Continental shift for new-look Bentley
BENTLEY will reveal the second generation of its seminal Continental GT at the Paris Show at the end of the month.
The GT was the car which brought a new customer base to Bentley as it moved forward in a new century under its new owners, Volkswagen Group.
Its audience was as likely to wear jeans and T-shirt as slacks and double cuffs, and the nouveau riche moved gratefully into upper-class motoring at, then, prices not much over £100,000.
Now there is a new body, a more powerful six-litre, 12cylinder engine and, late next year, a four-litre V8 version using the same all-wheeldrive chassis. The four-seater coupé has more supportive seats and improved leg room for rear passengers.
There is touchscreen “infotainment” system with updated navigation, Google maps and enhanced audio play-back.
The twin-turbo engine now delivers 567bhp and 516lb-ft torque through a faster changing gearbox. Top speed is 198mph with 0-60mph in 4.4 seconds and 0-100mph in 10.2 seconds.
The economy figures are awaited but the new model is 65kg lighter and Bentley is working to reduce emissions and raise economy. The engine will run on bio-fuel without affecting the power delivery.
Changes to the W12 motor include low-friction, lightweight components which make it work more freely, and the latest engine management system and twin, low-inertia turbochargers optimised to ensure minimal turbo lag.
The V8 engine, for which details are also awaited, will reduce CO2 emissions by 40 per cent.
Other changes see a wider wheel track and suspension retuning for improved handling response and stability.
More information and prices will be announced at the Paris Show.
ALL CHANGE: Bentley’s second-generation Continental GT.