For Crewe’s design and engineering teams, the new Continental GT coupe is an opportunity to set a bold and exciting direction for one of Bentley’s most revered names – the Continental. The seminal and highly successful Continental GT introduced in 2003 represented the first step in Bentley’s renaissance and defined a whole new market segment. It was a luxury GT offering excellent usability that remained true to the Bentley grand touring spirit.
Now the new Continental GT 4-seat coupe builds on the success of its iconic predecessor, capturing that GT spirit but with even higher standards of design, engineering, luxury, craftsmanship, dynamic performance, everyday practicality and refinement.
A beautifully sculptured new body gives the GT coupe an even crisper, more defined appearance. The contemporary interior offers new levels of cabin design, comfort and hand-crafted luxury. The seats, for example, provide even greater support and rear leg-room; a sweeping dashboard even more style and modernity. The new touchscreen infotainment system features state-of-the-art navigation, Google Maps and entertainment while the latest Balanced Mode Radiator speaker technology and Dirac Dimensions™ digital sound processing deliver enhanced audio quality.
Bentley’s acclaimed 6-litre, 12-cylinder, twin-turbocharged powertrain now has a raised power output of 575PS (567bhp/423kW) and 700Nm (516lb ft) of torque and this is mated to a new Quickshift transmission which enables double downshifts. Thanks to advanced FlexFuel technology it can also run on both standard unleaded petrol (gasoline) and sustainable bioethanol (up to E85) or any mix of the two.
In late 2011 an all-new, high-output 8-cylinder engine will also be available to order. This advanced power unit will deliver a 40 percent reduction in emissions compared with the W12 engine and will offer a class-leading CO2 emissions-to-power ratio with Bentley levels of performance and refinement.
Both engines are coupled to an all-wheel drive system with a sporty 40:60 rear-torque bias (compared with the 50:50 bias of the original Continental GT), minimising understeer during hard cornering and allowing the experienced driver to control the car’s line and balance via precise throttle control.
THE NEW CONTINENTAL GT COUPE – AT A GLANCE
Sculptured exterior design
• Advanced production techniques such as aluminium Super Forming (front wings and boot lid) allow for a more sculpted body and sharp ‘power lines’
• Unique jewelled headlamps with LED daytime-running lights
• More upright matrix radiator grille and new ‘double horseshoe’ rear profile first shown on the flagship Bentley Mulsanne
Contemporary, hand-crafted cabin
• New interior with a bold, sweeping dashboard and instrument panel finished in premium, soft-touch leather hides
• Distinctive ‘cobra’-design seats for added comfort and enhanced rear cabin space
• A new touchscreen, 30GB infotainment system introduces advanced satellite navigation with dynamic route guidance, seven-digit postcode entry and Google Map compatibility (market specific)
• Audio systems feature the latest wide frequency Balance Mode Radiator speakers as standard
• Revolutionary Dirac Dimensions™ DSP for exceptional sound reproduction (Naim for Bentley premium audio).
More powerful W12 and new high-efficiency V8 FlexFuel engines
• 6-litre W12 engine twin-turbocharged engine produces 575PS (567bhp/423kW) and 700Nm (516lb ft) of torque.
• 0 – 60mph in 4.4 seconds (0 – 100km/h in 4.6 seconds)
• 0 – 100mph in 10.2 seconds (0 – 160km/h in 10.2 seconds)
• Top speed of 198mph (318km/h)
• Overall weight saving of 65kg (143lb) versus predecessor
• New high-output, high-efficiency V8 engine due for release in late 2011.
Dynamic Bentley driving experience
• ZF 6HP28 transmission with ‘Quickshift’ system that cuts shift times by 50% and enables double downshifts
• New 40:60 rear-biased torque split for the all-wheel drive system reduces understeer when powering out of bends and provides for better modulation of line and attitude by ‘throttle steering’
• Increased front and rear track improves grip and stability
• Advanced ESC system fully exploits the potential of the more powerful W12 engine and improved chassis
• 20” and (optional) 21” wheels
CLASS-LEADING INFOTAINMENT SYSTEMS
Complementing its contemporary cabin, the new Continental GT also features advanced new touchscreen technology with rich map imagery and a 30GB on board hard drive. The 8-inch screen displays the car’s audio system, telephone, ride and comfort settings and the very latest navigation system, which uses both an in-car hard-disc drive and a DVD player to access route data. It also employs dynamic navigation to guide you around areas of heavy traffic, finds destinations using geo-tagged photos from an SD memory card and is Google Maps-compatible (market specific).
