Bentley marks 20 years of the Continental GT with a one-off and a world tour
An American collector has just taken delivery of a unique Continental GT Speed built to commemorate the model’s 20th anniversary.
Its classically-stylish green over tan combination echoes that of the very first Continental GT. VIN 20001 rolled out of Bentley’s Crewe factory in 2003 wearing Cypress Green paintwork and a Saddle leather interior, while the one-off 2023 Continental GT Speed comes in Special Green over Saddle leather, and adds two types of Dark Burr Walnut wooden trim, with additional Cypress pinstriping. Both cars were displayed at The Quail during Monterey Car Week, but only the new model will remain in the U.S.
This 2023 special is loaded with almost every conceivable option, featuring Blackline, Touring and Styling specs that include polished black brightwork, plus a carbon front splitter, side skirts, diffuser and rear spoiler. Self-levelling Mulliner badges adorn the 22-inch Dark Grey Satin wheels. The cabin gets treadplates reading ’20 years of the Continental GT by Bentley Mulliner’, and there are outlines of the car and its 20-year-old forebear on the fascia, center console and outer sill. A Naim audio system and the funky rotating display are also fitted.
When it launched the Continental GT featured Bentley’s mighty six-liter, twin turbo W-12 engine producing 558 hp, while two decades of development mean the new Speed packs more than 100 horses more from the same capacity, fed to all-four-wheels by an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission instead of the original car’s six-speed auto.
The Continental GT was responsible for a ten-fold increase in Bentley’s sales and, even with the arrival of the Bentayga SUV, still accounts for around a third of the British company’s 15,000 annual production.
As part of the ongoing celebrations Bentley’s designers have also crafted a special baton, based on the car’s lines, which is beginning a journey around the world, travelling in a series of Continental GTs in the U.S.A. Europe, the Middle East, China, and Asia Pacific before heading home to the U.K. where it will go on permanent display at the factory.