Is There Room in the World for a Bentley Bentayga Pickup?
The days of automakers touting their purist roots are now over. The was a time when companies like Bentley and Lamborghini laughed at the thought of launching their own SUVs. Now, the Bentayga and Urus are out on the market. The shift in ideologies has given rise to models that we never thought would exist. Using that newfound rationale, what do you think is the likelihood that Bentley greenlights its own pickup?
2019 Bentley Flying Spur
Launched in 2005 and updated in 2013, the Bentley Flying Spur is getting a little long in the tooth. As a result, the British firm has already begun testing the next-generation model and we have already received the first spy shots of the upcoming luxury rig. Don’t let the Panamera body fool you, this is actually a Bentley mule, and the fact that Bentley is using a Porsche body is by no means surprising. As you may recall, the first Bentayga prototype hit the road with an Audi Q7 body. Also, keep in mind the Bentley, Porsche, and Audi are all under the same Volkswagen Group umbrella. If you’re still in doubt, our paparazzi have already checked the British plates with the DVLA, which revealed that the prototype is indeed registered as a Bentley.
Likely to break cover in late 2018 or early 2019, the next-generation Flying Spur will bring major improvements to the nameplate. Arguably the most imporant is the MSB-F platform, which already made its debut in the new Porsche Panamera. The redesign will also spawn a new styling language, a more luxurious interior, and give the sedan more powertrain options. Official data is virtually non-existent, but I gathered all existing rumors in a speculative review that should keep you covered until a Bentley-bodied prototype shows up in 2017. Make sure you stay tuned for details.
Updated 02/13/2018: Our spy photographers caught the new generation Flying Spur out for a new testing session in Sweden. The new car is expected to debut in late 2018 or early 2019.
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Bentley Adds More Flavor To Its Lineup With A V-8 Bentayga
Lovers of the opulent, over-the-top Bentley Bentayga have reason to get excited, as the British automaker just announced it would expand the nameplate’s offerings with a new V-8 model. While slightly down on power compared to the previous 12-cylinder variant, the new Bentayga V8 still comes brimming with luxury, technology, and impressive speed.
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Bentley to Bring a Plug-In Bentayga to the Geneva Auto Show
Bentley is all set to debut the plug-in hybrid version of the Bentayga SUV at the Geneva Motor Show, making good on its goal of introducing electrified vehicles into its lineup. The plug-in hybrid Bentayga is the first model of its kind for Bentley, which has come a long way from its core identity as a purveyor of luxury automobiles. This specific version of the SUV adds to a growing number of variants attached to the Bentayga name. Since making its debut in 2015, Bentley’s SUV has increased its number of available models to include a range-topping W12, a 4.0-liter diesel V-8, and now, a plug-in hybrid.
2018 Bentley Continental GT First Edition
In keeping with its new tradition of rolling out First Edition models — the Bentayga SUV and the Mulsanne each got one — Bentley is rolling out the red carpet for the Continental GT First Edition. Described as the “ultimate expression of the legendary grand tourer,” the Continental GT First Edition gets plenty of exclusive appointments that help earn its status as a true first-off-the-line model.
Since this is Bentley we’re talking about, the phrase “exclusive appointments” take on a far more exclusive and opulent meaning. The features included in the Continental GT First Edition include fancy rotating displays, veneer options, and model-specific cosmetic identifiers that firmly establishes its special edition status. Basically, the Continental GT First Edition is a more exclusive version of an already exclusive luxury coupe.
Bentley didn’t say how many Continental GT First Edition units it plans to roll out, but given its status as a First Edition model, don’t expect it to be available in large quantities. The Bentayga First Edition, for example, was limited to just 608 examples, while the Mulsanne First Edition was even rarer with only 50 units made across its entire three-model range. My best guess is that the Continental GT First Edition will have a volume of around 100 units with each unit priced at around $300,000.
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2018 Bentley Continental GTC
Introduced in 2003, the Bentley Continental GT has become a big hit for the British firm and its German parent company, Volkswagen AG, and the 2011 redesign made it even more popular. However, the update wasn’t as extensive as you’d expect from such a high-profile car, and the second-gen Conti became a bit long in the tooth after years. This is why Bentley launched a completely overhauled version for the 2018 model year. With the new Continental GT almost in dealerships, a convertible model is just around the corner.
