- Martin Bennett, John Blatchley Bentley Continental: Corniche & Azure 1951-2002. Martin Bennett, 2010
- Classic Cars, May 2010, page 114
- Motorist´s Compendium and Driver´s Almanack, Dec 1959
Bentley timeline, 1920s–present
|Ownership||Bentley Motors Limited(1919–1931)||Rolls-RoyceBentley Motors (1931) Limited(1931–1980)||Vickers plcRolls-RoyceBentley Motors (1931) Limited(1980–1998)||Volkswagen Group(1998–)|
|Coachbuilder’sopen2/4 seater||3 L||4½ L6½ LSpeed Six|
|Coachbuilder’slarge salooncoupé orconvertible||6½ LSpeed Six8 L||4L3½ 4¼LMark V||Mark VI||R||S1S2S3||T|
|Cont||Continental S1Continental S2Continental S3|
|Cars with Bentley own-factory coachwork|
|Bentleys on the Volkswagen platform|
Bentley automobile timeline, 1980–2003 — next »
|Mulsanne||Mulsanne S||Brooklands||Arnage||Arnage RL/R|
|Mulsanne Turbo||Turbo R||Turbo RT||Arnage Red Label||Arnage T|
|Continental S||Continental T|
|Color code||Silver Shadow-based||Mulsanne-based||Arnage-based|
« previous — Bentley, a subsidiary of the Volkswagen Group, automobile timeline, 1998–present
|Saloon||Arnage||Continental Flying Spur||Flying Spur|
|Red Label||Arnage R/T||Mulsanne|
|Coupé||Continental R||Continental GT|
|Continental T||Brooklands Coupé|
Under new ownership
2013 Bentley Continental GT (II)
|Body and chassis|
|Body style||2-door coupé2-door convertible|
2003 to date
Three versions of the Continental have been sold following Vickers’ sale of Bentley to Volkswagen:
- 2003– Bentley Continental GT
- 2006–2018 Bentley Continental GTC
- 2005–2013 Bentley Continental Flying Spur
The next-generation Bentley Continental is scheduled for 2018, and it will include a plug-in hybrid variant. Bentley will borrow the plug-in hybrid powertrain from the Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid.
Components for Bentley Continental will be sourced from Volkswagen’s plants in Germany and Slovakia, with stampings from Volkswagen’s factory in Bratislava. Porsche’s plant in Leipzig will be responsible for assembling bodies-in-white, along Porsche’s Panamera. Bentley’s factory in Crewe will carry out final assembly.
From 1952 to 1965
The ‘Embiricos’ Bentley by Portout of Paris 1938, a prototype Bentley Continental
Grand Touring Cars. Following the break brought about by the Second World War Bentley resumed production of civilian automobiles relocating its plant from Derby to Crewe. There, Bentley engineers produced for three years, from June 1952 to April 1955. These cars were derivatives of the Standard Steel R-Type, the second series in Bentley’s postwar luxury lineup.
The R-Type Continental’s chassis was specially built incorporating special components, including a high performance engine, and fitted with a very special light weight bodies designed and built under the close supervision of Rolls-Royce. One of the world’s most expensive automobiles, only about 208 R-Type Continentals were built in total.
After the R-Type Continental the Continental S1 (1955–1959), S2 (1959–1962), and S3 (1962–1965) were delivered beginning in March 1955. The first was well received and 49 were built. The S2 delivered from July 1959, debuted with a new L Series V-8 engine,. It also incorporated previously optional amenities, air conditioning and power-steering. The S3, delivered from September 1962, was distinguishable principally by having four headlamps instead of two in the front wings.
In 2015 a 1952 R Type Continental, in unrestored condition, sold for over $1 million USD.
The second generation of the Continental ended with deliveries in November 1965 after the September 1965 introduction of the unitary construction T Series. The Continental nameplate would not be revived until 1984.