Bentley is celebrating the 20th anniversary of its grand tourer with the creation of this one-off Continental GT Speed inspired by the original 2003 production model.

    VIN20001, the first Continental to roll off Bentley’s Crewe production line, sat alongside the bespoke model when it was revealed at The Quail in California.

    Already spoken for, keys for the unique model were handed over to its owner at the motorsport-focused Monterey car week event.

    Both VIN20001 and this bespoke model are finished in Cypress Green paint.

    Combining the added features of the Blackline, Touring, and Styling specifications means the new bespoke model boasts polished black brightwork and a carbon-fibre front splitter, side skirts, and diffuser.

    In the middle of the 22-inch Dark Gray Satin sport wheels are self-levelling Mulliner badges.

    You can easily spot the difference between old and new cars: the twin round headlights and a rectangular mesh grille are noticeably larger on the 2023 model, giving it a wider and more modern stance when shown alongside its predecessor.

    Inside the 2023 model, the bright tan upholstery echoes the cabin of VIN20001 with bright Saddle leather throughout, and Burr Walnut veneer across the dashboard and central tunnel.

    The 2023 model also gains pale Special Green accents and contrast stitching of the same shade throughout the cabin, including the borders of the seats, the gear shifter, and on the doors.

    A metal tread plate reads ‘20 years of the Continental GT by Bentley Mulliner’, alongside discreet illustrations of the 2003 and 2023 model silhouettes which also feature on the centre console.

    The Continental GT Speed is powered by a twin-turbocharged 6.0-litre W12 engine producing 485kW of power and 900Nm of torque, mated with an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission and all-wheel drive and good for a 0-100km/h time of 3.6 seconds.

    Compared with the W12 of the first Continental GT, it has an extra 75kW and 250Nm.

    Bentley says the Continental GT model ‘redefined’ the British brand for the 21st century and resulted in a “ten-fold increase in sales” when it launched in 2003.

    The grand tourer was initially inspired by the design language of Bentley’s heritage model, the 1952 R Type Continental, which it also celebrated with a one-off rendition earlier this year.

    Over its 20 years of production, the Continental GT line has expanded to include the Continental GT Convertible, Continental Flying Spur, and Continental GT Speed and Supersports.

    The Continental GT coupe and convertible, now in their third generation, are expected to receive an update set to arrive in 2024, consisting of minor design changes.

    MORE: Everything Bentley Continental GT

    Eilidh McNaughton
    Eilidh McNaughton is a Contributor at CarExpert.
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