1bn development programme.

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