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Wednesday, May 31, 2023

The Bentley Le Mans Assortment celebrates the twentieth anniversary of Bentley’s sixth victory on the 24h de Le Mans

To mark 20 years since Bentley’s sixth victory on the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and 100 years for the reason that first working of the legendary race, Bentley is making a restricted version of Continental GT Coupés and Continental GTCs. Every will likely be powered by the Bentley W12 engine, essentially the most profitable 12-cylinder engine of the fashionable period. The Le Mans Assortment contains distinctive exterior and inside particulars that echo the design of the Le Mans-winning Velocity 8 #7.

All Le Mans Assortment fashions are specified with the three-way Bentley Rotating Show, providing a alternative of touchscreen, twin veneer, or analog dials – however with a twist; Instead of the usual central dial is a Vitrine displaying an engine valve from the 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 of the 2003 Le Mans profitable Bentley Velocity 8. The engine was eliminated after the competition and preserved, and now 24 of the 32 valves from the engine have been bisected to create 48 artifacts for this unique assortment of final Grand Tourers. In one other considerate contact, the usual 12-hour analog clock is changed by a digital clock with a bespoke dial design – a 24-hour one, naturally.

Mulliner, Bentley’s private commissioning division, has taken inspiration from the darkish inexperienced Velocity 8 racing vehicles that swept all earlier than them at Le Mans in 2003. From the Verdant inexperienced exterior to the sliver of Velocity 8 engine displayed within the fascia, the Le Mans Assortment is a heartfelt tribute to an extended and superb shared historical past between Bentley and the Le Mans 24 Hours.

Mulliner’s designers intently studied the profitable Velocity 8 of 2003, absolutely some of the stunning racing vehicles ever to triumph at Le Mans. The restricted variety of Continental GTs and Continental GTCs within the Le Mans Assortment is completed in Verdant inexperienced, with a Moonbeam racing stripe throughout the bonnet (and Coupé roof). The Blackline specification nods to the black and inexperienced livery of the Velocity 8, whereas the carbon-fiber Styling specification physique elements are completed in black with a refined pinstripe in Moonbeam. Beluga black can also be chosen for the decrease entrance bumper, wing mirror caps, and rear ‘horseshoe’ space beneath the boot lid spoiler, whereas black 22-inch ten-spoke wheels shroud highly effective carbon ceramic brakes and pink brake calipers.

In the meantime, the distinctive Bentley matrix grille (initially developed to guard the radiator on the unpaved Le Man’s racetrack of the Nineteen Twenties) encompasses a painted #7 in Arctica white, combining the race-winning variety of 2003 with the painted radiators of the Bentleys that received Le Mans 5 occasions between 1924 and 1930.

The interiors of the Le Mans Assortment Continental GT and Continental GTC are way more luxurious than these of the Bentley Velocity 8s – however there’s the identical sense of sporting function. A bespoke 2003 wreath welcome lamp ushers you right into a cockpit trimmed in Beluga conceal. Efficiency-bred napped Dynamica cloth covers the seat faces, whereas the inside’s monochrome coloration scheme is relieved in contrast seat stitching and seatbelts in Hotspur. The steering wheel, trimmed in conceal and Dynamica, additionally options Hotspur distinction stitching and a six o’clock accent tab.

The twin-finish veneer on fascia and door waist rails is executed in Piano Black and excessive gloss carbon fiber, with a tremendous chrome pinstripe separating the 2. Matching doorways to the fascia so the pinstripe flows seamlessly from one aspect to the opposite is a mark of the distinctive craftsmanship in each Bentley. The Le Mans Assortment Bentleys function many bespoke particulars, starting with the Velocity 8 sill plates and six-wreath treadplates that greet occupants on coming into the inside. The fascia shows the six-wreath emblem inlaid into high-gloss carbon fiber, marking every of the six outright victories recorded by Bentley at Le Mans between 1924 and 2003.

The Le Mans Assortment Continental GT and GTC are outfitted with Bentley’s famend 6.0-litre W12 TSI engine, delivering 659 PS (650 bhp) and a unprecedented 900 Nm (664 lb.ft) of torque. With distinctive dealing with, this leads to a high pace of 208 mph (335 km/h) and 0-60 mph in 3.5 seconds (0-100 km/h in 3.6 seconds). A mixture of 4 chassis applied sciences offers the brand new restricted version a stage of agility, efficiency, and trip high quality anticipated of a automobile with this heritage.

Bentley Dynamic Trip and three-chamber lively air suspension with adaptive damping play a key position within the steadiness of the automobile and supply a formidable basis to construct upon. The non-compulsory and newly-developed Carbon Ceramic Brakes, Variable Digital Stability Management, All Wheel Steering, and an Digital Restricted Slip Differential bolster the agility and efficiency even additional.

Bentley’s lengthy affiliation with Le Mans didn’t get off to the smoothest of begins. “I feel the entire thing’s loopy. No one’ll end. Vehicles aren’t designed to take that type of pressure for twenty-four hours.” Such was W.O. Bentley’s response in 1923, on listening to that personal entrant John Duff deliberate to contest the first-ever Le Mans 24-Hour race in a Bentley 3 Litre. However the aggressive hearth in W.O.’s soul noticed him make a last-minute sprint to the La Sarthe circuit nonetheless. Impressed by Duff’s 4th place (regardless of a prolonged cease to restore a holed petrol tank) and quickest lap, W.O. and Bentley Motors returned in 1924 with a works entry – and received. It was the beginning of an excellent decade that noticed 5 wins in seven years.

Bentley was again in 2001 with the EXP Velocity 8, the beginning of a three-year program concentrating on a sixth outright victory. And on Sunday, June fifteenth, 2003, Bentley’s two works Velocity 8s completed first and second on this most grueling of endurance races. Automobile #7 of Man Smith, Tom Kristensen, and Rinaldo Capello coated 377 laps at a mean pace of 214.33km/h, adopted by the #8 Velocity 8 of Johnny Herbert, Mark Blundell, and David Brabham.

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