Bentley have been producing the twin turbocharged 6-litre Bentley Continental GT since 2003 and sales have been good, due in part to the fact that this is actually a mass produced car that benefits from a platform share with the VW Phaeton – as well as having all the advantages that goes with Bentley now being a subsidiary of VW; a company that ranked 9th in the Fortune Global 500 list of the largest companies in the world 3 years ago.
It’s because of such popular success that a run of just ten limited edition Continental GT vehicles can potentially cause such interest. Yet despite this, with the Australian Grand Prix having other reasons to grab the headlines with Alonso’s recent crash, Bentley’s unveiling of the GT Black Speed at the race may have slipped past some people.
Australia has long had a reputation for liking V6 and V8 gas-guzzlers (something to do with Mad Max and long, open roads one might guess) and with that, Bentley has responded to a growing collective voice from Australia and New Zealand asking for a more powerful Continental GT by producing the Black Speed, which will be available specifically for the Antipodean market.
The GT Black Speed certainly looks the business swathed in black paint from top to bottom – including the 21-inch alloy wheels – with vivid red highlights subtly placed on the side skirts, the carbon ceramic Continental GT3-R disc brakes and front grille. Inside, the dashboard echoes the red from the exterior, with tasteful red highlights to the doors and seats as well as the custom Breitling clock.
In fact, I’d have to say the interior is one of the nicest interiors I’ve seen in a car for a long time, the semi metallic red aluminium of the dash offsetting the uniform black perfectly. ‘Black Speed’ is stitched into the headrests and a small plaque says the same just behind the front wheel on the bodywork. It will be interesting to see how the metallic red copes with any glare from the sun though.
All ten cars will feature the all-powerful 6-litre W12 under the bonnet – no puny V8 here. With only ten automobiles being built, the Black Speed is likely to sell out almost immediately, though if you do get a chance to bring on the UK, the price is likely to be starting at around £277,000.
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