At the ongoing Goodwood Festival of Speed (July 13 to 16), Bentley introduced the Speed Six Continuation Series by Mulliner, which is the British manufacturer's bespoke and coachbuilding division. Debuted in 1928 as a high-performance version of the 6.5-litre model, the Speed Six is the most successful racing car in the brand's history, winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1929 and 1930 with Woolf Barnato, Sir Henry 'Tim' Birkin, and Glen Kidston sharing driving responsibilities. Fast forward to 2023, the Classic Speed Six has been revived as the company's second pre-war Continuation model, following the success of the Blower Continuation Series in 2019. According to the manufacturer, only 12 units of the Speed Six will be commissioned, and all of them are already sold out. Bentley plans to build the first customer car in October 2023, and the series of 12 new examples of the legendary model is expected to be completed by the end of 2025, with each taking 10 months to complete.
Bentley Speed Six: Powertrain
Under the hood, the Speed Six receives a 6.5-litre inline-six engine, and Dyno Testing reveals 202bhp. On the other hand, the original racing version from 1930 was tuned to deliver 197bhp of maximum output at 3,500rpm - considered a phenomenal power output for the time - and the race-spec model topped out at 201km/h.
Bentley Speed Six: Chassis
The Bentley Speed Six made its debut in 1928 as a sportier version of the 6.5-litre model. The road-focused version had twin SU carburettors, a high compression ratio, and a high-performance camshaft, resulting in increased power output from 145bhp to 178bhp. While the race-spec had a higher compression ratio to boost the total power to 197bhp.
Between 1928 and 1930, 182 street versions of the Speed Six were built. Its chassis was available with a choice of three wheelbases, measuring 3,505mm, 3,569mm, and 3,874mm - with the lighter, short chassis being the most popular. Whereas the factory race models were based on a 3,403mm-chassis frame.
Bentley Speed Six: Design
Design-wise, the Bentley Speed Six Continuation Series is a close replica of the original model, using the same drawings and processes. While, the newest Bentley Six Speed on display at the 2023 Goodwood was billed as Car Zero, which is the engineering development vehicle for the programme consisting of real-world durability and track-based testing. The Car Zero is done in Parsons Napier Green, with an interior in Tan Leather.