Bentley Continental, Mulsanne get Le Mans limited editions Press Release
Bentley celebrates two significant milestones with heritage inspired models:
The 90th anniversary of the legendary Le Mans 24 Hours endurance race and Bentley's participation in the inaugural event
The 10th anniversary of Bentley's victory in 2003
Six unique Limited Edition specifications inspired by victorious Bentley drivers
(Herndon, VA, 9th May 2013). Bentley Motors, Inc. today announces six new Le Mans Limited Edition specifications available on the flagship Mulsanne and the Continental family, exclusively available in North America. Each model is inspired by a driver from Bentley's six victories at the legendary Le Mans 24 Hours race.
From the company's start in 1919, Bentley was remarkably successful in both racing and setting new speed records. Founder W.O. Bentley was a determined supporter of motor racing as a means of establishing the Bentley marque and the company's racing success was achieved through its engineering competence and the skills of a group of drivers known as the 'Bentley Boys'.
After being the sole British entry and placing fourth in the inaugural 1923 race, Bentley won the Le Mans 24 Hours endurance race in 1924. From 1927 to 1930 Bentley dominated the event and took victory on four consecutive occasions. In 2003, nearly 83 years to the date from its previous victory, Bentley achieved yet another victory, placing first and second, with Guy Smith piloting the first of the two Speed 8's across the finish line.
To celebrate these significant milestones, 48 examples of each 'Le Mans Limited Edition' model are being produced. Each car will have a unique Le Mans Edition numbered badge, Le Mans Edition clock face, embroidered Le Mans badge to each headrest, tread plates with the limited edition name, unique Le Mans Edition wheels and specific interior veneers and exterior colours.
"We're very proud of our motorsports heritage and we're excited to celebrate our historic wins at Le Mans 24 Hours," said Christophe Georges, President and COO, Bentley Motors, Inc. "The Le Mans Limited Edition models showcase our performance and handcrafted luxury through these unique, heritage inspired specifications."
Continental GT models will be available in the second quarter of 2013 with Mulsanne Le Mans Edition models available beginning in the third quarter.
For additional information please visit the Bentley Le Mans Edition microsite: http://lemansedition.bentleymotors.com.
In an era of mass production, the Mulsanne stands at the pinnacle of British luxury motoring. With a 0-60 time of just 5.1 seconds and a top speed of 184 mph, the 505 bhp model offers thunderous levels of performance for an ultra-luxury sedan.
The Le Mans Edition specifications are a perfect blend of sportsmanship and heritage matched to the highest standards of technology and craftsmanship. The limited edition specifications will feature, among other items, diamond-quilted hide seat covering, diamond-quilted hide door panels, Le Mans Edition illuminated treadplates, drilled alloy foot pedals, sports tuned suspension and steering, 'Quad' Effect Tailpipe Finishers, and two-piece five spoke dark tint alloy wheels.
Bentley Continental GT Family
The 4-seat Continental GT coupe and convertible capture the GT spirit with the highest standards of design, engineering, luxury, performance, and everyday practicality. The 4.0-litre, twin turbo V8 achieves exceptional standards for power-to-emissions in the high luxury sports car sector. The instantly recognizable growl of the V8 engine sets it apart from its Bentley stable mates.
Also available in Le Mans Edition Coupe and Convertible form is Bentley's renowned 6.0-litre W12 engine. Producing 567 bhp and 516 lb-ft of torque, the Continental GT W12 is quintessential Bentley refinement and performance.
The Continental GT Speed Le Mans Edition is available in coupe form only. The iconic GT Speed is powered by Bentley's renowned 6.0-litre W12 and in this version produces 616 bhp and 590 lb-ft of torque available from 2000 rpm for instantly accessible high performance. The GT Speed sprints to sixty in 4.0 seconds and is the fastest production Bentley ever with a top speed of 205 mph.
Le Mans Edition Specifications
The original Bentley Boy, John Duff gave Bentley its first win at Le Mans 24 Hours in 1924. After a fourth place finish in 1923, Duff returned to Le Mans the following year with Bentley co-driver Jack Clement. The pair raced to a first place finish, defeating many of the leading sports cars of the day.
Interior: Two-tone Linen and Beluga
Veneer: Piano Black and Bright Aluminium
Competing for the sheer pleasure of driving and the thrill of the race, "Benjy", drove at numerous events and took 1st place at Le Mans in 1927.
Exterior: Verdant – the same colour of the victorious Bentley Speed 8 in 2003
Interior: Two-tone Linen and Cumbrian Green
Veneer: Dark Stain Burr Walnut and Bright Aluminium
Considered "the best driver we ever had" by W.O. Bentley, Barnato remains the only driver to have won on each occasion of entering the race recording wins at Le Mans in 1928, 1929 and 1930.
Veneer: Carbon Fiber in Continental series
Dark Stain Burr Walnut with Dark Aluminium in Mulsanne
A formidable personality, Birkin, an ex-fighter pilot was renowned for his willingness to be utterly ruthless with his car to achieve a winning result.
Exterior: Glacier White
Veneer: Piano Black and Bright Aluminium
Le Mans Edition Specifications (cont.)
Kidston claimed 1st place at Le Mans in 1930 and is known for being an adventurer; rough, tough, sharp and fearless.
Exterior: Dark Sapphire
Interior: Two-tone Newmarket Tan and Imperial Blue
Veneer: Dark Stain Burr Walnut and Dark Aluminium
Continental GT Convertible models are finished with a Blue hued exterior roof.
A central figure for Team Bentley's attack on both the Sebring 12-Hours and the Le Mans 24 Hours, Guy Smith secured his place in racing legend at the 2003 Le Mans 24 Hours. Smith was selected to pilot the Bentley Speed 8 across the finish line to mark an emotional sixth win for Bentley.
Veneer: Piano Black and Dark Aluminium