Bentley is confident that its new 2011 Continental GT will be a success, but in order to help the car attract attention -- and ultimately sales -- in an increasingly crowded segment, the company may resort to crafting a number of limited-edition versions in the years to come.
In the first seven years of the Continental GT's lifespan, Bentley managed to move 23,000 examples of the slinky two-door coupe. A commendable figure for the limited-production automaker, certainly, but the company doesn't exactly have its head buried in the sand. Recent global financial troubles have impacted the automaker (sales in 2009 totaled 4616 vehicles, down from the record high of 10,014 vehicles set in 2007).
Alasdair Stewart, Bentley's head of marketing and sales told Autocar that the company is looking "to smooth fluctuations" in sales, and is seriously considering regularly issuing special-edition Continental GT models.
Bentley isn't exactly a stranger to multiple variants, having offered the previous Continental GT in base, GT Speed, and Supersports forms. The car was also spun into a number of limited-edition models, including a Diamond Edition model launched in 2007, and a special Chinese-market exclusive unveiled at the 2010 Beijing Motor Show.
Expect similar models to become an increasingly regular occurrence at Bentley, and expect any special-edition car to carry a sizable premium over the 2011 Continental GT's $189,900 base price.