Bentley Continental GT Le Mans Collection unveiled with 650bhp W12
Just 48 Le Mans Collection models will be produced, commemorating Bentley’s victory at the infamous 24 hour race in 2003
This year is significant for Bentley, and not just because it recently announced the demise of its iconic W12 engine. The British firm is celebrating 20 years since its last Le Mans victory in 2003, and a run of limited edition Continental GTs is being produced to mark the occasion.
Dubbed the ‘Le Mans Collection’, just 48 examples will be built in total, offered in either coupe or convertible GTC form. Bentley’s flagship 650bhp W12 engine is front and centre, with each Le Mans Collection featuring a unique livery and interior to commemorate the Speed 8 prototype that took the chequered flag 20 years ago.
In tribute to the winning car, each Le Mans Collection is painted in Verdant green with silver stripes across the bonnet and roof for coupe versions. Carbonfibre elements are picked out by silver pinstriping, with black mirror caps, 22-inch wheels and front and rear styling graphics to echo the Speed 8’s green and black livery. The Continental’s mammoth carbon ceramic brakes are standard fit, too, with 420mm discs and red ten piston calipers at the front.
A white number 7 has been painted onto the special edition’s front grille as a nod to the 2003 race-winner, but inside, Bentley has gone further to give owners – quite literally – a piece of that success. That there will be just 48 Le Mans Collections is no coincidence; Bentley has stripped down the Speed 8’s 4-litre V8 and inserted one of its 48 valves into the Continental’s rotating dashboard display, set behind a glass panel.
The car’s analogue clock has also been replaced by a 24-hour digital item in another Le Mans inspired detail, with the rest of the cabin adopting a motorsport-led design in place of the Continental’s usual lavish ambience.
Black leather and fabric upholstery covers the seats, steering wheel and dashboard, with carbonfibre trim inlays and red stitching throughout – given the bespoke paint scheme, extensive use of carbon and the inclusion of a genuine Speed 8 engine component, expect the Le Mans Collection to command a sizeable premium over the the standard Continental W12.