AutoGuide News Blog
The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
Numbers like this were unthinkable only a few years ago, but it’s amazing what a little federal regulation can do to spur an engineering department — or industry in this case.
The new Bentley Continental GT and GTC V8 still doesn’t have a scheduled release date, but that hasn’t stoped the British automaker from releasing more photos of the two upcoming models to whet our appetite.
The new V8-powered Continental features a 4.0L, twin-turbo engine with 500-hp and 487 lb-ft of torque with an eight-speed automatic transmission. With the new V8 engine, the GT reportedly can get up to 33-mpg on the highway, which is extremely impressive for a vehicle with 500-hp.
On the outside, the V8 model will have slightly different exterior features than its W12 counterpart including a glossy black grille with chrome frame and center bar, a red enameled Bentley “B” badge, and a black mesh three-segment front bumper.
Even though US pricing still hasn’t been announced, the UK buyers will be paying a base price of around $196,215 (£123,850) while the rest of Europe has a starting price of around $179,000 (€136,000) based on today’s conversion rates. We expected American pricing to be closer to $175,000 than $200,000.
GALLERY: Bentley Continental GT and GTC V8
Bentley recently found an interesting way to prove the all-wheel drive capabilities of its Continental sports car, taking to the sport of skijoring out at the Switzerland Alpine passes.
Skijoring, a winter sport that usually involves a person on skis being pulled by a horse or dogs, can sometimes be seen with a motor vehicle, but not commonly. Especially not with a luxury car like a Bentley Continental. Nonetheless, the British automaker teamed up with 16-time skijoring world champion Franco Moro to show off what the 570-hp Continental GT out in the snow. And of course it was recorded for all of us to enjoy on Youtube.
The event took place at a joring track in Rougermont, Switzerland, and we reckon this was the fastest Moro has ever experienced skijoring – around 40-mph.
Just out the two videos after the break.
GALLERY: Bentley Continental Skijoring
Bespoke means that provided you have a specific quest, as well as time and money, just about anything is possible. So, how about a one-off pink Bentley?
Actually a factory job, commissioned by California concessionaire Bentley San Diego, this unique Continental GT was built to contribute awareness to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure breast cancer foundation and appropriately perhaps, the car’s codename is ‘Cure.’
The 575 hp, W12 powered beast, capable of accelerating from 0-62 mph in just 4.6 seconds, will have a portion of the proceeds from its sale, go to the foundation to help further breast cancer research and prevention.
There likely won’t ever be another Bentley like this car, thus whoever ends up with it, will not only have helped contribute to a good cause, they’ll also never have to worry about losing their vehicle in a parking lot.
The Porsche 911 GT2 is famous for being a no compromise sports car, but Bentley‘s own offering, set to wear the GT2 moniker, won’t exactly follow in the P-car’s rowdy footsteps.
The Bentley Continental GT2 will shed an estimated 440 lbs, but will still weigh a gargantuan 4,850 lbs when it goes on sale in 2012. The model is said to make about 650 horsepower and reach speeds in excess of 200 mph. The GT2 will be significant in that it will rely on a two-wheel drive setup, but the platform used by the Continental was expressly engineered for an all-wheel drive setup.
Bentley CEO Wolfgang Durheimer confirmed the vehicle’s existence but did not specify whether the car would use a twin-turbo V8 or V12 setup. Durheimer also said that the GT2 will be a replacement for the current Supersport version (above) of the Continental GT.
Specialty tuner Imperium prides itself on creating one-off bespoke custom vehicles for high-end clients, working closely with the vehicle’s owner to make their wildest dreams come true. Most recently Imperium decided to reveal a customer’s Bentley Continental GT in order to show off to the world what the possibilities are when you bring your vehicle to them. The end result is a completely custom Continental GT, featuring plenty of one-off parts including its body kit and wheels.
