The definitions of luxury grand touring – The
all- new Bentley Continental GT
Designed, engineered and handcrafted in Britain, the new third-generation of Bentley Continental GT combines performance with handcrafted luxury and cutting-edge technology, to create the finest Grand Tourer ever produced. Wolfgang Diirheinner, chairman and chief executive of Bentley Motors, said: “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. “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. “We are the world leader in luxury mobility and our products and services define new luxury in the automotive world. 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.”
At the heart of the new Continental GT sits an all-new, enhanced version of Bentley’s renowned 6.0-litre, twin-turbocharged W12 TS engine, mated, for the first time, to a dual-clutch eight-speed transmission, for faster, more efficient gear changes. A new, technically advanced, adaptive chassis uses a 48-volt Dynamic Ride System to ensure responsive handling and refinement in all road conditions. The new Bentley’s intelligent ride system controls ride comfort and lateral roll, cushioning passengers from the excessive movement as well as making the car feel effortlessly precise. The muscular exterior design, created using revolutionary technology, results in a lightweight, yet stiff, body. The engine is positioned further back to improve weight distribution, resulting in driver-focused, dynamic performance.
Offering four seats and improved luggage capacity for genuine real-world usability, the new Bentley Continental GT’s luxurious cabin is packed with exquisite details such as a new ‘diamond in diamond’ leather design. In addition, significant work has gone into harmonising the extensive portfolio of 15 colours across hides and carpets. The new Continental GT also showcases major evolutions in Bentley’s unique application of technology. An advanced, fully digital, driver-focused instrument panel and Bentley Rotating Display for the driver are among the suite of innovations. The latter features an impressive 12.3″ touchscreen housed in a three-sided unit, which revolves the veneer to reveal the touchscreen as well as three elegant analogue dials. The interior design of the Continental GT is tailored specifically to the modern luxury customer, with
The exterior design of the new Continental GT is based on a bold new vision that is unmistakably Bentley. The all-new body and materials save more than 80 kg over the previous Continental W12 body. While the Continental GT retains the classic elegance that made its forebear so popular, the form of the new car is more sculptural and sharply defined and takes much of its inspiration from the critically acclaimed EXP 10 Speed 6 concept car. To allow for such a bold reimagining of the Continental GT, the
The Continental GT is the first production car ever to have an entire body side made from the Super Formed process. The Continental GT’s profile is longer and lower due in part to the positioning of the front wheels 135 mm further forward, which in turn allows the bonnet to be extended and the nose to be lowered. However, the key signature lines of the original Continental still dominate, with the ‘power line’ travelling from the headlights to the muscular rear haunch. The rear of the car is a radical styling departure, with the taillights now shaped into ellipses, reflecting the silhouette of the exhaust tailpipes below them.
The lighting on the Continental GT uses the latest LED Matrix technology, but it is the design of the
The exquisitely styled dashboard of the new Continental GT is sculpted by long, flowing wings that mirror the shape of the Bentley badge. A floating leather top flows seamlessly to the doors. The centre console is finished to match the lower fascia but can be specified in a new technical finish that is inspired by the delicate mechanical surfacing inside the finest automatic Swiss watches, known as Cotes de Geneve. This surface – a first in the automotive world – is machined onto 0.6 mm-thick aluminium and is created by machining from side to side to create a linear pattern. Each row is 5 mm wide and machined at an angle to give a truly three-dimensional finish, with each pass of the machine making a minute step of 0.5 mm. New types of luxurious haptic finishes adorn the interior of the Continental GT for greater sensory, as well as visual, enjoyment. In some areas, pillow knurling replaces the traditional mechanical knurling, for a softer, more refined feel on switches and controls, while diamond knurling adds a luxurious touch using a detailed three-dimensional faceted surface. The new knurling design is available on the iconic Bullseye vents, bezels
The 20-way adjustable seats in the new Continental GT set new industry standards in comfort and refinement. Smooth centre panels allow maximum efficiency for the cooling, heating and massage functions, while the bolsters retain the signature Bentley quilting. A new, unique quilt is also available: called a ‘diamond in diamond’ quilt, the effect is of a floating quilted surface in a sea of leather, which is extraordinarily soft to touch. The new interior pattern features both stitching and embroidery. The inner diamonds are embroidered, using a specially-designed machine that balances high speed with quality. Eighteen months were spent developing the embroidery, individually optimising and programming the exact alignment of each one of the 712 stitches that make up each diamond shape – unrivalled attention to detail. A choice of three audio systems is offered in the new Continental GT. The standard system features 10 speakers and 650 Watts, while a Bang & Olufsen 1,500 W, 16-speaker system with illuminated speaker grilles is aimed at lifestyle-oriented customers. The new Bang & Olufsen installation benefits from the first automotive application of the BeoSonic system – a new way for tone setting with a simple, intuitive one-touch user interface. A Naim 2,200 W, 18-speaker system with Active Bass Transducers built into the front seats and eight sound modes is offered for the true audiophile. In order to ensure optimal audio enjoyment, laminated acoustic glass is used for the windscreen and side windows, resulting in a nine-decibel reduction in exterior noise ingress versus the outgoing model.
