Producing Only 48 Examples
Bentley is honoring its wins at Le Mans with a one-of-a-kind limited edition based on the Continental GT and GTC convertibles. Dubbed the “Le Mans Collection”, these sumptuous vehicles are made to commemorate the Speed 8 that emerged triumphant in 2003.
It is now 20 years since Crewe recorded its sixth success during the legendary battle and it has thus been endowed with a sporty edge. Below the surface, you can find the familiar 6.0-liter W12 engine, producing 650 horse power and 664 pound-feet of twist in GT Speed condition. Getting to 60 mph is achieved in a mere 3.5 seconds. Continue to maintain your foot on the accelerator, and the Bentleys with its twelve cylinders could propel up to 208 mph (the maximum of GT Speed is 198 mph).
The inclusion of all-wheel steering, accompanied by an electronic limited-slip differential, allows for superior maneuverability. Additional improvements have been made through the provision of optional carbon ceramic brakes. It is nevertheless the extraordinary exterior and interior adornments that generates the most enthusiasm.
The firm of Bentley see their own in-house Mulliner department take a detailed look at the renowned Speed 8 and integrated certain design aspects into their limited edition Continentals. The luxurious car exteriors have taken on a superb form with its Verdant Green coloring emanating looked all the more attractive due to the Moonbeam racing line that covers the bonnet, yet is also seen by the coupé stretching around the roof too.
The Le Mans Collection vehicles feature the Blackline specification, which replaces the standard chrome trimmings for a more athletic appearance. Carbon fiber exterior components are further accentuated with a Moonbeam-colored pinstripe. Additionally, the wing mirrors, lower front bumper, and the rear “horseshoe” have been finished in Beluga Black.
Earlier, Bentley’s iconic matrix grille was adorned with the #7 in Arctica White. Paying tribute to the automaker’s three consecutive champion Bentleys from 1924-1930 and its 2003 Le Mans victor, this element of design was first created to guard the radiator from the rugged racetrack of Le Mans from two decades ago.
Bentley concluded the outside styling with a tasteful 22-inch, 10-spoke rim (painted black) which kept the vibrant red brake calipers hidden together with 24h badges. To sum up: It’s a dashing grand tourer that exudes sophistication as well as athleticism.
Open the stout portals, and you’ll be ingress into a genuinely luxurious interior. Beluga leather covering nearly all faces, apart from the seatings which have been trimmed in textured Dynamica material. This clingy stuff continues to ensconce the steering wheel, with high-grade leather as an embellishment. An attractive 6 o’clock accentuate is a fantastic enhancement.
The crisp black interior is given a splash of colour due to the Hotpsur contrast stitching. Even though it is reminiscent of Bentley, there are no customary wood accents featured. Staying faithful to the motorsport central idea, the double patterns on the doors and dashboard contain high luster carbon fibre and Piano Black veneers. A subtle chrome line marks the boundary between the two materials.
Not by any means is the luxury experience complete. Delight the senses with exclusive Speed 8 sill plates and six-wreath treadplates signifying Bentley’s heritage, excellently displayed through their distinctively-designed logo in the front of the car. Symbolising the marque’s six Le Mans conquests between 1924 and 2003, its iconic emblem carved onto the façade speaks volumes about its track record.
The Continental’s delightful three-way rotation display has been tailored for the Le Mans series. Owners can go with either the analog, touchscreen, or dual veneer. However, the central dial comes replaced with a Vitrine that displays a Speed 8 engine valve from its twin-turbo V8 engine – taken out and preserved subsequent to the Le Mans triumph. 24 of the 32 valves have been deliberately cut in half as an awe-inspiring exhibit featured in all cars of the Continental Le Mans assortment.
At long last, the 12-hour analog clock has been superseded by a custom-made digital watch – with a 24-hour faceplate, evidently.
No more than 48 examples of this special-edition model will be available worldwide, thus making it highly exclusive. Pricing details have not been made public yet, though one can safely speculate that the two Continental GT and GTC Le Mans Collection automobiles will be rather expensive.
When W.O. Bentley, the founder of the company, heard that a customer was entering the Le Mans 24-Hour Race in a private Bentley 3 Litre, he was not pleased. “I think the whole thing’s crazy. Nobody’ll finish. Cars aren’t designed to take that sort of strain for 24 hours,” he said in 1923. Despite his initial doubts, Bentley’s ambition and drive eventually brought him to the Le Sarthe raceway, and in 1924 his team won the race. From then on, the Bentley legacy was cemented in the annals of history.
At the beginning of this year, the posh marque unmasked the Mulliner-crafted Continental ranges that were put together to commemorate the Bathurst 12-Hour. Besides these vehicles, other cars drawing inspiration from motor sports have been revealed by Bentley in recent years, such as the Pikes Peak Continental GT by Mulliner.