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Bentley has served notice that an exciting new model will make its world debut at the 2012 Goodwood Festival of Speed running from Friday 29 June to Sunday 1 July at the home of the Earl of March.
They say it'll combine performance with luxury in the best Bentley tradition, and it will be seen in action in the Supercar Run up the Goodwood Hill as well as on the Bentley stand - which will be the biggest yet at Goodwood.
Alongside the as-yet-unnamed new model (although we have our private reasons for expecting the word 'Storm' to figure in it somewhere) will be the EXP 9 F SUV concept, which seems to get uglier every time they drag it out. Surprisingly, given the amount of negative comment it has already generated, this will be the first time it will be seen in public in Britain.
Also new will be the Mulsanne Mulliner Driving Specification, a driver-focused edition of the Bentley flagship that reaffirms its sporting credentials, with sports-tuned suspension and steering settings, special 21” alloy rims and diamond-quilted interior trim.
The Continental GT V8 with its all-new, four-litre, twin-turbo V8 will be seen both on the stand and on the Hill, where its 375kW and 660Nm will be put to good use. Bentley quotes a 0-100 time of 4.8 seconds (for a car that weighs 2.3 tonnes!) and a top speed of 303km/h, although the latter is unlikely to be achieved within the confines of Goodwood Park.
THE BENTLEY BOYS
The Bentley Le Mans heritage will be represented by two very different racing cars: the Speed 8 that won the 2003 24 Hours, which will make two runs a day up the Hill, and Tim Birkin's 1930 4½-litre supercharged “Birkin Blower” - fresh from completing the Mille Miglia for the third time.
Driving duties on the Hill will be shared by three modern-day Bentley Boys. Le Mans legend Derek Bell will be joined by four-times World rally champion Juha Kankkunen and Guy Smith, who drove the winning Speed 8 across the finish line at Le Mans in 2003.
All three will be on hand throughout the Festival to meet visitors.