Spotted testing on public roads since mid-2016, the new Continental GTC has yet to show itself without camouflage. However, that’s not to say we’re dealing with a mystery since most convertible are identical to the their coupe counterparts below the waist. Expect the new GTC to feel as modern as the recently unveiled Continental GT and boasts the same luxurious cabin with state-of-the-art technology. All of this will be complemented by the infinite headroom that comes with every cabriolet out there.
Update 11/24/2017: Our spy photographers caught the upcoming Bentley Continental GTC out for a new testing session, but this time during cold winter conditions.
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2018 Bentley Continental GT3
Bentley has just introduced the third-generation Continental GT, which rides on a new platform (shared with the Porsche Panamera), uses a new W-12 engine, and employs design cues from the EXP 10 Speed 6 concept car. Just like its predecessor, the new Conti GT is set to gain a range of versions, including a V-8-powered and higher performance Speed and Supersports variants. But while these are still under development, the new Continental GT has already made its public debut in motorsport clothes. Meet the second-generation Continental GT3, developed to replace the first-gen race car after four successful years on the race track.
Slated to hit the motorsport scene for the 2018 season, the new Continental GT3 uses the aluminum structure of the road car and most of its design cues. But much like its predecessor, its lighter, tipping the scales at "significantly less" than 2,866 pounds, and features a more aerodynamic body. The new Conti GT3 has big shoes to fill — the first-gen car scored 120 podiums and 45 wins across 528 races — and will attempt to do so starting with the opening round of the 2018 Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup at Monza in April. Meanwhile, let’s have a closer look at what it brings to the table.
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Noted German Tuner Wants To Build A Bentley Mulsanne Coupe
For those who have been reading Top Speed for quite some time now, you’ll know that we’ve been writing about some of the tuning programs created by German tuner McChip. Over the years, it’s created kits for a wide range of cars, including the Mercedes-SLS AMG, the Porsche Panamera, and even the Fiat 500. If diversity were the name of the tuning game, McChip would stand out head and shoulders above the rest. I mention all of this because the German tuner is back in the news, although this time, it’s not for another tuning program. Rather, it’s actually building a car none of us have ever seen before: a Bentley Mulsanne Coupe.
Yes, you read that right. McChip is building a one-off coupe version of the Bentley Mulsanne. It’s something that we’ve been waiting for Bentley to do since the luxury automaker unveiled the Mulsanne all the way back in 2009. It’s never happened so instead of waiting around for something that Bentley will likely never do; the German tuner is taking matters into its own hands, literally. There’s still a lot we don’t know about the build. To be more specific, we know nothing about McChip’s complete strategy for it. The tuner did say though that it’s looking to make extensive use of carbon fiber and create a new aluminum skin for the C-pillars to go with re-engineering specific sections of the Mulsanne’s bodywork. Those are only a few things that the tuner is looking to do on the road to creating the Mulsanne Coupe. It’s unclear how long the build is going to take, but rest assured, the tuner is serious about doing this, as shown by pictures of an actual Mulsanne getting prepped for the proverbial automotive surgery.
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Breitling’s New Timepiece Is A Fitting Ode To The New Continental GT
For regular folks like us, the world of high-end luxury is nothing more than a fantasy. But for those who have the resources to get access to the clouds, there are items like luxury cars and limited edition timepieces to welcome them with open arms. In the case of Breitling and Bentley, it’s a combination of the two things, as the Swiss watchmaker recently showed with the introduction of the ultra limited Bentley GT Dark Sapphire Edition watch.
By itself, the “Dark Sapphire” name already screams luxury, and I haven’t even gotten into the actual timepiece. Breitling says that the watch takes inspiration from the new Continental GT, one of the few cars in the world that can legitimately lay claim to being one of the most luxurious ones, too. Name, inspiration, and design cues notwithstanding, the Bentley GT Dark Sapphire Edition is also limited to just 500 units so there’s no guarantee that everyone in the world who expresses interest in buying the watch will get their hands on one. Put all of these elements together and you can understand why this kind of watch is really reserved for the upper echelon of today’s society, exactly like the luxury sedan from which it’s inspired from. Maybe someday I’ll have enough disposable income to be able to afford a watch like this. Until then, I’ll reserve my seat with the rest of you and admire it from a distance.
