Con­ti­nen­tal shift for new-look Bent­ley

Yorkshire Post - Motoring - - FRONT PAGE - Fred­eric Manby fred­

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.

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