|Bentley Continental GT|
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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.
Inspired by the iconic Bentleys of the past, Bentley's design team under the leadership of Director of Design, Dirk van Braeckel, has created a thoroughly modern, sculptured body, built with advanced production technologies to ensure the highest standards of quality and body integrity.
Aluminium Super Forming technology is employed to create the front wings and the boot lid. This process heats the aluminium panels to nearly 500 degrees Celsius before shaping them by air pressure. By using a single sheet of aluminium, no seams or welding are required.
The latest body construction techniques deliver crisp, highly defined feature lines and form to every area of the exterior design. The familiar power lines and rear haunches - echoes of the original 1950s R-Type Continental - now have even sharper radii to create highly distinct surfaces, bringing the feel of a truly coachbuilt car to the new coupe.
The GT coupe's new look is bolder than ever. The classic Bentley matrix radiator grille is more upright, while the new headlamp design, in traditional four-lamp format, has exquisite jewel-like detailing including eye-catching, LED daylight-running lamps.
At the rear, Bentley signature 'floating' LED lamps extend around the corners of the wings, emphasising the new coupe's width and purposeful stance. The track is wider by41mm at the front and 48mm at the rear than the previous model. The bootlid design has a powerful 'double horse-shoe' motif, reminiscent of the new Bentley Mulsanne, while flared elliptical exhaust tailpipes reinforce the new GT's sporting credentials.
The shape of the new GT coupe's body is also more aerodynamic following extensive wind tunnel analysis. In conjunction with a range of extensive underbody refinements (including wheel arch and exhaust aerodynamic aids) the GT's coefficient of drag has been reduced to 0.33Cd and the lift at the front and rear axles has also been reduced to create greater stability at higher speeds.
The new GT is specified with 20-inch alloy wheels as standard, with, for the first time on the Continental family, the option to upgrade to 21-inch designs. Three styles of wheel are offered - a 20-inch five-spoke version and two 21-inch Elegant and split-rim Sports variations, which come in a variety of chromed and painted finishes.
With an entirely hand-crafted interior, the Continental GT's cabin sets new standards in refinement and luxury to create a stylish space in which up to four people can relax in total comfort.
The instrument panel and dashboard subtly echo the flying wings of the Bentley motif and are fashioned from the highest quality soft-touch leathers. New touchscreen technology and chrome-bezelled dials are housed within this dynamic cockpit area, which rises from the centre console in the form of dramatically surfaced 'wing' buttresses.
The striking and unique 'Cobra' design seats are supremely comfortable thanks to the introduction of the latest body-supporting materials which use complex foams to provide softness at first touch but with excellent support over longer journeys.
The seats can be specified with front-seat ventilation as well as a state-of-the-art massage system with 10 individual massage cells and individual side airbags are provided as standard for all passengers. Front seatbelts feature a new electrically-operated automatic presenter, making buckling-up effortless. Driver knee airbags are standard fitment.
The new Continental GT offers superb everyday usability. The new slim-line front seats with scalloped backs also provide a further 46mm of legroom for back-seat passengers and easy access to the rear cabin.
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 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-leadingCO2 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.
Both engines are coupled with a state-of-the-art, all-wheel drive system employing an advanced Torsen differential. This ensures safe yet dynamic sports car handling in all road conditions and all weathers.
In the new coupe, the power split has a 40:60 rear bias for a significantly more sporting feel in terms of handling and mid-corner acceleration. However, it can adjust instantaneously the power split between the front and rear wheels depending on the available grip. In addition, an uprated Electronic Stability Control (ESC) system provides additional security and grip whatever your driving style.
Throughout Bentley's history, iconic grand tourers have forged the marque's reputation. In the 1950s the beautiful R-Type Continental set new standards of performance and style. In 2003, Continental GT revolutionised the luxury coupe market, combining supercar performance and dynamism with remarkable everyday practicality.
Now, the new Continental GT coupe sets even higher standards in every area of design, craftsmanship and engineering.
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|Article||Image gallery (20)||Specifications|