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Bentley Launches Third-Generation Continental GT and It’s Gorgeous!
Bentley has already debuted its all-new Continental GT, but the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show is the first time this high-end Gran Touring machine has been seen in the metal. The 2018 Continental GT marks the third generation for the storied nameplate in modern times. It launched back in 2003 after the Volkswagen Group acquired Bentley in 1998. The second generation brought big improvements in 2013. Relatively minor changes along the way have kept the Conti from stagnating. None of those changes seem to reach the gravitas and refinement of the Conti’s latest iteration. Bentley definitely exceeded expectations.
The 2018 Continental’s exterior design takes cues from Bentley’s EXP 10 Speed 6 concept and the interior’s fixtures can be traced to the automaker’s new Bentayga SUV. But neither are cut-and-paste as the Continental carves its own twisty road through the land of luxury. Returning from the second generation is the Conti’s most formidable powerplant: the 6.0-liter W-12. It now produces a whopping 626 horsepower and 664 pound-feet of torque – an increase of 44 horses and 133 pound-feet. Why? Well, this isn’t the exact version found in the second-gen Conti, but rather, the updated 6.0-liter found in the Bentayga. An AWD system keeps power seamlessly flowing, while Bentley’s Electronic Active Roll Control continually adjusts the firmness of the anti-roll bars using 48-volt electronics. A new three-chamber air suspension further enhances the ride. Inside, the Continental boasts two massive screens and more leather and wood than a forest full of cows. There’s plenty more to ogle at, so keep reading for more details.
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2018 Bentley Mulsanne Design Series by Mulliner
At this point, it’s reasonable to expect that whenever Mulliner and Bentley get together, something special is usually in the works. We’ve seen it time and time again, and now we can look forward to seeing two more Bentleys getting the full-scale Mulliner treatment. One of these models is the Bentley Mulsanne, and it’s headed to the Frankfurt Motor Show as the Mulsanne Design Series by Mulliner.
I know what some of you are thinking; another Mulsanne project by Mulliner? Does this ever end? Well, it’s unlikely that it will, but there’s no reason why it should end given the string of incredible projects undertaken by Bentley’s own personalization division. The Frankfurt-bound Mulsanne Design Series by Mulliner follows on the same path with its own set of upgrades and individualized design touches, though it is worth pointing out that as far as this particular example is concerned, there is something that’s, well, lacking. Maybe it’s the fact that we’ve all gotten used to Mulliner’s penchant for stringing along one exceptional program after another, but at some point, there will be a bump in the road, or to be more specific, something that doesn’t quite measure up to the obscenely high standards that Mulliner has created for itself. This is, in a lot of ways, one of the problems with Mulliner. Expectations always call for something exceptional, and yet, what happens when a program falls a tad short of that? Well, see for yourselves.
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Configure the Bentley Continental GT of Your Dreams
After nearly seven years on the market, the second-generation Continental GT is getting ready to enter the history books and make way for a redesigned grand tourer. Built on a new platform and with a much lighter aluminum body, the third-gen Conti GT also brings new technology and a revised drivetrain into dealerships. And as it is the case with all new Bentley products, it features new technology and a large amount of new luxury items. There’s new wood veneer, new display, and a rotating infotainment screen, just a name a few, on top of the state-of-the-art interior design and the powerful W-12 engine.
The new grand tourer has yet to make a proper auto show debut, which is scheduled to take place at the upcoming Frankfurt Motor Show, but Bentley has already launched an online configurator for the car. There aren’t any prices available and you can’t browse through all the Mulliner options, but it has what it takes to help you create your next Continental GT. And if you can’t afford one, it’s an entertaining way to play with all the color, upholstery, and equipment options you can get in one of the most luxurious vehicles available as of 2017. Check it out below.
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Bentley’s Rotating Display in the Continental GT Will have you Feeling Like James Bond!
The third-generation Bentley Continental broke cover the other day with a brand-new design and a ton of cool features. Inspired by the cool EXP 10 Speed 6 concept on the outside and powered by a new W-12 engine that cranks out more power than most Ferrari-built V-8s and V-12s, the new Continental GT also boasts a new interior packed with a huge amount of luxury features and technology. But, while the new Koa wood veneer and the "diamond-in-diamond" upholstery are pretty impressive, it’s the Rotating Display that blew me away.
