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Paris, 23rd September 2004...The stunning Bentley Continental GT coupé will now have even further visual appeal with the creation of an optional range of contemporary design features packaged as the Mulliner Driving Specification.
Designed by Bentley’s bespoke coachbuilding division, the Mulliner Driving Specification is being offered in direct response to customer demand for a more overtly sporting character to the Continental GT.
Bentley is also announcing enhancements to the standard specification 2005 Model Year Continental GT. In addition a new range of factory and Bentley Mulliner options is also being introduced, further increasing customer choice and the ability to specify a car to suit their needs.
Additional factory fit and Bentley Mulliner options will be available for purchase separately on all Continental GT models. These will comprise:
The standard specification Bentley Continental GT now comprises:
The new Mulliner Driving Specification is the first significant product development for the Continental GT since its launch. The new package also marks the first occasion that Bentley Mulliner, the world’s most respected coachbuilder, has been able to demonstrate its unique skills on the Continental GT.
The Mulliner Driving Specification will be available to Bentley Continental GT customers as a complete package and is designed to enhance the sporting appearance of the car by introducing contemporary materials and tones to the already exquisite cabin.
"When the Continental GT was first launched we intentionally made more of a grand touring statement in terms of its visual feel, especially inside the car. The GT has proved to be an unequivocal sales success around the globe. However, some potential buyers have demanded the Continental GT reflects a more overtly sporting character, so the Mulliner Driving Specification was the obvious next step." said Robin Page, head of interior design, Bentley Motors
To fulfill those requests for a more sporting character, the new package comprises of 20-inch two-piece alloy sports wheels, drilled alloy sports pedals, a new gearlever with knurled top and aluminium surround, diamond-quilted hide for the seats, doors and rear quarter panels, indented hide for the roof headlining, embroidered ‘Bentley wing’ seat emblems and a choice of piano black or dark-stained burr walnut veneer.
The mighty Bentley Arnage T seemed like the perfect place to start when Bentley Mulliner’s design team considered how to create a Continental GT with a more sporting appearance. The Arnage T’s use of diamond quilted hides and aluminium trim options to the pedals and facia gives it a distinct and purposeful look - a powerful representation of the Bentley theme.
Those same materials are used to make the Mulliner Driving Specification the most contemporary Bentley yet. Bold, two-tone leather and dark veneer combinations give the car a modern yet distinct feel, much like a fashionable driving watch. By combining heavily lacquered, dark veneers with lighter seat leathers, the Continental GT’s interior becomes a place of intent and focus. The use of dark woods also acts as a helpful contrast to the beautiful, jewellery-like switchgear and brighter trim that is introduced with the Mulliner Driving Specification.
"Creating a different feel is as much about the tactile nature of a car’s interior as producing a stunning overall design. When people hold a beautifully created, handmade steering wheel or rest their feet on drilled alloy pedals, it’s those little touches that combine to give a really big overall impression." said Robin Page, head of interior design, Bentley Motors
Even the appearance and feel of the beautiful leather hides used for the Continental GT have not escaped the attentions of the Bentley Mulliner design team. Diamond quilting has been applied to the seat cushions and squabs in both the front and rear as well as the door and rear quarter panels. This diamond pattern is a classic Bentley performance cue and is as much a nod to the heritage of this great sporting marque as it is the perfect design tool for the Mulliner Driving Specification.
The hides used to line the cabin headlining have also been given a distinctive addition in the form of embossed indentation. This look, much like the back of the iconic leather driving glove, is another subtle reference to the car’s potential. Simple devices though they are, both the fluting and hide indentation have specific purposes, as Robin Page explains:
"The Mulliner Driving Specification has a slightly different flute pattern to the Arnage T. In the Arnage T we use a squarer diamond shape, but in the Continental GT it is a more recognisable ‘playing card’ diamond. If you look closely you will see that the diamond is reflected in the knurled texture we have applied to the new gearlever and they have tremendous impact when you put them together." said Robin Page, head of interior design, Bentley Motors
A final visual aid to help create that unmistakable sporting presence is the introduction of a new 20-inch two-piece alloy sports wheel to replace the standard 19-inch versions currently available on the Continental GT. This seven-spoke rim has a combination of chrome and silk finishes while retaining the distinctive ‘Bentley Motors’ hub.