Imperium’s designers began by sketching concept art design for the client, working back and forth until this well-known UK entrepreneur was satisfied with how the end result would look. The unique one-off body kit consists of front and rear apron upgrades, carbon-exposed side skirts, a subtle trunk spoiler and a rear carbon diffuser. All of the body components were manufactured in the UK using lightweight carbon fiber and has a flawless fit and finish.
Similar to the kit, the wheels are one-off and designed specifically to cater to the wants of the client, sporting an aggressive mesh design that truly gives the Continental GT a sporty look. Imperium also increased the performance of the Continental GT by equipping it with its own sport exhaust system (you guessed it, custom built to the client’s preference) and ECU upgrade. No power numbers were mentioned however. And of course, suspension and brake modifications were also done to the Continental GT to complete the look.
As with any bespoke vehicle, the interior has been upgraded on the Continental GT to the client’s choosing, but no details were mentioned. Imperium did state that they’re willing to work with all forms of luxurious leathers, ultra-suede fabric, carbon fiber, wood trim and more to give the customer what they want. More importantly though, each interior package comes with an individually-built steering wheel. Pricing? Don’t bother asking, it wasn’t mentioned. But we’re sure there’s a serious price to pay for having something that’s uniquely yours.
GALLERY: Imperium Bentley Continental GT
Joining Bentley‘s 6.0L twin-turbo W12 powerplant in the near future is a rumored 4.0L V8 that will be more efficient with lower emissions. And now it seems that Bentley will officially unveil the new V8 to the public at next year’s Detroit Auto Show, which will be a nice followup to the refreshed GTC that is planned to be shown at Frankfurt this September.
According to Consumer Search, the lighter engine in the front bay will give the Continental GT a sportier feel while the exhaust will emit a very satisfying note.
Specific details on the new turbocharged V8 have yet to be released, but it is certain to deliver significantly fewer thrills than the twin-turbo W12 engine now in use. But paired with what is expected to be a significantly lower price, this new offering should deliver a healthy sales spike for the British brand.
GALLERY: 2011 Bentley Continental GT
[Source: Consumer Search]
Mulliner, Bentley‘s long-suffering Ministry Of Coachbuilding, has introduced a new “styling specification” for the Continental GT. Because calling it a body kit would be too crass.
But that’s what it is, essentially: a new front bumper, a rear diffuser, a little spoiler on the trunk, smaller side mirrors, and side “extension blades” with the Bentley logo carefully painted by wizened artisan craftsmen (or robots). And it goes without saying that the entire package is made from glorious, silky-smooth velour carbon fiber—high-gloss, black, laminated, and guaranteed to give your 5,115-lb. 12-cylinder luxury cruiser some much-needed performance cred.
Customers get an array of personalized options from the factory (as is expected at this lofty price range), including a selection of 21″ wheels in contrasting black and brushed silver. The Mulliner Styling Specification was designed in-house, by Bentley’s head of exterior design Raul Pires.
GALLERY: Bentley Continental GT Mulliner
Thanks to Kate and William’s recent wedding, the royals have never been hotter. They seem to be popping up everywhere – including the new Cars 2 movie.
Coming to theaters June 24th, Disney’s Cars 2 will feature The Queen (voiced by Vanessa Redgrave) and Prince Wheeliam. These new characters get the royal treatment. The Queen is a regal old Rolls-Royce, outfitted with a royal blue-and-white two-tone paint job and topped with a crown on her roof, while Prince Wheelium is a sleek Bentley Continental GT. They make their appearance as the World Grand Prix takes to the streets of London, England, where they preside over the finish line with Sir Miles Axlerod.
As if Bentley needed yet another excuse to launch a special edition of their Continental GT line, the Continental Supersports Ice Speed Record edition will debut at the 2011 Geneva Auto Show. The model, released in a 100 unit production run, will commemorate Finnish rally hero Juha Kankkunen’s record setting 202 mph blast on ice in an E85 powered Conti.
