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2013 Bentley Continental GT (II)
|Body and chassis|
The Bentley Continental is a name used on several generations of luxury automobiles since 1952.
From 1952 to 1965
Following World War II, Bentley moved to resume production of civilian automobiles, and its factory was relocated from Derby to Crewe. There, Bentley engineers produced so-called R-Type Continentals for three years, from 1952 to 1955. These were derivatives of the original R-Type, the second series in Bentley's postwar luxury lineup.
The R-Type Continental's chassis was independently produced and sold to custom coach-builders. One of the world's most expensive automobiles, only about 208 R-Type Continentals were built in total.
Following the R-Type Continental, the Continental S1, S2 and S3 were released consecutively beginning in 1955. The S1 was well received, 49 being built. The deficiency was addressed on later vehicles, such as the Bentley S1. The S2, unveiled in 1959, debuted with a new L Series V-8 engine, still used in contemporary Bentleys like the Mulsanne. It also incorporated air conditioning and standard power-steering, considered cutting-edge amenities at the time. The S3, for its part, was distinguishable by its "four-headlamps in the front wings."
During the 1950s and early '60s, the Bentley Continental was marketed for its powerful engine and lowered suspensions, thought to improve performance for high-speed touring. The fastback coupe's distinctive angle-free, lightweight design also helped establish its British manufacturers' prosperity for the post-war era.
In 2015 a 1952 R Type Continental, in unrestored condition, sold for over $1 million USD.
The second generation of the Continental ended in 1965 with the introduction of the replacement T Series. The Continental nameplate would not be revived until 1984.
1952 to 1965
- 1952 Bentley Continental Mark VI
- 1952–1955 Bentley Continental R-type
- 1955–1959 Bentley Continental S1
- 1959–1962 Bentley Continental S2
- 1962–1965 Bentley Continental S3
1984 to 2002
With the introduction of the unitary construction Bentley T-series, separate Continental chassis were no longer made available to coachbuilders. The following models were produced through 2002:
- 1984–1995 Bentley Continental
- 1991–2002 Bentley Continental R
- 1994–1995 Bentley Continental S
- 1996–2002 Bentley Continental T
2003 to date
Three versions of the Continental have been sold following Vickers' sale of Bentley to Volkswagen:
- 2003– Bentley Continental GT
- 2006– Bentley Continental GTC
- 2005–2013 Bentley Continental Flying Spur
Components for Bentley Continental will be sourced from Volkswagen's plants in Germany and Slovakia, with stampings from Volkswagen's factory in Bratislava. Porsche's plant in Leipzig will be responsible for assembling bodies-in-white, along Porsche's Panamera. Bentley's factory in Crewe will carry out final assembly.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Bentley Continental.|
- Martin Bennett, John Blatchley Bentley Continental: Corniche & Azure 1951-2002. Martin Bennett, 2010
- "History". Bentley Motors. Retrieved 20 April 2013.
- "1954 Bentley R Type news, pictures, and information". conceptcarz.com. Retrieved 20 April 2013.
- Classic Cars, May 2010, page 114
- Motorist´s Compendium and Driver´s Almanack, Dec 1959
- "Bentley history: Cricklewood, then Derby and for the last 60 years at Crewe". Bentley Media. Archived from the original on 15 May 2013. Retrieved 20 April 2013.
- "Rare Bentley Brings Big Dollars At Auction". Pursuing W.O. Retrieved 2 May 2015.
- "Bentley Continental". Wikicar. Retrieved 20 April 2013.
- Loveday, Eric (2016-02-25). "Next-Generation Bentley Continental To Get Plug-In Hybrid Powertrain From Porsche Cayenne PHEV". InsideEVs.com. Retrieved 2016-02-25.
- Hetzner, Christiaan (11 Apr 2017). "Porsche, Bentley synergies can help VW Group". Automotive News. Retrieved 12 April 2017.
Bentley timeline, 1920s–present
|Ownership||Bentley Motors Limited
Bentley Motors (1931) Limited
Bentley Motors (1931) Limited
|3 L||4½ L
|Cars with Bentley own-factory coachwork|
|Bentleys on the Volkswagen platform|
|Mulsanne||Mulsanne S||Brooklands||Arnage||Arnage RL/R|
|Mulsanne Turbo||Turbo R||Turbo RT||Arnage Red Label||Arnage T|
|Continental S||Continental T|
|Color code||Silver Shadow-based||Mulsanne-based||Arnage-based|
|Saloon||Arnage||Continental Flying Spur||Flying Spur|
|Red Label||Arnage R/T||Mulsanne|
|Coupé||Continental R||Continental GT||Continental GT|
|Continental T||Brooklands Coupé|
|Convertible||Continental GTC||Continental GTC|