Bentley pulled the wraps off the all-new Continental GT finally, revealing all the details on its new Grand Tourer that aims to conquer the luxury segment.
The British company drew inspiration from its EXP 10 Speed 6 concept in designing the new Continental GT and it shows; the shape is now much more sculptural and dynamic, making the Continental GT look properly special.
Bentley revised the proportions of the whole car, with the new generation having a longer and lower profile than its predecessor, due in part of the positioning of the front axle 135mm further forward which allowed a longer hood and a lower nose.
The most radical departure however is to be found at the back, where Bentley gave the new Conti GT a pair of elliptical taillights, reflecting the shape of the exhaust tail pipes below them and giving the whole car a surprisingly elegant rear end.
The wheelbase is now longer by 110mm and the whole car is wider by 25mm, helping the new, more dynamic design approach but the main reason for this change is of course the new MSB platform that’s also been used in the Porsche Panamera and enables the use of the latest 48-volt electrical system.
Bentley however claims that the parts used for the new Continental GT are 82 percent bespoke to them, with the W12 model being 85kg (187lbs) lighter than the equivalent predecessor. It still tips the scales though at 2,250kg (4,960lbs). The whole skin of the car is made out of aluminum that’s been crafted using the Super Formed technology, which allowed creating the complex, more sharply defined body lines of the new model.
The first, Launch models will be powered by the updated version of the company’s twin-turbo 6.0-liter W12 TSI engine, paired for the first time with an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. The powertrain produces 635 PS (626 hp) and 900 Nm (664 lb-ft) of torque and allows the new Conti GT to accelerate to 100km/h in 3.7 seconds (0-60mph in 3.6 sec) and reach a top speed of 333km/h (207mph).
Thanks to the adoption of the 48-volt electrical architecture, Bentley is making some bold claims about the dynamics of the new Continental GT; the new generation features the Bentley Dynamic Ride, a system that controls and adjusts the electronic actuators on the anti-roll bar of each axle, improving the ride comfort and of course, handling.
What it basically does is keeping the car flat when cornering by counteracting lateral roll forces, ensuring maximum tire-to-road contact. The use of the 48-volt system also means that there are virtually no delays in the Dynamic Ride’s responses. The revised air suspension also features three-chamber air springs that are filled with 60 percent more air in the softest setting, further improving the system’s scope to vary from sporty handling to limousine levels of comfort.
As for the cabin, Bentley did what everyone expected and used only the absolute best there is in natural materials, including natural leathers, sustainably sourced veneers and hand-polished chrome details. Over 10 square meters of wood are used in each Continental GT, with the wooden inlays requiring nine hours to be created and fitted by hand.
A fully digital and configurable instrument panel represents the next day for Bentley which also added a beautiful 12.3-inch “retina-quality” infotainment display. The huge screen can rotate and bring a veneer panel up front when wanted but wait, there’s more; Bentley has also added a third side to the rotating mechanism which features three analogue dials displaying outside temperature, a compass and chronometer.
Production will start later this year, with the first cars to be delivered in Spring 2018. There’s no information regarding pricing, with the new generation expected to cost a bit more than the outgoing.
“We are the world leader in luxury mobility and our products and services define new luxury in the automotive world,” said Wolfgang Dürheimer, chairman and chief executive of Bentley. “The new Continental GT encapsulates our desire to innovate as well as celebrate our heritage and take the Bentley ownership experience to the next, unparalleled level.”