Bentley launches 3rd Generation Continental GT and GT Convertible

Our Bureau | Updated on: Mar 21, 2019

More power and efficiency: Continental GT and GT Convertible in new avatars will be available globally by early 2020

New V8 engine is more powerful and yet more efficient; also many more driver-focussed tech features

Bentley is introducing two new versions of its third generation Continental GT and GT Convertible models this year. The luxury Grand Tourer is now available for customer order first in the US and in a phased manner in other markets by Q1 2020. Both V8 models are equipped with a new-generation 4.0-litre, twin-turbocharged engine developing 542 bhp (550 PS) of power and 770 Nm of torque. It is said to combine more power with greater range, plus a characterful V8 burble though the stylish quad exhaust pipes.

Designed, engineered and handcrafted in Crewe, Great Britain, the Continental GT V8 and GT V8 Convertible combine driver-focussed performance. Both cars feature 20-inch, 10-spoke painted alloys wheels, subtle V8 badging and a handcrafted interior. An official media release from Bentley says that the brand created the modern luxury Grand Tourer segment in 2003, with the launch of the first generation Continental GT and, sitting at the core of the ground-breaking Continental GT line-up, the new V8 models offer customers a unique breadth of Grand Touring abilities.

Performance & efficiency

Excellent weight distribution makes the dynamic V8 feel even more agile and responsive with a distinctive, higher revving engine personality of its own. The new-generation 4.0-litre, 32-valve V8 petrol engine features dual twin-scroll turbochargers located inside the ‘V’ of the engine, together resulting in a top speed of 318 kmph and 0-100 kmph in 4.0 seconds for the Coupe; and 0-100 kmph in 4.1 seconds for the Convertible. The official press release also added that the spirited performance from both eight-speed V8 models is complemented by refined efficiency, stemming partly from the ability of the engine to de-activate four of its eight cylinders in suitable conditions, without compromising the drive. The seamless change happens in just 20 milliseconds and is imperceptible to customers. Stop-Start technology, which operates at ‘near-to-stop’ speeds, is also available.

Bentley offers seven standard exterior bodywork colours, with an extensive palate of additional paint choices available. Both GT V8 and GT V8 Convertible are distinguished by quad exhaust pipes and subtle V8 badging to the front wings. The GT V8 Convertible’s tailored roof can be deployed or stowed in just 19 seconds, with the car travelling at speeds of up to 50 kmph.

The V8 models also employ the latest LED Matrix technology, while the design of the headlamps is inspired by the finest cut-crystal glasses. The result is similar to that of an illuminated cut gem, an effect which is magnified when the optional welcome sequence gradually illuminates the headlights as you approach the car.

Hand-crafted luxury

The Continental GT V8’s innovative, luxurious interior offers unrivalled Grand Touring refinement. It seamlessly integrates natural materials such as the highest quality leathers and rare, sustainably sourced veneers into the finest handcrafted cabin. Twenty-way adjustable leather seats are available in a monotone colour split on the GT V8 and GT V8 Convertible. Four further colour split options are available, together with Contrast Stitching, Piping and Hand Cross Stitch.

New Crown Cut Walnut adorns the V8 fascia and other areas, with the option of a variety of exquisite wood veneers. V8 models also feature a 10-speaker Bentley Audio system as standard pumping out 650 watts of entertainment.

At the heart of both the GT V8 and GT V8 Convertible dashboards are an advanced, fully digital, driver-focussed instrument panel and the optional Bentley Rotating Display. The latter features a 12.3-inch touchscreen housed in a three-sided unit, which revolves the veneer to reveal the touchscreen, as well as three elegant analogue dials.

Ride and handling

The different modes available via the Bentley Drive Dynamics selector offer the customer the full breadth of performance, from class-leading refinement and comfort to focussed handling in Sport mode. The Continental GT V8 and GT V8 Convertible are both equipped with front and rear hollow, lightweight anti-roll bars for exceptional handling while the technically advanced, adaptive chassis created for Bentley’s intelligent Dynamic Ride System is also available as an option.

The Dynamic Ride System controls ride comfort and lateral roll, cushioning passengers from excessive movement, as well as making the Continental GT V8 models feel precise. The air suspension uses three-chamber air springs which further improve ride comfort and the dynamic character. It has the scope to vary from sporting spring stiffness to luxury limousine refinement, depending on which mode is selected. An Active All-Wheel Drive System varies the front-to-rear torque split dependent on the driving situation. The Continental GT V8 will use rear-wheel drive as much as possible during normal driving for optimum efficiency and dynamic performance.

Electric Power-Assisted Steering provides excellent feedback to the driver. It utilises a variable rack ratio, allowing increased response with higher steering angles to aid manoeuvrability whilst maintaining excellent stability at high speeds. The V8 models are offered with a wide range of driver assistance features, such as Active Lane Assist, Traffic Jam Assist and Park Assist.

The Bentley statement adds that Continuous Damping Control optimises comfort and handling, by constantly adjusting the damper forces in response to road inputs, vehicle movement and driver demand.

Published on March 21, 2019
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