Bentley has unveiled the redesigned 2011 Continental GT
Despite looking almost identical to the 2003 original, every body panel on its 2011 Continental GT is brand new according to Bentley, and the new model has received a host of updates.
Changes include a wider body at the wheel arches, revised grille and a longer bonnet, new Mulsanne-inspired headlights, LED daytime running lights, a new diffuser, and reshaped bootlid.
The aluminium panels have received a new treatment to allow manufacture of larger pieces, and designers have also eliminated one whole body joint (where the front bumper previously met the wings) to give what exterior design boss Raul Pires calls a “more bespoke” look.
Under the bonnet, power is provided by a revised 6.0-litre W12 twin-turbocharged engine which produces 567hp (423kW) and 516 lb-ft (699Nm) of torque - an increase of 15hp (11kW) and 37 lb-ft (50Nm). It enables the car to accelerate from 0-100kph in 4.6 seconds, before hitting a top speed of 318kph. The car is 65kg lighter than its predecessor.
The extra power is still transmitted by a paddle-shift ZF six-speed automatic, but the latest version of that ’box has a ‘quickshift’ function which cuts shift times by 50% while providing a multiple downshift function.
Bentley engineers installed redesigned suspension uprights, a new steering system with electronic stability control, and a 40:60 spilt all-wheel drive system for better handling when pushed, and sends torque where needed on slippery surfaces.
Later next year, a new 4.0-litre V8 will be offered alongside the W12. Bentley says the engine will be more efficient and not destined for an entry-level model.
Inside, there is a new touchscreen infotainment system, a floating center stack, and higher quality materials. Thanks to slimmer front seats, rear seat passengers are awarded an extra two inches of legroom.
Like the luscious Bentley look? Autotrader has Bentleys for sale. Check them out.
Engine 6-litre twin-turbocharged W12
Max Power 567bhp / 423kW / 575PS @ 6000 rev/min
Max Torque 700Nm / 516lb/ft @ 1700 rev/min
Transmission ZF 6-speed automatic with quickshift and steering wheel-mounted paddleshift
Driveline Continuous all-wheel drive (40:60 rear bias)
Body construction Steel monocoque
Front brakes 405mm ventilated discs (optional 420mm Carbon Silicon Carbide, cross drilled)
Rear brakes 335mm ventilated discs (optional 356mm, Carbon Silicon Carbide, cross drilled)
Steering rack & pinion, power assisted, speed-sensitive ZF servotronic
Turns lock to lock 2.6 turns
Turning circle 11.3m
Front suspension Four link double wishbones, computer controlled self-levelling air suspension, with anti roll-bar.
Rear suspension Trapezoidal multi-link, computer-controlled self-levelling air suspension, with anti roll-bar.
Damping Continuous Damping Control, tuned for dynamic performance.
Wheelbase 2746 mm
Overall Length 4806 mm
Width (across body) 1944 mm, (including mirrors) 2227 mm
Overall Height 1404 mm
Fuel Tank 90 litres
Boot Volume 358 litres
Kerb Weight (EU) 2320 kg
Gross Vehicle Weight 2750 kg
Top Speed 318 km/h
0-100 km/h 4.6 secs