While I’m not a big fan of fancy gadgets, I must admit that the Rotating Display is one of the main reasons why I’ve fallen in love with the new Conti GT. Let’s face it, it’s the kind of feature you’d find in one of James Bond’s car, along with machine guns hidden behind the headlamps. And known James’ weakness for British cars, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the grand tourer in the next film. So why am I so excited it about this? Well, I like clean dashboards with massive wood veneers as much as I enjoy high-resolution screens. Having both was impossible until now, so it’s like a dream come true.
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2018 Bentley Continental GT
The Bentley Continental GT has been a huge hit for Bentley and Volkswagen AG since its launch in 2003, but the problem is that the car really hasn’t changed that much over the years. Sure, the facelift brought tweaked styling, a new V-8, and reworked interior, but it still takes a keen eye to spot the differences between the first Conti and those built after 2011. It’s likely that a $200,000 grand touring Bentley coupe/convertible wasn’t a huge priority for VW coming out of a global recession, but now with high-end luxury cars back in full swing, Bentley finally unleashed the third-generation Continental GT.
Revealed ahead of the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show, the new Conti GT confirms what we already knew from spy shots and the Bentayga SUV. The exterior styling is heavily based on the EXP 10 Speed 6 concept, while the interior borrows some of the features and materials seen in the SUV. Bentley also took the new 6.0-liter W-12 that it launched with the Bentayga and dropped it under the Continental’s hood with revised internals and other drivetrain components. All told, the new Continental GT is sportier, quicker, more powerful, and more luxurious than the outgoing model. But more about that in the review below.
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Bentley Unveils 2018 Continental GT
Bentley just dropped a ton of details on the new 2018 Continental GT ahead of its debut in Frankfurt next month. Now entering its third generation, the Continental GT promises high-end grand tourer speed and comfort, plus unmistakable British style. Outside, the design takes cues from the EXP 10 Speed 6 concept, with lightweight aluminum body panels and longer, lower dimensions. In back, you’ll find reshaped taillights, plus LED Matrix lighting. 21-inch wheels are standard, while 22-inchers are available. Inside is the new Bentley Rotating Display, offering both a 12.3-inch touchscreen and three analog dials. Up to four passengers get to enjoy a “diamond in diamond” design for the leather upholstery, while chrome trim and several acres of wood add extra gloss. A 10-speaker stereo comes as standard, while an 18-speaker system is an available option.
So it’s nice to sit in and look at. What about driving it? Under the muscular hoodline is a 6.0-liter W-12 engine producing 626 horsepower and 664 pound-feet of torque. Putting it to the ground is a dual-clutch eight-speed transmission and Active AWD system, helping it reach 62 mph in 3.7 seconds and top out at 207 mph. Larger brakes (up to 16.5 inches in front) throw the anchor, while a Dynamic Ride System enhances both handling prowess and passenger comfort as needed. The engine was also moved further back in the chassis for optimized weight distribution. Look for the 2018 Bentley Continental GT to debut next month at the Frankfurt Motor Show.
Rolls-Royce Takes Shots At Bentley Bentayga, Essentially Calls It A Rebadged Model
The rivalry between Rolls-Royce and Bentley is real and if anybody still doesn’t see it that way, Rolls CEO Torsten Mueller-Oetvoes’ recent comments about the Bentley Bentayga has made it abundantly clear that there’s still no love lost between the two former stablemates. Speaking with Auto News Europe about the upcoming launch of the Rolls-Royce Cullinan SUV, or “all-terrain, high-sided vehicle” as Rolls would like everyone to call it, Mueller-Oetvoes emphasized that the Cullinan will not use “mass-manufactured body shell,” unlike a certain model that he essentially described as a “camouflaged Audi Q7.”
You don’t need to be an expert in the acrimonious history between the two brands to know that Mueller-Oetvoes is referring to the Bentayga, which uses the same MLB Evo architecture that can be found underpinning the aforementioned Q7, as well as the Porsche Cayenne and Lamborghini Urus. Apparently, Mueller-Oetvoes believes that the approach of platform sharing limits what can be done on the design end of the SUV, which in turn “undermines exclusivity.” For its part, the Cullinan won’t have that problem because it will be riding on the luxury brand’s new “Architecture of Luxury,” a scalable, aluminum space frame platform that was designed specifically to accommodate Rolls-Royce models. The all-new Phantom is the first model to make use of the architecture though it also won’t be the last since the Cullinan, as well as next-gen models of the Ghost, Dawn, and Wraith, will all make use of it at some point.
