Bentley launched the first Continental to appeal to younger drivers and to those who wanted a sporty limousine. It seems that the idea was a success. Bentley has produced the 80,000th individual, made-to-order example of the Continental GT. The 80,000th car – a right-hand drive Continental GT V8 in Orange Flame – was handcrafted in the world’s first carbon neutral factory for luxury car production.

In 1952, the Bentley R-Type Continental made its debut; a Mulliner-bodied coupe with a top speed of just less than 120 mph. It was the fastest four-seater car in the world and very quickly earned a reputation as the ultimate in high-speed luxury.

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In 2003, the Continental GT was launched – the first car of the modern Bentley era. Inspired by the R-Type, the first Continental GT established an entirely new market segment – the modern luxury Grand Tourer. Ever since, it has been the unchallenged benchmark for the sector that it founded, with an average of nearly 5,000 examples a year being delivered to customers around the world.

Today, eighteen years later, Bentley’s craftspeople – many of whom will have worked on the very first example of the Continental GT (still owned by Bentley) – have handcrafted the 80,000th car. Over this period the style, technology and engineering beneath the car has evolved significantly, seeing an increase of up to 27 per cent in peak power, whilst models within the range have also achieved a reduction over the original Continental GT of 48 per cent in CO2 emissions.

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The 80,000th vehicle is an eye catching Continental GT V8 in Orange Flame, finished with the optional Blackline Specification and Styling Specification, both adding to the car’s presence and hinting at the GT’s performance credentials.