Bentley, renowned for its luxury and performance vehicles, is gearing up to celebrate a significant milestone at this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed.
The event will mark the remarkable 20-year journey of Bentley’s powerful W12 engine, alongside an impressive showcase of bespoke and coach-built Bentleys by Mulliner. With the new Speed Six Continuation Series making its global debut and the dynamic UK debut of the Batur, Bentley enthusiasts are in for a treat.
The W12 Engine: Powering Bentley to Record Success
The heart of Bentley’s performance legacy lies in its 6.0-litre twin-turbo W12 engine, which has been a key driving force for the brand’s triumphs over the past two decades. Since its introduction with the Continental GT in 2003, this engine has consistently delivered power, reliability, refinement, and efficiency, making it a prominent feature in Bentley’s lineup. However, as Bentley pursues its Beyond100 journey towards full electrification, the W12 engine is nearing the end of its production phase, with the final engine scheduled to be built in April 2024.
Six Dynamic Bentleys Conquer the Hill
To honour the exceptional W12 engine, Bentley has curated an astonishing fleet of cars to tackle the renowned Goodwood Hillclimb. Leading the pack is the Batur by Mulliner, showcasing its prowess as the most powerful iteration of the W12 engine ever created. With an awe-inspiring 750 PS and 1,000 Nm of torque, the Batur promises exceptional performance. This exclusive coach-built project by Mulliner is limited to just 18 units, with all of them already spoken for. The car selected to conquer the hill is the engineering durability prototype, Car Zero-Zero, finished in the striking Marina Teal colour, representing one of the two existing Baturs.
Joining the Batur on the Hillclimb is the new Continental GT Le Mans Collection, the pinnacle of W12 performance within Bentley’s mainstream model range. Boasting 650 PS, this limited-edition car will leave an indelible mark on the Goodwood Festival of Speed. Accompanying it is a bespoke Continental GTC Speed, Bentley’s fastest convertible, featuring unique elements from Mulliner’s Personal Commissioning Guide, such as exquisite stone veneer and eye-catching Cyber Yellow accents.
To commemorate the life of the W12 engine, Bentley has crafted a special Edition 12 family of cars, available across the Speed models. Each of the 120 examples of the Continental GT, Continental GTC, Flying Spur, and Bentayga Speed will showcase W12-inspired details. Notably, the Flying Spur Speed Edition 12 will make a grand appearance, captivating spectators with its Opalite paintwork.
The W12-powered Legends of Goodwood Hill
Among the lineup of W12-powered cars participating in the daily hillclimb is the remarkable Continental GT Pikes Peak, which previously set a new outright Production Class record at Pikes Peak in 2019. This extraordinary feat was achieved by conquering the challenging 12.42-mile, 156-turn course that ascends nearly 5,000 ft. The car, driven by the esteemed Rhys Millen, will make its debut at the Festival of Speed, captivating audiences with its exceptional performance.
Accompanying the five W12 Bentleys on the hill is Bentley’s original supercar, the 4½ Litre Supercharged, famously known as the Bentley Blower. The showcased car will be Car Zero from the Blower Continuation Series, a pioneering project by Mulliner. This continuation series involved the meticulous creation of 12 new Blowers from scratch, using Bentley’s own 1929 Team Car #2 as the master.
Speed Six Car Zero: A Tribute to Heritage and Craftsmanship
With the Blower Continuation Series nearing completion, Mulliner is preparing for its second continuation project, the Speed Six Continuation Series. These 12 handcrafted cars, already sold out, will faithfully recreate the Speed Six specification that achieved success at Le Mans in 1930. Before the customer cars are delivered, two development vehicles, Car Zero and Factory Works, will take the spotlight. Speed Six Car Zero, making its global debut at the Festival of Speed, will be showcased on the two-storey Bentley stand, adjacent to the Supercar Paddock.
Accompanying Speed Six Car Zero on the stand will be the only other Batur in existence and a customised Flying Spur Mulliner. The Flying Spur will feature an array of bespoke elements, carefully selected from Mulliner’s Personal Commissioning Guide. In addition, a Mulliner designer will be available on the stand, providing expert guidance to customers in the intricate process of configuring their perfect bespoke Bentley.
W12 Heritage Parade: Celebrating Two Decades of Excellence
To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the W12 engine in grand fashion, a spectacular parade of 12 W12-powered cars will grace the event on Thursday. In addition to the five supercars taking on the Hillclimb, Bentley’s revitalised and expanded Heritage Collection will contribute seven additional vehicles, including the first-generation Continental GT W12, Continental Flying Spur, the Continental Supersports ISR, Bentayga W12, Flying Spur W12S, Pikes Peak Bentayga, and the second-generation Continental Supersports.
In conclusion, the Goodwood Festival of Speed will be a momentous occasion for Bentley as it celebrates two decades of the mighty W12 engine. This remarkable powertrain has been the driving force behind Bentley’s record-breaking success and has left an indelible mark on the brand’s legacy. From the dynamic debut of the Batur by Mulliner to the exquisite craftsmanship of the Speed Six Continuation Series, the event promises to captivate enthusiasts and showcase Bentley’s unwavering commitment to excellence. As Bentley looks towards the future with its Beyond100 journey, this celebration serves as a testament to the brand’s rich heritage and its relentless pursuit of automotive innovation.