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Bentley Continental Series 51 Continental GTC – Click above for high-res image gallery

Bentley was the only ultra-luxury marque to have a stand-alone display at the Detroit Auto Show and the British brand came strong with its upcoming Mulsanne flagship in the flesh and this special edition Continental to pique our interests. The Continental is already a stunner in its "base" trim, but not everybody is content with an "ordinary" Bentley.

The ultra-exclusive Continental adds a new Series 51 trim for 2010, named after Bentley's first official styling department in the 1950s. Series 51 trim will be available for the entire Continental lineup and offer exclusive exterior design cues and a unique color palette. We're talking three-tone leather with contrasting piping and stitching here, folks. Check the Series 51 box and you'll also get 14-spoke, 20-inch wheels and a Series 51 badge on the front wings.

The new trim, which will be available throughout the Continental lineup, starts at $192,750 for the GT coupe. Click below to peruse our high resolution gallery of the Series 51 Continental GTC and hit the jump to read over the Bentley press release.

Photos by Drew Phillips / Copyright ©2010 Weblogs, Inc.
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* Americas' motor show debut for new Bentley Mulsanne and Series 51 Continental GTC convertible
* All-new Mulsanne to start at $285,000 in the United States with first deliveries to begin this Fall
* Series 51 specification provides an exciting new design direction for Continental GT and GTC owners

(11 January 2010. Detroit, MI USA) Bentley Motors, the only ultra-luxury manufacturer with a stand alone display at this year's North American International Auto Show in Detroit, pulled the wraps off the all-new Bentley Mulsanne flagship sedan and 'Series 51' designer edition of the Continental GTC convertible during the vehicles' first motor show debut in The Americas.

The new Mulsanne, designed and engineered at Crewe from the ground-up, reaffirms the marque's intent to create a new flagship Bentley with refined performance and unparalleled levels of luxury with the coach building elegance for which the marque has long been renowned.

The Series 51 Continental GTC represents Bentley exterior and interior styling at its most vibrant and will enable customers to order 'off the peg' from an exclusive range created by Dirk van Braeckel's renowned team of Crewe-based designers.

"The Detroit Motor Show remains an important stop for Bentley on the annual calendar of international motoring events," said Christophe Georges, President & Chief Operating Officer for Bentley Motors Inc. "Detroit is also the motor show debut for our flagship Mulsanne and the Series 51 Continental in The Americas region – our single largest worldwide – so it is an important opportunity to reach key influencers.

"Our annual NAIAS private customer previews have also proved successful and that proud record looks set to continue especially as we're the only ultra-luxury manufacturer with a stand alone display this year," Georges added. "Bentley has a busy year ahead and displaying our Mulsanne and Series 51 Continental GTC among Detroit's automotive insiders, influencers and customers is central to our launch strategy."

Flagship Bentley Mulsanne
The Bentley Mulsanne, which goes on sale in the fall of this year, will be priced at $285,000 in the United States. The Mulsanne will offer customers a degree of choice when commissioning their cars which is unmatched in the industry. The luxury Bentley flagship offers a palette of 114 paint colours, 21 carpet colours, nine wood veneers and 24 interior leather hides, all of which will be tanned using a decades-old process to ensure this future classic retains its distinctive scent.

In addition, through Bentley's bespoke service, unique colours can be developed which will exactly match a customer's vision and taste. With more standard leather and wood veneer than any other Bentley in the modern era, it is understandable that each Mulsanne will take nine weeks to build.

Bentley's legendary hand-assembled V8 engine pays homage to its predecessors yet for the new Mulsanne it has been comprehensively re-engineered to employ advanced technologies that deliver unstressed, refined performance. The new Bentley V8 engine is lighter and features cylinder de-activation and variable cam phasing, a combination that can significantly reduce both fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.

Advanced technology is exquisitely packaged within the Mulsanne's opulent cabin. Behind its heritage-inspired dials and new glass-effect switches lay leading edge features including iPod and mp3 connectivity, Bluetooth and a SIM card reader, as well as a 3G MMI system. Those opting for NAIM's premium audio system will be treated to the world's most powerful system fitted to a production vehicle – a 20-channel 2,200-watt experience.

