For those who don’t know, this year’s the Le Mans 24 Hours endurance race celebrates its 90th anniversary and in order to mark this event, Bentley has just announced two new limited editions based on the Mulsanne and Continental models. Available only in the United States, each model is inspired by a driver from Bentley’s six victories at the legendary Le Mans 24 Hours race.
Bentley won the first Le Mans 24 Hours endurance race in 1924, while from 1927 to 1930 it dominated the event and took victory on four consecutive occasions. Another victory was achieved in 2003, when Bentley took the first and second victory with Guy Smith piloting the first of the two Speed 8’s across the finish line.
In order to celebrate its victories, Bentley will build 48 examples of each ‘Le Mans Limited Edition’ model and as expected, each will have a unique Le Mans Edition numbered badge, Le Mans Edition clock face, embroidered Le Mans badge to each headrest, tread plates with the limited edition name, unique Le Mans Edition wheels and specific interior veneers and exterior colours.
Bentley Continental GT will be available with the V8 engine and the W12 engine. The Continental GT Speed Le Mans Edition will be available only in coupe form. This model is powered by the 6.0-liter W12 engine delivering 616 bhp and 590 lb-ft of torque.
Bigger Mulsanne comes equipped with the same 6.0-liter W12 engine delivering 505 bhp and can sprint from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in just 5.1 seconds and has a top speed of 1854 mph. The Continental GT models will be available in the second quarter of 2013, while the Mulsanne Le Mans Edition models available beginning in the third quarter.
The new Bentley Mulsanne shows an extraordinary solid exterior that marries an athletic look with coach built grace. Resembling the 1950s Bentley S-Type, the Mulsanne's bold front exterior features the traditional Bentley matrix grille. It also has the most recent lighting technology featured in the trademark round inner headlamps with chrome outlines, bordered by two smaller lamp clusters. Customers can also opt to include the famous 'Flying B' retractable radiator mascot.
The robust posterior and edgy constructed lines run elegantly from the front wings to the rear along with its elongated hood, short front overhang and long rear overhang exude dominance and motion. The distinct design of its 20-inch wheels boosts the Bentley Mulsanne's dominant, sporting stance. However, , customers also have the option to go for the 21-inch set.
Mulsanne is Bentley’s new flagship, as proclaimed by Design Director Dirk van Braeckel. The Mulsanne’s exterior has been produced and crafted to perfection in a nine-week process in Bentley’s new manufacturing facility in Crewe. The Bentley Mulsanne’s unique look has been inspired by the desire to create a Bentley flagship that maintains Bentley’s iconic design language and incorporates it with a contemporary look that will allow Bentley to continue to stamp its class even in the modern times.