The original, which launched in 2003, is said to have established a new market segment for luxury grand tourers. This latest model is according to Bentley improved in all areas, boasting a new chassis, engine, transmission and suspension, and could even outsell the Bentayga SUV that has been such a success for the brand.
Bentley CEO Wolfgang Durheimer emphasised the importance of the Continental GT to the luxury brand, telling those gathered for the unveiling that “today is a defining moment for Bentley Motors.” He added that the Continental GT, designed, engineered and built in Britain, “signals a milestone on the road to future success for Bentley.”
On the road the new Continental GT is described by engineering head Rolf Frech as sharper, lighter faster and more refined than its predecessor. The 6.0-litre W12 twin turbo engine is all new, with 635hp and 900Nm of torque on tap, and matched to a dual-clutch eight-speed transmission. While a large luxury car the Continental GT will still crest 62mph from rest in just 3.7 seconds and go on to a maximum speed of 206mph.
Plug-in model to follow
Combined cycle fuel consumption is 23.2mpg with CO2 emissions of 270g/km – the most efficient version of the W12 yet. Further powertrains will join the range including for the first time a plug-in hybrid version. Chassis upgrades, meanwhile, include the adoption of the 48v electrically powered Dynamic Ride system first seen in the Bentayga, together with an all-new air spring and damper system.
Notable in the completely redesigned interior are a fully digital driver display and a three-sided rotating section in the centre of the fascia. One side matches the wood veneer of the rest of the fascia, the second houses three analogue duals and the third a 12-inch touchscreen infotainment system.