There’s rare cars, and then there’s VERY RARE cars.
The sort that will never figure on www.howmanyleft.co.uk.
We’re talking more elusive than Red Rum and Lord Lucan. Blink and you’ll miss something you question seeing in the first place.
In terms of the brand-new Bentley Continental GT S 20 year anniversary model, we can reassure you that your eyes - nor mind - are playing tricks on you. Not that you’ll ever observe one in the luxury metal, it’s fair to say.
One being the operative word here.
To commemorate 20 years of manufacturing the Daddy-O of the modern age of Grand Tourers, Bentley has put out this fully-pimped one-off Continental GT S.
Yes. As in the ‘one’ unit.
In collaboration with its go-to coachbuilding arm, Mulliner, Crewe’s most famous global exporter has crafted a unique Conti GT. As limited as limited can ever be, the Bentley Continental GT S 20 year anniversary model has just been revealed at the Shanghai Motor Show.
Fret not though if you miss out on this, as rumour has it that Bentley is planning another unique Continental which pays homage to two decades of manufacturing. Slated to be revealed at Monterey this year, it’ll be based on a GT Speed no less.
And you guessed it.
There’ll be just ONE of them, too.
Curiously, Bentley won’t be rolling out an exclusive anniversary edition to mark 20 years since the Continental GT’s inception, by way of a more expansive, mutually inclusive means of celebrating this milestone. With cynics already musing that the puzzling absence probably has a lot to do with the iconic W12 engines being rapidly phased out by Bentley as it plots a purely EV future.
What Does The ‘S’ Actually ‘S’tand For?
Back to the Bentley Continental GT S 20 year anniversary model though, and we’re still trying to fathom what the ‘S’ actually denotes.
Because Bentley has zero Australian heritage, we very much doubt it refers to ‘sport’.
However, the show car seen here is both ‘striking’ and ‘sinister’ in the visual identity department, courtesy of the liberal smatterings of contrasting magnetic dark grey metallic and black and red accents. Encompassing brake calipers and upholstery.
Staying with the exterior, the Continental GT S sits on black chrome 22” alloys manifest in a 10-spoke design.
Interior aesthetics perpetuate the black and red colour scheme, which also sees Beluga and Hotspur leather over piano black accents.
Meaning that the ‘S’ could easily stand for ‘swanky, snazzy’ or ‘swish’, without troubling Trading Standards.
Especially when considering the ‘Continental’ silhouettes which feature on the treadplates and centre console. A very deft touch by Bentley, which graphically depicts a first gen and third gen Conti. Illustratively representing the 20 year production span.
The extra chintz doesn’t stop there either.
As there’s also some nifty LED welcome lamp effects going on, which are said to ‘celebrate the anniversary of the iconic grand tourer’. The cabin receives laser-etched overlays too, whilst a thin red stripe separates the dashboard from door to door.
The History Lesson Bit
Launched back in 2003, the Bentley Continental GT wasted no time in becoming the car to be seen in for movers and shakers in the public eye.
With Premier League footballers amongst the early adopters, for better or for worse.
A Bentley public relations disaster or not, the Conti was like a breath of fresh air in a world of somewhat staid grand tourers.
It was also the first completely ground-up new Bentley in the modern era under parent company, Volkswagen’s tenure. Together with being the very first of the breed to administer all-wheel drive.
The compendium of firsts didn’t end there, either.
The original Continental GT was the first to be equipped with the now seminal W12 engine. Which instantaneously ensured it was recognised as one of the fastest four-seat vehicles on the planet at that time.
Notching an impressive 0 - 60mph sprint time of just 4.7 seconds.
Is The New Bentley Continental GT S 20 Year Anniversary Model The Fastest Yet?
But then again, nor does it claim to be.
As that’s missing the point. Acknowledging the Bentley Continental GT S 20 year anniversary model is NOT necessarily about speed.
It’s about the whole package.
Style AND substance.
Neither at the expense of the other. Luxury, presence, build quality, power. Every sum part contributes to the sublime total.
Yet if it’s out-and-out pedal-to-the-metal you’re after, then naturally certain Bentley Continental GT’s can oblige in that specific department. With one model instantly springing to mind.
The 2017 Continental Supersports.
While there have been other Supersports worth bearing mention, for sheer rawness and aggressive distribution of engineering snarl, the 2017 model is peerless.
With 710bhp on tap, it still stands as the most animated of the Bentley beasts, with a raucousness all of its own.
There was also the not inconsequential matter of the Bentley Continental GT3-R.
Whereby Crewe recruited a little help from its friends over at M-Sport. Which amounted to more than simply a colourful overhaul, stripped-back 2-seat cabin layout and the addition of an Akrapovic exhaust.
Is There Any Conceivable Way I Can Acquire This One-off Bentley Continental GT S?
Possibly. But we wouldn’t hold your breath.
It’s not been confirmed as to whether this unique vehicle will be kept for prosperity by Bentley, or destined for a very special customer.
For special, please read ‘extremely wealthy’.
In the meantime, should you require your Bentley Continental GT to be serviced, have diagnostics run on it, undergo an MOT, have a security of driver aid device retro-fitted, or just about anything else, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch with the team here at WCC Neston.
As we are roundly celebrated as being the region’s leading independent Bentley specialists.