Series 51 Continental GTC
The Series 51 package, available on the Continental range's GT, GT Speed, GTC and GTC Speed models, will be priced from $192,750 for the GT coupe model. It provides for a virtually bespoke vehicle experience due to the thousands of configurations available through Bentley's expansive colour and trim catalogue.

Series 51 is named after the year that the first official styling department was established in Crewe by the gifted John Blatchley, who shaped the original and iconic 1950s Bentley Continentals. Every Series 51 car will feature a highly-distinctive interior colour palette and unique exterior design cues.

Bentley's Colour and Trim team, managed by Melinda - June Jenkins, has designed some specially tailored three-tone interiors which demonstrate the full potential of leather hide colours and showcase the creative application of contrast stitching and piping. The colour combination on the Detroit show car is Imperial Blue as the main and secondary hide, Linen seat and door inserts and Saddle contrast stitching and piping.

Bentley's designers have also selected a range of premium-quality materials for the dashboard and centre console to complement the three-tone interiors. The Dark and Bright 'Engine Spin' aluminium options provide a striking contrast with darker and lighter hide colour choices and a special, limited-edition Amboyna veneer reserved for solely for Series 51.

Both the Continental GT and GTC offer a powerful road presence and the Series 51 cars further accentuate these sporting credentials with some eye-catching exterior styling. A 20" 14-spoke polished Diamond wheel with a dark centre cap provides Series 51 cars with a purposeful and stylish appearance. The cars will be distinguished by a signature '51' badge on the front wings.

To enhance and personalise the Continental GT still further, a new two-tone paint can be commissioned which complements the contrasting interior configuration. This highly distinctive colour split (with one colour running over the bonnet, roof and flowing down to the boot) is a classic design used on many sporting Bentleys of the past.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      I think they stole that interior from gods waiting room
        • 5 Years Ago
        I agree. What a spectacular looking environment.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Well, I guess we can goodbye to the W10.
      I wonder how much HP sauce the new V8 musters.
      Oh, nevermind. "Adequate", for sure, no doubt.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I thought the W12 was to continue on in the Continental/Spur line. Only the Mulsanne was to receive the "new" 6.75 liter pushrod V-8, which puts out 505 HP and 752 lb/ft @ 1,800 RPM.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I think you are right. So, it appears they are trying differentiate the models more extensively than in the past. Or perhaps CAFE regulations are starting to hit home. After all, they sell an awful lot of Bentleys in my neighborhood, and I am sure they don't want to lose any more business than is necessary.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Of all the cars on this show we still did not see THE MOST important car of 2010, it will be one of the biggest sellers overall and will redefine the segment as a whole.

      Honda Civic

      2011 Honda Civic is suppose to be an all new car, yet there are no spy shots no nothing, we don't know the size, MPG or anything about it, and it will go on sale in Sept of 2010. We know that Cruze and new Fusion will get 40 MPG on a highway, i would hope Civic would top that number.

      • 5 Years Ago
      feels like it about time for a new version of this.......
      don't get me wrong, it is still gorgeous.........just seems like it has been around for a long time.
      when did they start making it? 2003? so this is a seven year old design?!!!
        • 5 Years Ago
        Um, the Arnage was on sale for 11 years and was JUST replaced, and Bentley (and Rolls-Royce) used the Mulsanne platform from 1980 to 2003 for various cars, so I don't think the Continental series is going to get overhauled anytime soon.

        That and the GCT and Flying Spur are only five years old, the Speed range is only 3 years old, and the GT Supersport was released less than a year ago, and isn't even on sale in the USA yet.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'm bored with it, and hurting my eyes with oddly contrasting (clashing?) color schemes isn't going to renew my interest. I don't blame Bentley. This is one of the greatest total-package automobiles ever made, but it has been so devestatingly MTV-ed to death since its introduction that seeing one in person can't induce a double-take anymore, and that's where your $200,000 should be paying off. Thank you every wannabe-thug rapper for ruining what should be an object of unmitigated desire and turning it into a stigma-laden punch line for conspicuous consumers.