The new two-piece sports wheels also wear a brand new tyre created exclusively for the larger rim. Designed on behalf of Bentley by Yokohama, the Advan Sport 275/35 R20 tyre provides significant benefits for drivers looking for even sportier handling and improved steering feel and response.
The culmination of an intensive development programme carried out by both Bentley and Yokohama engineers, the new tyre has a lower sidewall that provides sharper turn-in feel and precision. The Advan Sport manages to deliver increased performance without noticeable reduction in overall ride quality, meaning drivers will continue to enjoy the unparalleled luxury of a Continental GT and now benefit from its increased sporting characteristics.
New specification and options for all Continental GT customers
As well as the new Mulliner Driving Specification, Bentley is announcing changes to the 2005 Model Year Continental GT. The car’s standard specification is being enhanced, and a new range of factory and Bentley Mulliner options is available for purchase individually.
The standard specification Bentley Continental GT will now come with telephone voice activation system that can operate in six languages, allowing the driver to operate the in-car telephone using steering-wheel mounted controls and voice dialling. In addition to voice activation, customers also have the option to delete the privacy telephone handset currently mounted in the front passenger armrest, thereby freeing up additional storage space.
New interior trim options are also added to the standard specification. For the first time the Continental GT is available with an additional main hide colour - Magnolia. The car’s carpets can also be specified to match either the main or secondary hide. Lastly, the seatbelt colour can also be matched to either the main or secondary hide colours, regardless of the carpet colour chosen.
New factory-fitted options that are available for purchase individually include a two-tone, hide trimmed multi-function steering wheel which is recommended for cars with contrasting main and secondary hide colours.
The new range of individual Bentley Mulliner options for the Continental GT brings the unparalleled craftsmanship of the Mulliner coachbuilding division to every customer. This year marks the 80th anniversary of HJ Mulliner’s first commission for Bentley Motors and since then the Mulliner name has established itself as the world’s leading creator of coachbuilt cars.
Now Mulliner options can be specified individually for the 2005 model year Continental GT, meaning customers can create individual statements with every car ordered. The new range consists of a beautiful Mulliner alloy fuel cap with a Bentley ‘B’ badge and knurled finish for improved grip, that mirrors the interior switchgear design cues.
To provide added visual appeal to the seats and door panels, exquisite contrast and cross-stitching is being introduced. For single-tone interiors a list of approved thread colours is available. For two-tone interiors, thread for the main hide is matched to the secondary hide and vice versa.
To complement the new dark veneers and alloy trim of the Mulliner Driving Specification, aluminium facia panels can be ordered to replace the veneer on the instrument panel and centre console. Bentley Mulliner has designed these beautifully crafted panels to be combined with dark veneers and a single tone interior throughout the rest of the cabin, allowing the aluminium to make a full visual impact.
Two premium wood veneers - Vavona and Olive Ash - can be specified through the optional Mulliner range, as well as the choice of lambswool rugs or deep-pile carpet mats with hide trimming to provide added comfort and protection to the footwells.
The Continental GT success story continues
The announcement of the new Mulliner Driving Specification and 2005 model year changes for the Bentley Continental GT is just the latest chapter in the car’s brief but remarkable history. Sales of the four-wheel-drive coupé have exceeded the company’s wildest expectations and have driven Bentley to new sales records across the globe.
With demand showing no sign of diminishing, this incredible transformation in Bentley’s sales performance reflects the extraordinary public response to the Continental GT.
"There has been a brilliant reaction to the Continental GT in all our major markets. Whether you talk to dealers in the United States, Britain, Germany or wherever, the feedback is always the same - customers just love this car.
"We are very proud of this success story and the way that the Continental GT is flying the flag for Bentley and the British motor industry around the world. That’s why we are so pleased to be able to introduce the new 2005 model year Continental GT and the beautiful Mulliner Driving Specification, demonstrating clearly how well we respond to customer demand." said Mark Tennant, marketing director, Bentley Motors
The 2005 model year Bentley Continental GT retails at £112,750 (including VAT), although the original price - which was announced more than 12 months ago - will still apply to all existing orders. The 2005 model year prices in full are as follows:
The 2005 model year Bentley Continental GT and Mulliner Driving Specification package will go on sale from October 2004.