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Geneva: Continental 9 marks Bentley’s 100

£200K limited edition recalls 1930 Le Mans race car.

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Bentley has headed 90 years into the past to draw inspiration for its celebratory centenary model, revealed at the Geneva motor show.

The Bentley Continental GT Number 9 harks back to the iconic 1930 ‘Blower’ Bentley 4½ litre, which competed in the 1930 24 Hours of Le Mans race. It did not win the race, but helped clear the path so that another Bentley – a Speed Six – could take the victory.

Since then, the supercharged 4½ litre has become one of the most recognisable classic cars of all time, mainly thanks to its supercharger mounted on the front bumper, ahead of the grille.

Built by Bentley’s coachbuilding and customisation arm Mulliner, the Number 9 pays homage with a choice of either Viridian Green or Beluga Black paintwork – colour-keyed on the 21-inch alloy wheels.

There is also a carbon fibre aerodynamic pack, which admittedly is rather more modern than anything on the classic Blower model, also on the Geneva stand.

The Number 9 badges and grille graphic on the limited edition Continental are lifted straight from the Blower.

An authentic wooden insert from the Le Mans racer sits in the dashboard of the No.9 – backlit and covered in resin for longevity.

Under the skin, the Continental GT Number 9 is identical to the standard car, powered by a 6.0-litre W12 petrol engine mated to an eight-speed automatic gearbox and four-wheel drive. It produces 635hp and 900Nm of torque, giving it a top speed of 207mph and 0-62mph in a 3.4 seconds.

Just 100 examples of the Continental GT Number 9 will be produced. Bentley has not yet revealed how much the car will cost but industry sources predict a price tag somewhere around £200,000.

Bentley Continental No9 The Car Expert
Photo: Andrew Charman

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Andrew Charman
Andrew Charman
Andrew is a road test editor for The Car Expert. He is a member of the Guild of Motoring Writers, and has been testing and writing about new cars for more than 20 years. Today he is well known to senior personnel at the major car manufacturers and attends many new model launches each year.