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2023 Bentley Bentayga, Flying Spur, Continental GT Speed Edition 12

Bentley Bids Farewell to the Iconic W12 Engine with Limited 'Speed Edition 12' Models

As a tribute to the iconic W12 engine, which has been the driving force behind Bentley's performance flagships since 2003, the British luxury automaker unveiled the limited 'Speed Edition 12'. This exclusive edition will be available across four models - the Bentayga, Flying Spur, Continental GT, and Continental GTC. Limited to just 120 units each, these models pay homage to Bentley's extraordinary engineering success with the W12 engine, the most successful 12-cylinder engine of the modern era.

The Significance of the Bentley W12

Introduced in 2003, Bentley's W12 engine signified a new chapter for the brand. Serving as the powertrain for the first all-new model under Volkswagen Group ownership, the Continental GT, the W12 engine has undergone continuous evolution over the years. This 6.0-litre twin-turbocharged powerhouse, owing to its unique W-formation, could be made 24% shorter than an equivalent V12 without any compromise in power, efficiency, or refinement. The 'Speed Edition 12' models, in their final form, develop up to 650 bhp (brake horsepower) at 5000-6000 rpm with a peak torque of 664 lb-ft (900 Nm) starting from just 1500 rpm and extending through to 5000 rpm. This farewell edition marks the end of W12 production, slated for April 2024, after more than 100,000 units.

Exterior: Discreetly Distinguished

The Speed Edition 12 models showcase an understated yet discernible distinction. Some unique exterior features include silver brake calipers, exclusive to this edition, and 'Edition 12' badging on the front fender for Continental GT and Convertible models, and on the rear quarter for Bentayga and Flying Spur models. The models also boast 22-inch black painted Speed alloy wheels and Blackline specification exterior brightware, contributing to a performance-focused aesthetic. Bentley also introduces a new optional paint finish named 'Opalite', a light grey-green hue with a subtle copper effect that gleams in bright sunshine.

2023 Bentley Bentayga, Flying Spur, Continental GT Speed Edition 122023 Bentley Bentayga, Flying Spur, Continental GT Speed Edition 12

Interior: A Celebration of Craftsmanship

Stepping inside the Speed Edition 12 models, one is greeted by Edition 12 welcome lamps and illuminated treadplates, signaling an interior of hand-crafted individuality. Upholstery in Beluga black can either stand alone or be complemented by Brunel blue, Cricketball red, Linen or Orange, with high gloss Grand Black veneer. Unique interior features for this limited edition include seats with Mulliner Silver piping and embroidered 'Edition 12' namestyle, contrast stitching in a three-color 'fade', and organ stop air vents featuring the numeral ‘12’ machined from solid on the face of the control. The Grand Black veneer facia facing the front seat passenger even features the firing sequence of the W12 engine etched alongside an inlaid Speed Edition 12 badge, further celebrating the departing engine.

A Commemorative Gift: 15% Scale Model W12 Block

As a parting gift, customers of the Speed Edition 12 will receive a precise 15% scale model of the Bentley W12 engine block. This memento, cast using aluminium from a full-size W12 engine block, serves as a permanent reminder of Bentley's significant and potent engine, marking the end of an era for the luxury automaker.

The Speed Edition 12 models, in addition to the aforementioned features, come with a host of unique design enhancements. These include a numbered engine plaque, 'Edition 12' embroidery, color-graduated seat contrast stitching, and a fascia in Grand Black veneer with the engine firing sequence etched alongside an inlaid 'Edition 12' badge. These exclusive details not only contribute to the rarity of these models but also serve as a testament to Bentley's two-decade-long journey with the W12 engine.

Performance of the Bentley W12

The performance of the Bentley W12 is undeniably one of the standout attributes of the 'Speed Edition 12' models. With a 37% increase in power and a 54% increase in torque over its lifetime, coupled with a 25% reduction in emissions, the W12 engine has been a symbol of Bentley's commitment to performance and environmental responsibility. It's no wonder that the 'Speed Edition 12' models are a fitting farewell to this extraordinary engineering feat.

The End of An Era

The 'Speed Edition 12' models mark a significant moment in Bentley's history, representing the end of the W12 engine production. The 120 limited-edition models across the Bentayga, Flying Spur, Continental GT, and Continental GTC are more than just automobiles. They are a tribute to Bentley's technical prowess, ingenuity, and the relentless pursuit of luxury and performance. They are a testament to an engine that has not only powered Bentley's cars but also shaped the brand's fortunes over the last two decades.

As we bid farewell to the W12 engine, we look forward to Bentley's future offerings with anticipation, wondering what the next chapter will bring. It's an exciting time for both Bentley and automotive enthusiasts alike.

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