AutoWeek | Published 02/05/07, 2:43 pm et At the start of the decade, Bentley, Maybach and Rolls-Royce offered the promise of a new gilded era in the ultra-luxury segment for big sedans, coupes and convertibles. But Bentley has won most of the gold and nearly all the U.S. sales volume in the three years since it launched the Continental GT coupe. Bentley also appears to have done better than its chief competitors at balancing its brand name and image, products and prices - all of which spell "value for money." Bentley sold 3,856 vehicles in the United States in 2006. Nearly all were Continental coupes and sedans. The GT coupe is Bentley's first new model since Volkswagen AG acquired the luxury brand. Bentley's U.S. lineup also includes the GTC convertible and older Arnage and Azure models. Bentley's U.S. sales last year were 5.5 percent higher than in 2005. They were more than four times Rolls-Royce Motor Cars' global sales of 805 cars in 2006. Rolls-Royce would not disclose U.S. sales. Meanwhile, Maybach sold 146 vehicles in the United States last year. That was down from 152 in 2005. The 2007 Continental GT coupe and Continental Flying Spur sedan both list for $176,285. Those prices include a $3,700 federal gas-guzzler penalty and a $2,595 delivery charge. That's about half the price of a Maybach 57 or Rolls-Royce Phantom, both of which set buyers back more than $300,000. But money is not the issue, executives of the ultra-luxury brands say.