Bentley shows off next generation Continental GT

James Marshall
August 30, 2017

The third generation Bentley Continental GT will make its global debut at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show in September.

We think "WO" Bentley would approve.

Dashboard appears just as flush veneer until engine is switched on...

Under the bonnet Bentley has fitted a 6.0-litre, twin-turbocharged W12 petrol engine producing 626bhp and 664 lb/ft of torque, which means the GT can get from 0-60mph in 3.6 seconds and on to a top speed of 207mph.

To help the new grand tourer shift through its gears swiftly and smoothly, Bentley has also employed a new eight-speed, dual-clutch transmission. The old 60:40 rear-to-front all-wheel drive setup has been replaced with a smarter on-demand system that defaults to rear-drive under regular conditions, before shunting torque to the front axle when the situation demands it.

Along with the reworked powertrain, the new auto rides on a totally new chassis that benefits from the 48-V roll-control system popping up across the Volkswagen Group.

Not only does this give you a super-smooth ride even when you're in a hurry, says the maker, keeping the wheels perpendicular to the road also significantly improves steering precision - an important factor in a auto this size.

Sitting on the new MSB platform from Bentley's owners the Volkswagen Group, the new Continental GT has a sleeker and sportier design, a more practical cabin and aims to be more agile without compromising luxury. It is made using Super Formed technology, where aluminium is heated to 500 degree Celsius. This results in more complex, sharp body lines and muscular design. The old Continental GT had 56:44 front to rear while the new vehicle gets a more balanced 53:47. Toward the rear, the haunches over the rear wheels become even more pronounced while the taillamps adopt the same elliptical shape as the tailpipes. And though this latest model bears distinct similarities to the vehicle it replaces, it's also perfectly clear that, from the wheels up, it's an entirely new motorcar.

The steering now features electrical assistant with variable rack ratio - Bentley says that its new system provides increased feedback for the driver while smoothing out some of the disturbances in the road. 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. Called a "diamond in diamond" quilt, the outer diamonds are quilted, but the inner diamonds are embroidered for an extraordinarily soft feel.

The 20-way adjustable seats have smooth centre panels to allow maximum efficiency for the cooling, heating and massage functions, while the bolsters have the signature Bentley quilting - but with a twist.

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