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Bentley Wants More One-Off Models In The Future
Just when it started to feel like we’d never run out of limited edition and one-off Bentley models, no less than the company’s own design chief Stefan Sielaff has come out saying that we should prepare ourselves for such a future. Apparently, “exploring more one-off, bespoke vehicles” is one of Sielaff’s primary goals now that he’s been named the man in charge of Bentley’s Mulliner division. In his own words, Sielaff said that he wants to “explore” more of these models, where the “only limitation is the imagination of the customer.”
Those who love them some limited-edition and one-off Bentleys should be thrilled about this declaration, in part because of how Mulliner has legitimately positioned itself as one of the best personalization divisions of any automaker in the business today. Recent releases like its collaboration with Bamford show what Mulliner is capable of, even though it has rarely ventured into the world of complete stand-alone one-off models the way brands like Ferrari, Rolls-Royce, and most notably, Lamborghini have in the past. But there’s still time to change that narrative and it appears that time has come for Bentley. We’ve seen what Mulliner can do by stamping its identity on existing Bentley models. Now we’re about to see what it’s made of when it’s given a blank slate and the opportunity to create something entirely unique from it.
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2018 Bentley Flying Spur V8 S Black Edition
Fresh off of announcing the Mulliner’s new Design Series for the Flying Spur, Bentley is back at it again with another special edition version of the luxury sedan. It’s called the Flying Spur V8 S Black Edition and it’s essentially a dressed-up version of the sedan that features plenty of dark tints lights and black gloss brightware, among other things.
It’s become a little bit of a tradition for Bentley to offer these special edition models in quick succession, so it’s not a surprise that we’re seeing another so soon after the British automaker released a previous special edition Flying Spur with Mulliner heavily involved in it. No one’s going to confuse these new Black Edition Flying Spurs for Mulliner’s Design Series, and I suppose that’s a good thing. With so many SEs coming out of Crewe these days, being different is a good thing, even if it means getting fewer digs than others. That’s essentially what the Flying Spur V8 S Black Edition is. There’s not much to go by compared to what Bentley has come up with in past months, but there are still enough new features to at least justify it getting the SE label. It’s still a Flying Spur, too, so even if it’s lacking in distinctive upgrades relative to our expectations, there’s still more than enough opulence to go around for everybody.
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2018 Bentley Continental GT Convertible Galene Edition by Mulliner
By now, you would think that Mulliner would have done just about every kind of luxury interpretation imaginable. That is at the heart of its job as Bentley’s in-house personalization division. Over the past few years, we’ve seen Mulliner turn Bentleys into works of pure art and opulence. You’d be surprised, though, how creative this group can get, and no more is that in full display than in its latest project, the Continental GT Convertible Galene Edition.
Yes, Mulliner just finished another limited edition build for Bentley. Yes, it looks amazing. Yes, it takes its name from the Greek goddess of calm seas. And yes, it’s nautically-inspired, right down to the whole treatment in the exterior and interior of the convertible. It says a lot about the Continental GT Convertible Galene’s status as a decadent limited edition that even Princess Yachts, the creators of some of the most expensive yachts in the world, got involved in the project with Mulliner. The styling cues in the exterior and interior are indicative of what Princess Yachts does with its own expensive products, and you can tell by how the whole model turns out that it’s a Bentley that’s ideally suited for a specific clientele. Only 30 units of the Continental GT Convertible Galene Edition will be built, too. That’s hardly a surprise considering the people behind its creation. Luxury begets luxury, and the Continental GT Convertible Galene Edition is a physical embodiment of that.
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2017 Bentley Mulsanne by Mansory
You’d be hard-pressed to find a tuner that has embraced the outlandish more times than Mansory. Run down its catalog of past of works and they’re all there for you to see. There are the Siracusa kits for the Ferraris, the Carbonado kits for the Lamborghinis, and while I’m at it, remember the Bentley Continental Vitesse Rose from 2009? Yikes. As colorful as Mansory’s tuning history is, we can all agree that it makes the kind of statements that very few of its peers in the tuning game are able to do. Which is why it is a bit disappointing to find out that its latest program – one for the Bentley Mulsanne – came with a headline that begins with “subtle modifications.”
