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New Continental GT gains V8 power

2010-09-08 07:41
Vehicle Specs
Manufacturer Bentley
Engine W12
Power 423kW @ 6 000r/min
Torque 700Nm @ 1 700r/min
Transmission Six-speed auto
Zero To Hundred 4.4 sec
Top Speed 318km/h
Fuel Consumption 16.5l/100km
Weight 2 320kg
Airbags 275/40ZR20
Need a four-seater able to cross continents rather swiftly?

There are few better alternatives than Bentley’s Continental GT.

Crewe’s headline touring coupe has been around for eight years and an upgrade has been in the making for the last few months.

With the Paris motor show mere weeks away, Bentley’s released information pertaining to its new Continental GT.

Although the second-generation car looks suspiciously like a facelift, Bentley is determined to placate all and sundry with a raft of technical specifications detailing its newness.

Styling changes include more defined bumpers, a redesigned grille pattern, LEDs arranged around the main headlights and Mulsanne-like double-horseshoe taillights.

Although the double-horseshoe taillight brake and night-time illumination is a neat touch, the pedestrian crash safety regulated front LEDs are not the last word in elegant design…

Still a charger

Hiding behind the Continental GT’s new face is the selfsame 6l W12 engine.

The VW sourced powerplant gains low friction internals and ancillaries, a digitally enhanced engine management system, whilst the boost regime’s two turbochargers are now of the low inertia variety.

Accumulated benefits of these engine upgrades add 12 units of power and 50Nm of peak rotational force, crediting the new Continental GT’s W12 engine with outputs of 423kW and 700Nm.

Bentley’s engineers carefully investigated the Continental GT’s structure and materials composition for excess weight, and managed to trim 65kg courtesy of new seats, more efficient sound deadening and some revised engine components.

Being both more powerful and lighter (not by much though) than the first-generation Continental GT, it is hardly surprising to find the new GT trimming 0.2 second off its predecessor’s benchmark 0-100km/h spring time.

Despite being capable of 318km/h (and 0-100km/h in 4.4 seconds) this new Continental GT is perhaps the most environmentally friendly four-around supercar around, boasting the ability to run on E85 bio-fuel – a trait first seen on its Supersports sibling.

Smaller V8 on the way

Early next year, Continental GT customers who are determined to save Polar bear cubs (by reducing their carbon footprint and preventing polar icecap degradation) can option their cars with a 4l V8 engine option.

Diminutive in size for a Bentley, the new V8 engine’s output details are still a secret.

Bentley has alluded to a 40% reduction in emissions and massively reduced fuel consumption compared with the standard W12.

Beyond the subtle styling upgrades, more efficient W12 engine and promise of a low-emission V8, Bentley’s reworked the new Continental GT’s cabin to be even more lounge-like.

The climate controlled front seats have been resculpted to provide more legroom for rear passengers (up by 46mm).

Possibly the new Continental GT’s most notable interior upgrade is its eight-inch touchscreen interface, combining dynamic navigation (buoyed by Google Maps) and a premium 11-speaker sound system from British audio specialist Naim.

The new Continental GT will be officially unveiled to plutocrats (and the public at large) during the Paris motor show over the first weekend of October.

Expect full details on the new 4l V8 by then.

Wheels24 will be at the show to bring you the latest coverage.


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