Berlin calling

Media experiment Corona: From the home office we steer a photographer via telephone with a Bentley Continental GT V8 convertible through Berlin. In the end we send the team to Wladimir Kaminer. He really enjoyed the driving.
Text Tom M. Muir
Photo Kirill Kirsanov · ramp.pictures

With a yellow Bentley Continental GT V8 Cabriolet on the road in Berlin. The top is down. The sun is shining. And that in May. Just the thought of it accelerates the release of happiness hormones. But wait. Let's start at the beginning. In fact, only the Bentley, a photographer and a driver, are in Berlin. We are sitting at home in our home office, almost 700 kilometers from Berlin. At least the sun is shining here, too. But the lusty sputtering V8, the leather-covered steering wheel that clings so perfectly to your hand, the thrust when accelerating that pushes you in the back, we have to imagine all that. Why not be behind the wheel ourselves these days? To be honest, we are tired of explaining and forgo an explanation.

Instead: Media experiment with Bentley: what works from the home office? What does not work? How much influence can we have? Which pictures do we get? And what is our columnist Wladimir Kaminer doing right now? After all, he lives in Berlin.

But first a short phone call with the photographer. What is the mood like? »So far, so good. The streets are clear. It's not that there's nobody on the road, but compared to a normal weekday there's almost nothing going on. Most importantly, there are no tourists and the shops and cafes are all closed.« Sounds promising and a bit incredible as well. »Let's go, boys! The usual boulevards, please. And a bit of sightseeing.« Less than ten minutes later, the photographer gets back to us from directly in front of the Brandenburg Gate. »That was fast.« No traffic. So, straight to the government district. Again, only 5 minutes later. »One or two dark limousines drive past, probably bringing one or two politicians,« says the photographer. »And what about the central station?« - »Nobody …« says the real-time analysis. »Although, a handful of policemen are patrolling.« To prove this, he sends through a few shots on his cell phone.

»Nobody …« says the real-time analysis. »Although, a handful of policemen are patrolling.«

Time to take things a little further. »Put the Bentley in a high-profile spot or two and start taking pictures. We'll see what happens.« First stop, near Lustgarten, just around the corner is Angela Merkel's private residence. Permanent police guard in front of it. An impromptu Bentley shoot doesn't bother anyone here. After 15 minutes the shooting continues. Backside of the Alexanderplatz, a side street. Again two officers are patrolling. The driver parks directly in front of them. We listen in via telephone. The police officers are curious, especially about the Bentley and how much it costs. The fact that we want to take pictures here does not bother them in the least.

In the meantime, we have another spontaneous idea. A quick call to writer and ramp columnist Wladimir Kaminer. »Vladimir, what are you doing right now?« - »Well, I'm at home. Where should I be?« All readings and TV productions have been stopped or even cancelled, he says. Maybe something would happen in Austria, in two weeks. »Would you like to give us an exclusive report from Berlin? With a Bentley convertible?«, we ask straight out. He would. »Sure, come by.« Half an hour later, photographer and driver are standing at Vladimir Kaminer's door.

»We've never put a car in front of the Brandenburg Gate before. Will it work today?«

In numerous ramp-Supersupersupertests we have already driven him through Berlin in various and very expensive sports cars. This is always associated with a lot of attention. From our side for all other road users - especially for the notorious Berlin cyclists - and of course from all others for us. But how is it this time? We send Wladimir Kaminer off in a Bentley convertible as our investigative writer-columnist reporter, so to speak. »Where are we going?« he asks. »Anywhere you want. The roads are clear.« Kaminer ponders for a moment. »We've never put a car in front of the Brandenburg Gate before. Will it work today?«

It worked. I'll give you that much. The whole story written by Wladimir Kaminer, in which suddenly someone puts chairs in front of the Brandenburg Gate and puts up posters on the lawn in front of the Reichstag building, you will read in the upcoming ramp #50.


Bentley Continental GT V8 Cabriolet

Motor: V8-Biturbo
Hubraum: 3.996 ccm
Leistung: 404 kW / 550 PS
Max. Drehmoment: 770 Nm @ 2.000 - 4.000 U/min.
Beschleunigung: 0 bis 100 km/h in 4,0 s
Vmax: 318 km/h


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