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More powerful, aggressive and tech focused Bentley Continental GT debuts


After a production run of nearly 14 years and a number of special edition models, Bentley has finally taken the wraps off its new Continental GT.

While previously spied undergoing testing on the road as well as pounding the Nürburgring, the official images confirms the spy shots in that the new GT incorporates styling from the EXP 10 Speed 6 Concept shown in Geneva two year ago, with more power and significantly updated in-car technology.

Based on the Volkswagen Automotive Group's brand-new MSB platform shared with the Porsche Panamera, the Continental GT boasts dimensions of 4 805 mm in overall length, a wheelbase increased by 110 mm to 2 856 mm, height of 1 392 mm and a width widen by 25 mm to 1 954 mm, yet tips the scales at 85 kg less than its predecessor due to extensive use of pre-formed aluminium.

Aesthetically, the GT retains the same coupe silhouette as before, but with shorter front and rear overhangs, a more aggressive appearance, and repositioning of the front wheels some 135 mm back. Aside from the new Matrix LED headlights, the rear lights now feature a slimmer oval look, with the same applying to the dual chrome tipped exhausts.

In addition to its new aluminium construction, the GT has also been revised underneath with the same 48-volt Drive Dynamics Control setup as the Bentayga, which allow for the choosing of four modes (Comfort, Bentley, Sport and Custom) which alters the ride, gearbox, throttle response and chassis.

As well as featuring electric power steering for the first time, the GT comes fitted as standard with three-chamber air suspension to back-up the standard 21-inch or optional 22-inch alloy wheels, new brakes with 420 mm discs, adaptive exhaust valve and Continues Damping Control that adjusts the dampers depending on road surfaces.

Further under the skin changes consist of a new Torque Vectoring system derived from the previous Continental GT3-R and Supersports, and a new Active All-Wheel Drive setup that replaces the old 40/60 power split, and instead varies torque between the front and rear axles.

Despite the raft of changes, the GT retains the long serving 6.0-litre twin-turbocharged W12 petrol engine, now with the TSI moniker, albeit revised with cylinder deactivation to bump power up from 434 kW to 467 kW, and torque from 720 Nm to 900 Nm.

Claimed to dispatch the 0-100 km/h mark in 3.7 seconds and reach a top speed of 333 km/h, the GT drops the old six-speed automatic gearbox for a brand-new eight-speed dual-clutch 'box said to provide quicker and smoother shifts. Bentley claims a combined fuel consumption of 12.2 L/100 km, an improvement over the previous model's 14.2 L/100 km.

No word has yet been on whether the Continental GT will offer a V8 engine as before, or indeed the twin-turbocharged 2.9-litre V6 used in the Porsche Panamera and new Cayenne. A plug-in hybrid model is however due at some stage, although its remains highly unlikely that the Bentayga's turbodiesel V8 will find its way into the GT.

Inside, the GT's interior is typical Bentley with extensive material options including natural leathers, sustainably sourced woods, hand-polished chrome, a Cotes de Genève metal finish, dual-wood veneers and a series of personalisation options as part of the bespoke Mulliner package. According to Bentley, the standard paint option consists of 17 choices, a total of 15 carpet options, eight veneers and 15 interior hides.

A choice of two technology packages with items such as Adaptive Cruise Control, Traffic Sign Recognition, Active Lane Keep Assist, City Emergency Braking, Night Vision with infrared camera, Heads-Up Display, Traffic Jam Assist and Surround View camera are also offered, with standard equipment consisting of 20-way heated, cooled and massaging leather seats, a 10-speaker 650 watt sound system and a brand new 12.3-inch retina quality touchscreen display with Apple CarPlay.

Like current VAG models, the GT also comes equipped with a digital instrument cluster and a innovate rotating screen that hides the infotainment system behind a veneer panel, while a third rotation replaces the display for three analogue gauges showing the outside temperature, compass and chronometer.

The Continental GT is due to make its world debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show next month with production commencing next year. No pricing has yet been revealed.

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