When Bentley introduced the all-new Continental GT about 15 years ago, it completely changed the design aesthetic and makeup of the legendary British marque. It’s time for a fresh look at this game-changing vehicle, so in Frankfurt Bentley introduced the third generation of the Continental GT with all-new styling, technology and powertrain.
“Bentley has been at the forefront of luxury Grand Touring for nearly one hundred years. The new, third-generation Continental GT is the pinnacle of our design and engineering achievements and marks the next step in Bentley’s journey,” said Wolfgang Durheimer, chairman and chief executive of Bentley Motors.
Although the general shape of the Continental GT remains familiar, the body lines are more sculpted with better definition, thanks to a new process using Super Formed technology. The aluminum skin gets heated to 932 degrees Fahrenheit which allows for more precise and complex lines in the body. The Continental GT is the first production car ever to have an entire body side made from the Super Formed process.
On this third-gen Continental GT, a new larger grille is flanked by larger LED Matrix headlights that flow into the lines of the hood and fenders. To some these elements might look familiar; this same look debuted at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show on the EXP 10 Speed 6 concept, which has been the influence and inspiration for many design cues on the new CGT.
At the Rear
The Continental GT’s taillights are all new, again reflecting the design of the EXP concept. The clean design features ellipse-shaped lights that match the shape of the exhaust outlets.
As expected, the interior is all Bentley, making use of the highest-quality materials with natural leather, sustainable wood veneers and polished chrome details. For the first time Bentley is offering dual-veneer options for a unique look. Over 10 square meters of wood are used in each Continental GT. Bentley says it takes nine hours to create and fit the wooden inlays by hand for each car.
Leather seats feature a new “diamond-in-diamond” quilted design and offer 20 power adjustments, as well as heating, cooling and massage functions. Three different audio systems are available, including a Naim 2200-watt, 18-speaker system with Active Bass Transducers built into the front seats. Eight sound modes are available.
The finest materials get dispersed throughout the Continental GT cabin, blending with the latest in high-tech features. A perfect example is the 12.3-inch touchscreen display in a 3-sided unit, which can rotate to show the touchscreen display, three elegant analogue gauges or simply uninterrupted veneer for a clean look.
In keeping with tradition, the Continental GT is as much about performance as it is about luxury. Under the sculpted hood resides an all-new version of Bentley’s 6.0-liter twin-turbo W12 engine. With 626 horsepower and 664 lb-ft of torque, the new Continental GT can reach 60 mph in a mere 3.7 seconds with a top speed of 207 mph. A new 8-speed dual-clutch gearbox delivers much faster shifts as well as improved fuel economy.
All that power is put to the road via a new Active All-wheel Drive system that constantly varies the front-to-rear torque split depending on the driving situation. However, the Continental GT will use rear-wheel drive in most normal situations for improved driver engagement and better efficiency.
The new Continental GT should be available in the U.S. later this year.