Each one hand-built to order
Marks 18 years of the modern Bentley Era
Bentley has just announced a production milestone for the brand. 80,000 versions of the Continental GT have left the Crewe factory, spanning three generations, 18 years, and just a tiny fraction of the number of possible configurations the company can build.
The 80,000th Bentley Continental GT was a right-drive V8 model in Orange Flame, and it was wrapped up earlier this week. That’s 18 years after the first modern Bentley, meaning the first under Volkswagen Group ownership, left the production line. Bentley says that many of the craftspeople who worked on the 80,000th were there for the first, and that Bentley still owns the very first example of the car.
Bentley says more than 17 billion configurations of the car are available since each one is made individually to order. So by our math, that means just 0.0005 percent (or so) of the total possible Conti GTs have been built. Assuming each car built so far has been different, which Bentley doesn’t say.
Since introduction, when it sported a 6.0L W12 making 552 hp, the car’s power and performance has grown so that the new 4.0L V8 makes just 10 fewer ponies than the original while the W12 now makes 626. Bentley says that despite that, emissions from the cars have been slashed 48 percent and the car is now made in the first carbon-neutral luxury car factory.
“I had the pleasure of launching the original GT in 2003 in my first stint at Bentley,” said Chair and CEO Adrian Hallmark, “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.”