The words “Mansory” and “subtle” should be mentioned in the same sentence about as often as the words “Reliant Robin” and “reliable” are. And yet, here we are, presenting a Mansory program for Bentley’s luxury limousine that doesn’t quite feel like something that the German tuner worked on its tuning laboratory. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of fancy carbon fiber bits and pieces here and there. It even has a notable power upgrade, which is rare in the aftermarket scene for a car as massive as the Mulsanne. But since this is Mansory we’re talking about, there’s a level of audacious expectation that has to be met, one that I this program wasn’t able to reach. I don’t think it’s a sign that the tuner is slowing down on the imagination aspect of the game, so it does make me wonder if this is Mansory’s way of showing a side of itself that we rarely get to see.
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2019 Bentley Bentayga Plug-In Hybrid
Introduced in late 2015, the Bentayga is Bentley’s first-ever SUV. It’s also the most expensive and luxurious, factory-built SUV in the world as of 2017, as well as the quickest to 60 mph and the fastest in terms of top speed thanks to its brand-new, 600-horsepower W-12 engine. In 2016, the Bentayga also became the first Bentley to use a diesel engine, something that seemed incredible a few years back. Come 2017, and the rumors that the British firm is also working on a hybrid drivetrain for the SUV have been confirmed by a new prototype that was spotted testing in the wild.
Sporting an additional "fuel" cap, this test car was also registered with the British licensing agency as a hybrid vehicle, so there’s no doubt that Bentley is indeed stepping into the electrified territory. What’s still a mystery is the drivetrain, although I’m very positive that the electric motor is paired to a Porsche-sourced V-6 gasoline engine. There’s no word as to when it will break cover, but it’s safe to assume that Bentley’s first hybrid will show itself to the world by the end of 2017. Most likely it will happen at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September.
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2018 Bentley Flying Spur Design Series by Mulliner
Ah, Bentley. The purveyor of all things automotive luxury is at it again. As if coming out with a treasure trove of special-edition and one-off spectacles isn’t enough, the British luxury brand is sprucing up the Flying Spur with a new Design Series line meant to give the luxury sedan the proper limited-edition send-off ahead of the next-generation model’s arrival. Needless to say, anything Bentley does with the words “special edition” on it comes with the involvement of Mulliner, the automaker’s very own personalization department that also happens to be responsible for some of the most incredible Bentleys we’ve seen in a while.
The new Flying Spur Design Series certainly fits in with its exclusive-packed peers, thanks in large part to an extensive list of cosmetic add-ons that injects some life back to the current-generation Flying Spur before the car makes its proper send-off. And since Mulliner is in charge of putting the Flying Spur Design Series together, it goes without saying that customers should prepare for something out of the ordinary. Exclusive colors? Yes. New wheels? Right on that too. How about a carbon-fiber and titanium cabin? On that last bit, let’s just say that we’ll leave it to Bentley and Mulliner to make that happen.
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Bentley Continental 24 Special Edition
Rolls-Royce may have grabbed the headlines in recent weeks with all the special edition models it’s been unveiling, but rival Bentley is proving itself to be up-to-the-task with the release of its own special edition model. It’s called the Bentley Continental 24 and it’s a tribute to Bentley Motorsport’s entry to the Nürburgring 24 Hours where it hopes to build off of the success it’s had in the last two years since returning to one of the world’s most grueling endurance races.
The special edition Continental is based on the range-topping Supersports variants. While it doesn’t have any engine enhancements to speak of, its status as the fastest model Bentley has ever created more than speaks for itself. So, in the absence of upgrades to its massive 6.0-liter twin-turbo W-12 engine, the defining features of the Continental 24 rests on its exterior and interior where plenty of inspiration was taken from Bentley’s motorsport themes. The car also holds the distinction of being one of the few limited edition models that have its own options to choose from, thus making it even more limited. Bentley also said it plans to cap production of the limited edition Continental 24 coupe to an obvious number of 24 units, with each model fetching a base price of €250,000 or about $280,000 based on current exchange rates.
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