Behind the wheel, the technological advancements in the new Continental GT are striking. The driver-orientated instrument panel is now fully digital and configurable by the driver. While the main dials appear to be real, they are in fact digital graphics designed to look three-dimensional. This display can show information from across the infotainment system including satellite-navigation information. The Continental GT features the innovative and industry-first Bentley Rotating Display. At first glance, there appears to be no screen in the
The new Continental benefits from features designed to keep both driver and passengers connected at all times. Apple CarPlay, the smartest and quickest way to integrate the functionality of Apple devices in a car is connected via a USB port. Customer journeys are streamlined with features designed to improve navigation. Google point of interest search makes finding unusual destinations simple, while real-time traffic information keeps the driver informed of current length or changes in congestion. In emergency situations, Private eCall provides instant access to emergency services for ultimate peace of mind when travelling. The new Continental GT is offered at launch with an enhanced version of Bentley’s peerless 6.0-litre, W12 TSI engine that sets a new benchmark in performance. Designed, developed and handbuilt in Crewe, the W12 TSI engine is the most advanced 12-cylinder engine in the world. The unique ‘W’ configuration means that the engine is 24 per cent shorter than an equivalent V12, benefitting weight distribution and maximising usable cabin space. The new powertrain uses the very latest engine management technology, with 300 million software calculations per second. It produces 635 PS (626 bhp) and 900 Nm (664 lb.ft.) of torque and accelerates the new Continental GT to 100 km/h in 3.7 seconds (0-60 mph in 3.6 seconds), and on to a top speed of 333 km/h (207 mph).
A dedicated Sport Launch mode delivers maximum acceleration through careful clutch pressure sensing and pre-loading when a race-style start is required by the driver. The W12 TS! combines high-pressure direct fuel injection with low-pressure injection. The combination of these two systems maximises refinement, lowers particulate emissions and optimises power and torque delivery. The new engine utilises Start-Stop technology and, in Bentley’s advanced application, coasting is also made possible. The engine rests not only when the vehicle is stationary but also at near-to-stop speeds. Bentley’s Variable Displacement system shuts down half of the engine under defined conditions. Intake and exhaust valves, fuel injection and ignition are all shut down on defined cylinders, with the engine running as a six-cylinder for improved efficiency. Significantly, a new dual-mass flywheel replaces the torque converter, to dampen out the oscillations of the driveline and provide a fittingly smooth power delivery for luxury touring. The dual-clutch eight-speed transmission provides smooth acceleration, and impressively quick gearshifts, both hallmarks of the Continental GT’s dynamic character, as well as improved combined fuel economy. Shift times are variable and depend on the selected driving mode. In Sport mode, shifts are seemingly instantaneous to deliver uninterrupted torque delivery and maximum acceleration performance. In Comfort mode, shifts are deliberately relaxed to allow for a seamless and imperceptible gear change. Maximum speed is reached in seventh gear, with eighth gear acting as an overdrive gear for relaxed cruising.
A new Active All-Wheel-Drive System replaces the traditional 40:60 power delivery split between front and rear wheels respectively, instead of varying the front-to-rear torque split dependent upon the driving situation. The vehicle will use the rear-wheel drive as much as possible during normal driving for optimum efficiency and dynamic performance. Based on the conditions and the driver’s behaviour, the system will send the drive to the front axle as required. This reduces the understeer effect from fixed all-wheel drive, as well as increasing driver engagement for those who revel in the dynamic attributes of the Continental GT. The third generation of Continental GT features Bentley Dynamic Ride, an advanced 48-volt roll control system for unrivalled car control. The system controls and adjusts the electronic actuators on the anti-roll bar of each axle and so improves handling and ride comfort, as well as making the car feel lighter and more precise.
This system instantly counteracts lateral rolling forces when cornering and ensures maximum
Another key feature is the latest-generation Continuous Damping Control (CDC), which constantly adjusts the damper forces to optimise comfort. The system continually measures the velocity and distance between the wheels and the body at each corner and also adjusts the air volume in the springs if necessary to ensure the optimum balance of comfort and handling. Both front and rear axles are of lightweight aluminium construction, with multilink design at the front and rear. The brakes, as always on the Continental GT, are bigger on the front axle, with a 15 mm increase in size to 420 mm to match the increased performance. The exhaust tailpipes have also been revised, and now have an adaptive valve for greater tuning potential.
The all-new Continental GT redefines
Bentley’s highly skilled engineers have put the new Continental GT through the extraordinary
Since 2003 more than 66,000 Bentley Continental GTs have been handcrafted in the factory in Crewe, England. Over that period the style, technology and engineering behind the car have been constantly evolving, and the vehicles produced in Crewe have become ever more efficient. Similarly, the production techniques utilised in Crewe have become significantly more efficient over that time. The all-new Continental GT is being produced in a factory where up to 40 per cent of the electricity needs are met by 20,815 solar panels covering over 34,500 square metres of factory roof space. The installation was the largest of its kind in the UK when first put in place. The solar panels provide a capacity of 5.1 megawatts and contribute to a CO2 reduction of 2,500 tonnes per year. Following significant reductions in key environmental areas, Bentley has become the first UK automotive manufacturer to be awarded the Carbon Trust Standards for carbon, water and waste respectively.