Bentley is bringing a new Continental GT to the Frankfurt Motor Show next month, but we get to see it now. The third generation Continental GT is slated to arrive in Europe as a 2018 model, but here in the US the new Continental GT will be a 2019 model.
The Continental GT has taken many styling cues from the EXP 10 Speed 6 concept with its sexy, yet muscular exterior. The new body is also lighter than the outgoing model, saving 176 pounds over the previous Continental W12 body. The Continental GT’s aluminum skin has been crafted using Super Formed technology – a technique working with aluminum heated to 500°C. This method allows designers to invoke more complex, sharply defined body lines. The Continental GT is the first production car ever to have an entire body side made from the Super Formed process.
The Continental GT’s profile is longer and lower due in part to the positioning of the front wheels 5-inches further forward, which allowed for a longer, lower nose. The rear of the Continental GT features taillights now shaped into ellipses, reflecting the silhouette of the exhaust tail pipes.
The lighting on the Continental GT uses the latest LED Matrix technology. The headlights are inspired by cut-crystal glasses with their internal surfaces that are transparent with sharply defined edges that catch the light like a diamond. The taillights also feature the cut-crystal effect.
Under the hood, Bentley’s 6.0-liter, twin-turbocharged W12 TSI engine is mated to a dual-clutch eight-speed transmission. The W12 engine generates 626 horsepower and 664 lb.ft. of torque. The latest Continental GT will reach 0-60 mph in 3.6 seconds and has a top speed of 207 mph. There’s also a new Sport Launch mode to deliver maximum acceleration through careful clutch pressure sensing and pre-loading when a race-style start is required by the driver.
A new Active All-Wheel-Drive System replaces the traditional 40:60 power delivery split between front and rear wheels and instead varies the front-to-rear torque split dependent upon the driving situation. In normal driving the Continental GT will use rear-wheel drive as much as possible. The Continental GT also gets a 48-volt Dynamic Ride System to improve its ride and handling in all road conditions.
Inside Bentley pulled out all the stops with the third generation Continental GT. For the first time, unique dual-veneer options are offered. Over 10 square meters of wood are used in each Continental GT, and it takes nine hours to create and fit the wooden inlays by hand. The 20-way adjustable seats in the new Continental GT feature cooling, heating and massage functions, while the bolsters retain the signature Bentley quilting. Buyers have a choice of three audio systems and there’s a new 12.3” display in the center console.
“We are the world leader in luxury mobility and our products and services define new luxury in the automotive world. The new Continental GT encapsulates our desire to innovate as well as celebrate our heritage and take the Bentley ownership experience to the next, unparalleled level.”
Bentley hasn’t announced the pricing for the 2019 Bentley Continental GT.