Designed, engineered and manufactured in Britain, the recently launched third-generation Bentley Continental GT combines spirited, focused performance with handcrafted luxury and cutting-edge technology.
At the heart of the new Continental GT sits an all-new, enhanced version of Bentley’s renowned 6.0-litre twin-turbocharged W12 TSI engine, mated – for the first time – to a dual-clutch 8-speed transmission for faster, more efficient gear changes. And a new, technically advanced, adaptive chassis uses Bentley’s intelligent 48-volt Dynamic Ride System to ensure responsiveness coupled to exceptional handling and refinement in all road conditions. The new system controls ride comfort and lateral roll, cushioning passengers from excessive movement as well as making the Continental GT feel effortlessly precise.
The muscular exterior design, created using revolutionary technology, results in a lightweight, yet stiff body that saves 80kg over the previous model. The engine is now positioned further back to improve weight distribution, resulting in driver-focused, dynamic performance.
While the Continental GT retains its original classic elegance, the new car is more sculptural and sharply defined, and takes much of its inspiration from the critically acclaimed EXP 10 Speed 6 concept car. To allow for such a bold reimagining the aluminium skin has been crafted using Super Formed technology: a precision technique working with aluminium heated to 500 °C, which has previously been used on Bentley fenders. This method allows designers to invoke more complex, sharply defined body lines and a deeper, sculpted haunch muscle. The Continental GT is the first production car ever to have an entire body side made from the Super Formed process.
Offering four seats and improved luggage capacity for genuine real-world usability, the Continental GT’s luxurious cabin is packed with exquisite details, such as unique ‘diamond in diamond’ leather upholstery. In addition, significant work has gone into harmonising the extensive portfolio of 15 colours across hides and carpets.
An advanced, fully digital, driver-focused instrument panel and Bentley Rotating Display for the driver are among the suite of innovations. The latter features an impressive 12.3” touchscreen housed in a three-sided unit, which revolves the veneer to reveal the touchscreen as well as three elegant analogue dials.
Interior design is tailored specifically to the target group with unrivalled attention to detail. The cabin seamlessly integrates cutting-edge onboard technology with the finest handcrafted natural materials. The result is an exquisite, harmonised, connected and luxurious space.
The Continental GT’s profile is longer and lower due in part to the positioning of the front wheels at 135mm further forward, which in turn allows the bonnet to be extended and the nose to be lowered. However, the key signature lines of the original Continental GT still dominate, with the ‘power line’ travelling from the headlights to the muscular rear haunch. Here there is a radical styling departure, with the taillights now shaped into ellipses, reflecting the silhouette of the exhaust tail pipes below them.
For the full article see Habitat #268 November / December 2018