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The Bentley Speed Edition 12, a tribute to an icon

To celebrate the remarkable W12 engine that has powered its performance flagships and indeed the brand since 2003, Bentley has created the limited-edition Speed Edition 12. Powered by the most successful 12-cylinder engine of the modern era, the Speed Edition 12 models are a fitting farewell to an extraordinary engineering achievement.

Based on the Speed specification Bentayga, Flying Spur, Continental GT, and Continental GT Convertible, the Edition 12 package features many unique design enhancements. These include Edition 12 badging, 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.

Only 120 of each of the four models will be produced, ensuring that the Speed Edition 12 will become a rare and sought-after tribute to an engine that has powered the company’s cars – and its fortunes – for two decades.

In 2003, Bentley’s W12 engine heralded a new era for the company as the powertrain for the first all-new model under Volkswagen Group ownership, the Continental GT. The unique W-formation of the 6.0-liter twin-turbocharged W12 enabled it to be 24 percent shorter than an equivalent V12 with no compromise in power, efficiency, or refinement. Ever since, continuous evolution has seen a 37 percent increase in power and a 54 percent increase in torque, along with a 25 percent reduction in emissions. In the Speed Edition 12 models, the W12 now develops up to 659PS (650 bhp) @ 5000-6000 rpm, while the famed Bentley ‘tidal wave’ of torque sees a peak of 900Nm reached at just 1500rpm and continues unabated through to 5000 rpm.

The external features of the Speed Edition 12 models are subtle yet carefully curated, making it instantly recognizable to those in the know. Among the distinctive details are silver brake calipers, which are not available for any other Bentley model. Continental GT and Convertible models feature Speed Edition 12 badges on the front fender while Bentayga and Flying Spur models carry Edition 12 badges on the rear quarter together with the existing Speed badge. Opening the bonnet reveals a numbered Edition 12 plaque in pride of place on the engine’s cover.

Other exterior features include Blackline specification exterior bright ware, 22” black painted Speed alloy wheels, and self-leveling wheel badges. A new paint color, Opalite, is available as an option: a light grey-green, it has a subtle copper effect that glows in bright sunshine.

Edition 12 welcome lamps and illuminated treadplates greet drivers and passengers with an interior of hand-crafted individuality. All Edition 12 models are available with Bentley’s Speed color splits; the main color, Beluga black can either be chosen as the sole upholstery color or complemented by Brunel blue, Cricketball red, Linen, or Orange. The veneer in each case is high gloss Grand Black.

Unique features of this limited edition include seats with Mulliner Silver piping and embroidered Edition 12 namestyle. The upper seat areas are quilted and contrast stitched in a graduated three-color ‘fade’ from Anthracite through Porpoise to Stratos. Quilted door panels are contrast stitched.

The organ stop air vents are also unique, featuring the numeral ‘12’ machined from solid on the face of the control. As another delightful detail, the Grand Black veneer facia facing the front seat passenger features the firing sequence of the W12 engine etched alongside an inlaid Speed Edition 12 badge.

As a final touch, customers will receive a precise 15 percent scale model of the Bentley W12 block as a commemorative artifact for display on desk, cabinet, or shelf. The scale model W12 engines are cast using aluminum taken from a full-size W12 engine block and will serve as a permanent memento of one of Bentley’s most significant and powerful engines.