A new intake, intercooler and exhaust system help the turbocharged 12-cylinder motor pump out 631 horsepower and rocket to 60 mph in 3.8 seconds. E85 can be run as a “green” alternative fuel, and buyers will also be swaddled in the finest hides available. Check back tomorrow for live pictures.
It isn’t very often that we get a chance to see what goes on behind the scenes, when it comes to styling cars, especially ultra exclusive vehicles like the Bentley range.
Now, thanks to an exhibit entitled “An Unbroken Line,” unveiled at the company’s headquarters in Crewe, Cheshire, United Kingdom, now we do.
The exhibit follows the creation of Bentley’s latest offerings, including the Continental GT and Mulsanne, from styling sketches to full blown reality, including computer design renderings and full-size, highly complex clay models. The exhibit also touches on engineering aspects, including how aluminum superforming (a technique commonly used in the aerospace industry), is used to shape the final contours of the actual car.
In addition, there’s also an element of heritage in the exhibit, drawing from 90 years of design and creativity, looking at how signature ‘Bentley’ traits, such as sweeping curves on the flanks of the car; the infamous ‘Teddy Bear Ears’ and inverted needles on instruments, came into being and why many are still used to this very day.
“What I particularly like about the exhibition is the sheer number and variety of interesting objects we’ve been able to bring together for the very first time, it is quite a collection,” mentioned Dick Van Braeckel, Bentley’s Director of Design and Styling, during a recent statement about the exhibit.
“It is also fascinating to see just how talented the early Bentley designers really were – the beauty of their concept sketches and sheer precision of their technical drawings still inspires my own team to this day.”
The exhibit will run throughout 2011 and although not open to the general public, enthusiast group tours on certain Fridays can be arranged in advance. For more information, click on the link below.
Apart from confirmation from Bentley that the British luxury auto brand will deliver a new V8 engine in the near future, no official details are known about the powerplant.
According to a new report, however, the 4.0-liter unit is set to be offered in two performance levels. A single-turbo version will help deliver a more attractively priced (and more fuel efficient) alternative with 415-hp, while a performance-oriented 555-hp twin-turbo version is designed for those in search of serious acceleration.
Currently the Continental GT is motivated by a 567-hp twin-turbo W12.
They may not have the space needed to deliver meals to the elderly on a regular basis, but Meals on Wheels has never looked as flashy as it did recently when food was dropped off to the elderly in a Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder and a Bentley Continental GT.
In Pascack Valley, N.J., the Meals on Wheels program got a lift from Gotham Dream Cars, an exotic-car rental company and club. The idea behind this pairing was to raise public awareness of older people who can’t leave their homes to buy food on their own. “The support of our community is essential to combating senior hunger in the area,” said Jeanne Martin, the director of the Pascack Valley Meals on Wheels program.
Also giving the volunteers a helping hand (or wheels) were a Dodge Viper SRT-10, a Mercedes-Benz S550, a Range Rover Supercharged and a Maserati Quattroporte, giving a whole new meaning to the term “fast food.” And Gotham Dream Cars did more than just donate cars for the day – they also pledged to donate 10 percent of its December gift certificate sales to the charitable organization.
[Source: New York Times]
Bentley‘s new V8 powered variant of the Continental GT may get an Audi derived dual clutch gearbox. Engineers are apparently looking into solutions that will allow the Conti’s unibody structure to accept the Audi S-tronic transmission, which is sized differently than the ZF automatic used in the W12 car.
While the V8 model is expected to be the least expensive version of the Continental GT, the S-tronic gearbox should give it a competitive edge over the more leisurely W12 powertrain. According to Bentley, buyers in the United States have a strong affinity for V8 engines, while Chinese buyers gravitate towards the Flying Spur sedan. The Chinese market buys 40% of the world’s Flying Spurs, and the new model will apparently be geared towards consumers in Asia, including similar proportions to the current model.