Bentley’s Le Mans Collection: A Century of History

To celebrate the 20th anniversary of Bentley’s sixth victory at the Le Mans 24-hour race and the centenary of the event itself, Bentley has created a limited edition of Continental GT Coupés and Continental GTC’s.

These stunning vehicles are powered by the Bentley W12 engine, which is widely regarded as the most successful 12-cylinder engine of the modern era. Known as the Le Mans Collection, these models come with unique exterior and interior details that reflect the design of the Le Mans-winning Speed 8 #7.

Bentley's Le Mans Collection: A Century of History

Innovative Rotating Display

Every Le Mans Collection model comes with Bentley’s innovative three-way Rotating Display, which provides a choice of touchscreen, dual veneer or analogue dials.

However, in a nod to the Le Mans race, the standard central dial is replaced with a Vitrine display that showcases an engine valve from the 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 of the 2003 Le Mans-winning Bentley Speed 8.

Interestingly, this engine valve was removed after the contest, preserved, and has now been bisected to create 48 artefacts for the exclusive Le Mans Collection of Ultimate Grand Tourers.

Bespoke Details

The Le Mans Collection Continental GT and Continental GTC offer far more luxury than the Bentley Speed 8s that inspired them, yet the vehicles share the same sense of sporting purpose.

The interiors feature a bespoke 2003 wreath welcome lamp, Beluga hide trim, and performance-bred napped Dynamica fabric on the seat faces. The dual-finish veneer on fascia and door waist rails is executed in Piano Black and high gloss carbon fibre, separated by a fine chrome pinstripe.

Bentley's Le Mans Collection: A Century of History

Race-Inspired Performance

The Le Mans Collection Continental GT and GTC are equipped with Bentley’s renowned 6.0-litre W12 TSI engine, delivering 659 PS (650 bhp) and an impressive 900 Nm (664 lb. ft) of torque.

The cars boast exceptional handling, resulting in a top speed of 208 mph (335 km/h) and a 0-60 mph time of just 3.5 seconds (0-100 km/h in 3.6 seconds). These figures are a testament to the four chassis technologies that provide a formidable foundation for the vehicle’s agility, performance, and ride quality.

Bentley and Le Mans: A Shared History

Bentley has a long and storied association with the Le Mans 24-hour race. The company’s founder, W.O. Bentley, initially expressed scepticism about the race’s gruelling demands.

However, after John Duff’s impressive showing in a private entry Bentley 3 Litre, W.O. and Bentley Motors returned the following year with a works entry – and won. This victory marked the beginning of a glorious decade that saw five wins in seven years.

Bentley's Le Mans Collection: A Century of History

In 2001, Bentley returned to Le Mans with the EXP Speed 8, launching a three-year program that aimed to secure a sixth outright victory.

In 2003, Bentley’s two works Speed 8s finished first and second in this most gruelling of endurance races, with car #7 of Guy Smith, Tom Kristensen, and Rinaldo Capello covering 377 laps at an average speed of 214.33km/h. These victories are a testament to the shared history between Bentley and the Le Mans 24 Hours.

Conclusion

The Le Mans Collection is a heartfelt tribute to Bentley’s shared history with the Le Mans 24-hour race.

From the Verdant green exterior to the Vitrine displaying an engine valve from the 2003 Le Mans-winning Bentley Speed 8, every detail of these limited edition vehicles is a reflection of the company’s commitment to innovation, performance, and luxury.

The Le Mans Collection Continental GT and Continental GTC are exceptional vehicles that offer an unrivalled driving experience. If you are a true Bentley enthusiast or a lover of motorsports history, these limited-edition vehicles are a must-have.

Bentley’s Le Mans Collection is a reminder of the company’s storied past and a celebration of its bright future.

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