Even though it shares a name with the model that has been around since 2003, the Continental GT was completely redesigned for 2018. The big coupe now shares its underpinnings with the sporty Porsche Panamera instead of the stately Volkswagen Phaeton, a sign of Bentley’s new focus on performance and agility. With a spate of other luxury coupes recently bursting onto the scene, Bentley really had to work their magic on the new Continental GT to keep it competitive.
While still a 6.0-litre W12, the new Continental’s twin-turbocharged powerplant is all new. Outputs are rated at 626 bhp and an equally-impressive 664 lb-ft of torque. Paired with a new 8-speed dual clutch gearbox, Bentley claims the new engine can send the car to 100 km/h in just 3.7 seconds, and on to a maximum velocity of 207 mph. Compared to the slab-sided first-gen Continental GT, the new model is lower, sleeker, and more aerodynamic. Combine this new svelte profile with an over-80 kilo weight loss, and that new W12 has a much easier job of motivating the big coupe, resulting in a 20% more efficient car.
To ensure a sporty-yet-stable driving experience, a new all-wheel drive system sends 100% of the power to the rear wheels under normal driving, while being able to engage the front wheels the exact moment any slippage occurs. Helping the car stay flat in the corners is a fancy new active roll control system called Bentley Dynamic Ride. This system continuously monitors the vehicle’s suspension settings and adjusts the anti-roll bars and damper settings to keep things as flat and composed as possible.
The interior of the GT has been thoroughly updated and modernized as well. One of the most notable improvements is also an industry first -the very clever Bentley rotating display. Drivers can rotate the centre panel on the dash to show either a large, 12.3-inch touchscreen display, a plain wood veneer, or a 3-guage cluster. Of course, that’s not all that’s changed. Along with gorgeous contemporary styling, Bentley has added a suite of driver’s assistance programs includes lane assist, night vision, and traffic sign recognition, in addition to other features. This new Continental GT has its work cut out for it, competing with the likes of the new DB11, Ferrari Portofino, and Rolls-Royce Wraith, but it will surely maintain the strong sales of its predecessors.