The Continental GT, which has been in production since 2003, marks its 20th birthday in 2023. At the Shanghai Auto Show, a one-of-a-kind car was unveiled with a multitude of commemorative badging and several special features, kicking off a year-long celebration.
The one-off commission comes coated in a stunning shade of dark grey metallic, matched by 22-inch wheels in black and a black-finished chrome front mesh grille. It is based on the GT S, which means it is powered by the 4.0-liter V8 rather than the 6.0-liter W12 we associate with Bentley’s grand tourer.
The 10-spoke wheels look stunning against the red side skirt extensions, red lip spoiler up front, red side mirrors, and red brake callipers that have been painted red.
The unnamed one-off vehicle is both sporty and special, and it has something very unique inside as well. Beluga and Hotspur leather upholstery, Piano Black trim, dual-finish fascias and waistrails, and distinctive decoration for the centre console and treadplates are all visible when the driver’s door is opened.
Mulliner is shown in capital letters on each of the four headrests, while 20 Years of the Continental is displayed on the centre console cubby door, dashboard’s passenger side, and treadplates. Along with the wheel designs of the original and the vehicle that Bentley unveiled in Shanghai, stylized silhouettes of the first-generation and third-generation Continental GT coupes are also included.
Granite Stone for the upper fascia veneer and Grand Black for the bottom fascia veneer, divided by a red pinstripe, add to the uniqueness. The distinctive projection of the LED welcome lamps that evokes the Continental GT serves as the final touch.
Bentley points out that the Conti GT was born on the same day as the Volkswagen Group’s W12 engine, which is ending production in April 2024. Although the British corporation is preparing for an all-electric future, hybridised powertrains should suffice.
The aforementioned W12 is actually a little older. The A8 was the first vehicle produced by Audi under the Volkswagen Group to use this engine in Europe and Asia. Audi only sold 750 units of it through 2003, the year that engine came to be associated with the Continental GT, indicating that it did not sell well.
It’s also absurd that Bentley didn’t include a 12-cylinder legend in its one-off vehicle, but keep in mind that China heavily taxes motors with displacements greater than 4.0 litres. Because of this, the Audi-Porsche V8 has a displacement of almost 4.0 litres, while Mercedes-AMG uses a 4.0-litre V8 engine.
A global Continental GT relay will cover three continents in July as part of the Goodwood Festival of Speed, with events in the Western Hemisphere planned by the automaker. Additionally, there will be drive hubs where invited guests can test drive all three Continental generations, including first- and second-generation models from the Bentley Heritage Collection, at the company headquarters in Crewe and in Geneva, Switzerland.
The final product is a second, one-of-a-kind Continental GT that will make its premiere during Monterey Car Week and was inspired by the original model.