Bentley’s popular Continental GT will get an upgrade for 2018, along similar visual lines as the EXP 10 Speed 6 hybrid concept which was revealed in 2015.
While the styling is similar, rumour has it that the EXP 10 Speed 6 will actually shortly go into production as a slightly smaller model than the Continental marque. Bentley said at the time that the EXP 10 would find its way into production sometime between 2018 and 2020.
The Bentley Continental is a luxury competitor to the likes of Aston Martin and higher end Mercedes, and the new Continental GT will of course continue to use the best materials, while the increased wheelbase will give the 2+2 seating a more roomy feel. To be more precise, the wheelbase is more or less the same, but it’s the increased rear overhang that gives the extra space for passengers and luggage.
Bentley chose the ever-popular Frankfurt Motor Show to reveal their new third-gen Continental, which sits on the MSB platform. New 48-volt electrics help to power the active anti-roll bars, which are part of the Bentley Dynamic Ride system. The system is designed to cross the barrier that can inhibit a car from successfully being both a sports car and long haul touring car. The system can input torque up to 959 lb ft per anti-roll bar, with cornering activating the system to ‘push down’ on the outer wheels and ‘lift up’ the natural downward force of the inner wheels – the whole thing combined should give stability and a smoother cornering experience. Couple this with a new air suspension system with 60 per cent more volume of air than previous, and you can expect the ride to be as luxurious as the interior itself.
The new Continental GT will get Bentley’s top engine, the 6-litre W12, with 626bhp and 900Nm of torque able to produce a 0-60mph of just 3.6 seconds. Top speed will be 207mph. Even more impressive is the Bentley claim that one tank of petrol will get the GT a distance of around 500 miles.
The infotainment system also boasts an Apple-style retina display that is initially hidden when the engine is turned off behind a wood veneer fascia. This will rotate to reveal the good stuff once the engine is fired up. The movement doesn’t end here though; the dash display can rotate further to reveal a more traditional analogue chronometer as well as a compass and outside air temp gauge. The whole thing has 40 moving parts and operates with 2 separate gearboxes – so if you’re of a more old school variety and berate modern cars for having too much that can go wrong, this might not be the model for you…
Customisation of the interior look, feel and materials could occupy a lot of a customer’s time, with a choice of 15 different hide finishes and the ability to select different colours for the dash for various levels of stand-out (or blend-in) contrast. I must say those seats do look very inviting for a long haul grand tourer though.
We don’t yet know when the new Bentley Continental GT will be available in 2018 – so plenty of time to ponder over interior materials yet – but ordering is open now and some dealers have already received customer deposits.