The Home of Bentley in Crewe, UK has produced the 80,000th individual, made-to-order example of the Continental GT – the world’s definitive luxury grand tourer. The 80,000th car – a right-hand drive Continental GT V8 in Orange Flame – was handcrafted in the world’s first carbon neutral factory for luxury car production.
In 1952, the Bentley R-Type Continental made its debut – a Mulliner-bodied coupe with a top speed of just less than 120 mph. It was the fastest four-seater car in the world and very quickly earned a reputation as the ultimate in high-speed luxury.
In 2003, the Continental GT was launched – the first car of the modern Bentley era. Inspired by the R-Type, the first Continental GT established an entirely new market segment – the modern luxury Grand Tourer. Ever since, it has been the unchallenged benchmark for the sector that it founded, with an average of nearly 5,000 examples a year being delivered to customers around the world.
Today, 18 years later, Bentley’s skilled craftspeople – many of whom will have worked on the very first example of the Continental GT (still owned by Bentley) – have handcrafted the 80,000th car. Over this period the style, technology and engineering beneath the car has evolved significantly, seeing an increase of up to 27 per cent in peak power, whilst models within the range have also achieved a reduction over the original Continental GT of 48 per cent in CO2 emissions.
Bentley’s Chairman and Chief Executive, Adrian Hallmark, said: “At its launch in 2003, Bentley redefined the modern grand tourer with the revolutionary Continental GT. Now in 2021, the GT continues to be the ultimate luxury grand tourer, encompassing the latest technology, performance and style. This success is a testament to the skills of our designers, engineers and craftspeople here in Crewe.
“I had the pleasure of launching the original GT in 2003 in my first stint at Bentley, and being here for the launch of the latest generation – and the iterations that have followed – has been a source of great pride for me personally. It will continue to be the iconic backbone of the Bentley business for years to come, even as we transition to the world’s leading provider of sustainable luxury mobility.”