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BENTLEY ANNOUNCES LE MANS LIMITED EDITION MULSANNE AND CONTINENTAL MODELS

  • 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.

Bentley Mulsanne

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

John Duff

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.

Exterior:        Moonbeam

Interior:         Two-tone Linen and Beluga

Stitching:       Contrast

Veneer:         Piano Black and Bright Aluminium

Dudley Benjafield

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

Stitching:       Contrast

Veneer:         Dark Stain Burr Walnut and Bright Aluminium

Woolf Barnato

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.

Exterior:        Granite

Interior:         Hotspur

Stitching:       Beluga

Veneer:         Carbon Fiber in Continental series

                    Dark Stain Burr Walnut with Dark Aluminium in Mulsanne

Tim Birkin

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

Interior:         Beluga

Stitching:       White

Veneer:         Piano Black and Bright Aluminium

Le Mans Edition Specifications (cont.)

Glen Kidston

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

Stitching:       Contrast

Veneer:         Dark Stain Burr Walnut and Dark Aluminium

Continental GT Convertible models are finished with a Blue hued exterior roof.

Guy Smith

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.

Exterior:        Beluga

Interior:         Beluga

Stitching:       Hotspur

Veneer:         Piano Black and Dark Aluminium

ENDS

For further information about this press release please contact:

Graeme Russell – Head of PR and Communications

Graeme.Russell@bentley-usa.com

Tel:  +1(703) 364-7980

Mobile:   +1 (248) 464-9100

Corey Proffitt – PR Manager

Corey.Proffitt@bentley-usa.com

Tel:  +1(703) 364-7981

Mobile:  +1 (248) 613-7438

For further information on Bentley please visit:

Media site:   www.bentleymedia.com

Twitter:   @BentleyMotorsPR
 

Notes to editors

 

  1. Bentley Motors employs around 4,000 people in Crewe which is home to all its operations including design, R&D, engineering and production. The combination of fine craftsmanship, using skills that have been handed down through generations, alongside engineering expertise and cutting-edge technology is unique to UK luxury vehicle manufacturers such as Bentley. It is also an example of high-value British manufacturing at its best. Bentley exports over £1bn worth of goods in 2012.  The company is the third largest R&D investor in the UK's automotive sector and the 18th largest nationally.

     
  2. In the first quarter of 2013, Bentley’s deliveries to customers increased by 25.75% to 2,212 cars.  The Americas remained Bentley’s largest sales region with 632 cars delivered to customers in the region, up 35.04% on Q1 2012.  In Europe, deliveries grew by 61.84% with 335 cars delivered to customers. In the UK, 371 cars were delivered to customers, a 59.23% increase on the first quarter of 2012.  In China 474 cars were delivered to customers, a 17.99% decrease which reflects anticipation of the new Flying Spur, the top selling Bentley in China, which becomes available from mid-2013 onwards.  The Middle East region performed extremely well with deliveries up 41.07% to 237 cars. Asia Pacific also had an outstanding quarter, increasing its deliveries by 68.12% to 116 cars and Japan saw growth of 30.56% with 47 deliveries.