To mark 20 years since Bentley’s sixth victory on the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and 100 years because the first working of the legendary race, Bentley is making a restricted version of Continental GT Coupés and Continental GTCs. Every will probably be powered by the Bentley W12 engine, probably the most profitable 12-cylinder engine of the trendy period. The Le Mans Assortment contains distinctive exterior and inside particulars that echo the design of the Le Mans-winning Pace 8 #7.
All Le Mans Assortment fashions are specified with the three-way Bentley Rotating Show, providing a alternative of touchscreen, twin veneer, or analog dials – however with a twist; Instead of the usual central dial is a Vitrine displaying an engine valve from the 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 of the 2003 Le Mans successful Bentley Pace 8. The engine was eliminated after the competition and preserved, and now 24 of the 32 valves from the engine have been bisected to create 48 artifacts for this unique assortment of final Grand Tourers. In one other considerate contact, the usual 12-hour analog clock is changed by a digital clock with a bespoke dial design – a 24-hour one, naturally.
Mulliner, Bentley’s private commissioning division, has taken inspiration from the darkish inexperienced Pace 8 racing automobiles that swept all earlier than them at Le Mans in 2003. From the Verdant inexperienced exterior to the sliver of Pace 8 engine displayed within the fascia, the Le Mans Assortment is a heartfelt tribute to a protracted and wonderful shared historical past between Bentley and the Le Mans 24 Hours.
Mulliner’s designers intently studied the successful Pace 8 of 2003, certainly one of the vital stunning racing automobiles ever to triumph at Le Mans. The restricted variety of Continental GTs and Continental GTCs within the Le Mans Assortment is completed in Verdant inexperienced, with a Moonbeam racing stripe throughout the bonnet (and Coupé roof). The Blackline specification nods to the black and inexperienced livery of the Pace 8, whereas the carbon-fiber Styling specification physique parts are completed in black with a refined pinstripe in Moonbeam. Beluga black can be chosen for the decrease entrance bumper, wing mirror caps, and rear ‘horseshoe’ space beneath the boot lid spoiler, whereas black 22-inch ten-spoke wheels shroud highly effective carbon ceramic brakes and purple brake calipers.
In the meantime, the distinctive Bentley matrix grille (initially developed to guard the radiator on the unpaved Le Man’s racetrack of the Twenties) includes a painted #7 in Arctica white, combining the race-winning variety of 2003 with the painted radiators of the Bentleys that gained Le Mans 5 instances between 1924 and 1930.
The interiors of the Le Mans Assortment Continental GT and Continental GTC are much more luxurious than these of the Bentley Pace 8s – however there’s the identical sense of sporting goal. A bespoke 2003 wreath welcome lamp ushers you right into a cockpit trimmed in Beluga conceal. Efficiency-bred napped Dynamica cloth covers the seat faces, whereas the inside’s monochrome coloration scheme is relieved in contrast seat stitching and seatbelts in Hotspur. The steering wheel, trimmed in conceal and Dynamica, additionally options Hotspur distinction stitching and a six o’clock accent tab.
The twin-finish veneer on fascia and door waist rails is executed in Piano Black and excessive gloss carbon fiber, with a wonderful chrome pinstripe separating the 2. Matching doorways to the fascia so the pinstripe flows seamlessly from one aspect to the opposite is a mark of the distinctive craftsmanship in each Bentley. The Le Mans Assortment Bentleys characteristic many bespoke particulars, starting with the Pace 8 sill plates and six-wreath treadplates that greet occupants on coming into the inside. The fascia shows the six-wreath emblem inlaid into high-gloss carbon fiber, marking every of the six outright victories recorded by Bentley at Le Mans between 1924 and 2003.
The Le Mans Assortment Continental GT and GTC are outfitted with Bentley’s famend 6.0-litre W12 TSI engine, delivering 659 PS (650 bhp) and a unprecedented 900 Nm (664 lb.ft) of torque. With distinctive dealing with, this ends in a high pace of 208 mph (335 km/h) and 0-60 mph in 3.5 seconds (0-100 km/h in 3.6 seconds). A mixture of 4 chassis applied sciences provides the brand new restricted version a degree of agility, efficiency, and trip high quality anticipated of a automotive with this heritage.
Bentley Dynamic Trip and three-chamber lively air suspension with adaptive damping play a key function within the steadiness of the automotive and supply a formidable basis to construct upon. The non-compulsory and newly-developed Carbon Ceramic Brakes, Variable Digital Stability Management, All Wheel Steering, and an Digital Restricted Slip Differential bolster the agility and efficiency even additional.
Bentley’s lengthy affiliation with Le Mans didn’t get off to the smoothest of begins. “I feel the entire thing’s loopy. No one’ll end. Vehicles aren’t designed to take that form of pressure for twenty-four hours.” Such was W.O. Bentley’s response in 1923, on listening to that non-public entrant John Duff deliberate to contest the first-ever Le Mans 24-Hour race in a Bentley 3 Litre. However the aggressive hearth in W.O.’s soul noticed him make a last-minute sprint to the La Sarthe circuit nonetheless. Impressed by Duff’s 4th place (regardless of a prolonged cease to restore a holed petrol tank) and quickest lap, W.O. and Bentley Motors returned in 1924 with a works entry – and gained. It was the beginning of a wonderful decade that noticed 5 wins in seven years.
Bentley was again in 2001 with the EXP Pace 8, the beginning of a three-year program concentrating on a sixth outright victory. And on Sunday, June fifteenth, 2003, Bentley’s two works Pace 8s completed first and second on this most grueling of endurance races. Automobile #7 of Man Smith, Tom Kristensen, and Rinaldo Capello coated 377 laps at a median pace of 214.33km/h, adopted by the #8 Pace 8 of Johnny Herbert, Mark Blundell, and David Brabham.