- New Continental GT Speed makes its international debut
- Le Mans and World Rally champions drive road and race cars up the Hill
- EXP 9 F SUV concept draws crowds on its UK debut
(Crewe, England. 05 July 2012). Bentley enjoyed its largest ever presence at the 2012 Goodwood Festival of Speed as the marque showed cars from its past, present, and future to more than 185,000 attendees during the four day Festival. Modern-day Bentley Boys, Derek Bell MBE, Juha Kankkunen and Guy Smith were on-hand to meet fans and take to the famous Hillclimb in a range of Bentley models.
Bentley’s new performance flagship, the 616bhp, twin-turbo W12-engined Continental GT Speed coupe, made its international debut and proved itself worthy of its ’fastest ever production Bentley’ title with four-time World Rally champion, Juha Kankkunen, demonstrating its breath-taking performance on the Hill.
Meanwhile, five-time Le Mans winner, Derek Bell, showcased the sporty, dynamic character of the new high-performance, high-efficiency 500bhp, twin-turbo Continental GT V8 coupe.
Returning to the cockpit of the Bentley Speed 8 race car, Guy Smith re-lived the pace that saw Bentley victorious in the 2003 24 Hours of Le Mans. All three drivers were firm crowd favourites in the Paddock and on the Bentley stand throughout the Festival.
Alongside its Continental stable mates on the Bentley stand was the new Mulsanne Mulliner Driving Specification (MDS), the driver-focused edition of the Bentley flagship, reaffirming its sporting credentials. Also drawing the crowds was the Bentley EXP 9 F SUV Concept. Making its UK debut at the Festival of Speed, it provided a compelling new take on the Grand Touring Bentley.
Chairman and Chief Executive, Wolfgang Dürheimer, thundered up the hill in the 1929 Bentley Blower Team Car, which competed in the pre-war endurance racer class.
Commenting on the success of Bentley’s presence at the Festival, in its first year as a main sponsor, Mr Dürheimer said:
“The atmosphere at Goodwood is unrivalled with the allure of motoring in its many forms uniting car enthusiasts, customers and racing heroes alike. The interest in our cars and our Bentley Boys both on the Bentley stand, in the Paddock and racing up the Hill was incredible. With the exhibition of new models and show cars next to the hill climb event, it is the most entertaining car show I know. On a personal note, the opportunity to drive the Blower, one of the most famous cars in Bentley’s history, was impossible to resist. To be behind the wheel of such a special racer was indeed a privilege.”