The infotainment system, with 7 digit postcode entry, uses a combination of touchscreen controls and classic knurled rotary switches to offer instant usability and crystal-clear feedback. The graphic interface of the screen is engineered in-house to ensure its visuals are completely in keeping with the style of the interior. Look closely and you will see that the knurled switches on the screen are ‘virtual’ echoes of the knurled switches below. The Continental GT’s new infotainment system also provides the ultimate in in-car audio entertainment. An eight-speaker sound system is offered as standard employing the latest Balanced Mode Radiator technology. These unique compact, flat-panel speakers provide exceptional clarity with a very wide frequency range. An 11-speaker Naim for Bentley system – created exclusively for the Continental GT by British audiophiles Naim – employs revolutionary Dirac Dimensions ™ digital signal processing. This industry-first technology creates a virtual ‘sound field’ independent of speaker layout to deliver concert hall-quality sound reproduction for every occupant wherever they may be sitting.
The GT coupe also benefits from telephone and music player connectivity, digital television (where available) and DVD movie playback. Music can be played and controlled directly from an iPod® as well as from a six-disc CD changer, SD card reader or directly from the car’s hard-disc drive, which can store up to 15GB of music.
MORE POWERFUL W12 AND NEW HIGH-OUTPUT, HIGH-EFFICIENCY V8
The Continental GT is set to have a choice of two very distinctive high-performance engines. In addition to the new 575PS version of Crewe’s renowned 6.0 litre W12 powertrain, a new high-output 4.0-litre V8 engine option will be introduced in late 2011. The new 4.0-litre V8 engine honours Bentley’s environmental commitment to deliver a powertrain that achieves a 40 percent improvement in CO2 emissions. The new V8 is being designed specifically by Bentley’s engineers to deliver all the exhilarating power and torque synonymous with the marque. The new Crewe-built engine will also offer a class-leading CO2 emissions-to-power ratio.
At launch, the new Continental GT coupe is powered by the latest evolution of Bentley’s acclaimed 12-cylinder, 6-litre twin-turbocharged engine, now calibrated to provide even greater performance, thanks to increases in power, torque and fuel efficiency.
Designed in a unique ‘W’ configuration, it is the most compact and technologically advanced 12-cylinder engine in the world. Four camshafts and 48 valves allow the engine to breathe effortlessly and help to generate the distinctive Bentley wave of torque. It is also capable of running on petrol (gasoline), E85 bioethanol or any mix of the two – all from a single tank.
In 2008, Bentley announced a far-reaching environmental programme that included a 15 percent improvement in powertrain efficiency and the adoption across the Bentley model range of FlexFuel technology by 2012. Bentley’s FlexFuel models are capable of delivering potential CO2 reductions of up to 70 percent on a ‘well-to-wheel’ basis – the measurement of CO2 released by a fuel from its production (well) through to its combustion or deployment (wheel).
To ensure that the power and torque generated remain constant (whatever the fuel) an advanced Fuel Quality Sensor continuously monitors the ratio of the fuels used. It then guides the Engine Control Unit to adjust the engine’s timing. This provides the seamless power delivery for which Bentley engines are renowned, and ensures there is no compromise on performance when using fuels that create lower CO2 emissions.
Further revisions to the new GT coupe’s engine include low friction, lightweight components which allow the W12-format engine to rev even more freely, while the latest engine management system and twin, low-inertia turbochargers are optimised to ensure minimal turbo lag.
Overall, the GT coupe is 65kg lighter than its predecessor thanks to reductions in all areas of the car from engine components through to new seats. With its power output raised by 15PS and torque by 50 Nm – to 575PS (567bhp/423kW) and 700Nm (516lb ft) – the result is a 6 percent improvement in the new GT’s power-to weight-ratio, making it capable of accelerating from zero to 60mph in just 4.4 seconds (0-100km/h in 4.6 seconds) with a top speed of 198mph (318km/h).