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Bentley marks 12-cylinder world leadership
Bentley is the world’s largest manufacturer of 12-cylinder engines – and the brand is finally promoting this on its cars with a small but significant new detail.
On the 2013 Continental GT W12 and Speed models, a ‘W12’ badge has been added to the front wing.
“This has been added after years of customer requests,” said Bentley UK Regional Director Geoff Dowling. “Owners, especially those in the US, have long asked us to include some form of signifier to show how many cylinders the engine has.”
It’s not a change that’s been introduced because of the arrival of the Continental GT V8, either. “There’s a real kudos to the 12-cylinder engine and people who have such an engine want to get noticed.”
The new badge will help reinforce a fact Dowling admitted few people know – that Bentley is the world’s biggest producer of 12-cylinder cars, beating Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz and several other exotic car producers both combined and by a big margin.
“Very few people outside Ferrari and other brands offer 12-cylinder engines, but we have done since 2003 and we make many thousands more power year than any other brand.”
This year alone, Bentley has so far built 4,300 W12 engines and, despite the launch of the V8 model, it is still expected to form 50% of Continental GT sales.
The new branding is introduced on the 2013 Bentley Continental GT Speed which, at 205mph, becomes the fastest production Bentley ever.
Since its launch in 2007, the old Speed was the best-selling Continental GT variant. As such, said Dowling, it was “only right that we look to introduce the MkII Speed at a much earlier time”.
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