The rumors have already started to surface about the upcoming 2011 Bentley Continental and it appears as though the vehicle will be put on a much-needed diet.
Through the use of significantly more aluminum components for the chassis (which would see a spaceframe made of aluminum in the front and steel in the rear), the new Continental could weight up to 400 lbs less than the current model for a total of roughly $4,800 lbs – which is still a significant number.
Apparently the car will also use many components from the Audi A8, as opposed to the VW Phaeton. This includes a new Audi front axle that will deliver a wider front track and reduce the front over hand, giving it a longer wheelbase (with more interior room) and, ultimately, better handling.
The Conti will also borrow it’s air suspension and brake system for the A8.
Power is expected to increase for the twin-turbo W12 engine, with 580hp and 515 ft-lbs of torque for the “base” models and 650hp and 590 ft-lbs of torque for the Speed models. A 4.2-liter turbodiesel is also expected with 375hp ad 590 ft-lbs of torque, but it is unlikely to be offered in North America. A hybrid is also a possibility.
As for the styling, Bentley will apparently move forward with an evolutionary process and not a revolutionary one, so expect the new 2011 model to look mostly similar to the current lineup. This new body is, however, expected to be more aerodynamically efficient.
The Continental GT coupe is expected in early 2011 with the Flying Spur sedan coming in mid-2012 with a GTC convertible in 2013 and Speed models hitting the stage in 2015.