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The name of the game at CES is cool new technology, so naturally computer software maker QNX is showing off its latest, oversized, infotainment system in. Not just in any car either, but a Bentley Continental GT Convertible.
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
Taking their first Le Mans victory in 1924, the Bentley Brothers and their powerful, heavy, rugged, and reliable Bentley Blower dominated motorsports in the 1920s, outclassing rival Bugatti and its more elegant, lightweight, but considerably more fragile machines.
Despite Volkswagen ownership and the passing of many decades, Bentley cars still retain this trait today. Since 2005, Bentley has provided customers an opportunity to experience the power of new Bentley vehicles in a controlled environment atop a frozen Finnish lake. Known as the “Power on Ice” driving experience program, this year, Bentley instructors will provide excitement and education as customers experience the maximum potential of the new 621-hp Continental Supersport and 567-hp Continental GT.
According to Bentley, the success of “Power on Ice” warranted expansion and for 2012, Bentley will be launching driver training programs in North America as well. No dates and locations have been released so far, Bentley has only said that the program will deliver an experience “like no other.” That statement is hard to refute when we’re considering a track day behind the wheel of 5,000+ lbs. luxury grand tourers with more than 600 horsepower at your disposal.
Check out the Bentley North American Driving Programme promo video; slow-motion action shots, dubstep and all.
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
Very few car companies can lay claim to have a twin-turbo charged, 500-hp, V8 as their entry level vehicle, but Bentley can.
At the 2012 North American International Auto Show, the Bentley Continental GT V8 made its World premiere. While the original W12 version continues in production, this new V8 will be offered at a lower price point to combat the very best super-coupes from its German rivals.
The GT V8 looks very similar to any other Continental GT, both inside and out, so essentially this is a powertrain story. The power comes courtesy of a 4.0-liter, twin-turbo, V8. Maximum output is 500-hp and 487-lb/ft of torque. Like all previous Continental GT’s, the new V8 model also features all-wheel drive. The only transmission on offer is a close-ratio, 8-speed automatic with paddle shifters.
The performance numbers as you’d expect are pretty impressive. 0-60 mph sprint takes just 4.6 seconds, while top speed is a remarkable 188 mph.
Perhaps even more impressive is its fuel economy. On a highway cruise, this GT V8 can achieve 33-mpg. It can manage that because of its cylinder-deactivation system. So when you’re simply cruising, it will shut down four of its cylinders. So this Bentley can actually run for 500-miles on a single tank of petrol. Could this be a sensible Bentley!
2011 was a great year for this British manufacturer, recording their second-highest year of sales in its history, with 7003 cars delivered globally, of which 1876 units found homes in America.
With this new entry-level GT V8 (No prices given, but expect those to be over $150,000), and also the GTC V8 convertible going on sale this year, Bentley sales might surpass all their previous records.
GALLERY: 2013 Bentley Continental GT V8
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
British car firm Bentley has made the most of its Continental platform with a coupe, convertible and a sedan version available. However, a coachbuilder by the name Touring Superleggera had found a void and decided to fill it.
Their model is called the Flying Star and it is a wagon version based on the underpinnings of the Continental GTC convertible. So while you still have all the mechanical goodness of the stock Bentley, you now get a custom body that will be built in a limited number of just 19 vehicles worldwide.
Demand for the Flying Star must be quite strong, as its manufacturer has just recently invested in more tooling and workforce. Now they can build five cars at the same time, but since each car takes 4000-hours to complete, it will still take about six-months to complete your car.
As you can probably imagine, this conversion is not cheap since the price of the ‘basic’ model starts at $790,000 (you can easily buy all-three factory produced models of the Continental for that price).
Touring Superleggera has built three cars thus far, and will be displaying this model at the Qatar Motor Show at the end of January. So if you’re in the area, do check it out and send us some pictures.
Apple’s iPad has certainly become a huge success and now every company in the world has jumped on the bandwagon to reach out to as many potential consumers as possible. Bentley is one of those companies, releasing an iPad app for their new 2011 Bentley Continental GT.
The app features plenty of high-res photos of the 2011 Bentley Continental GT, with the ability to zoom in and out in order to admire the new Continental GT’s body lines. And of course, all the images are easily sharable through the iPad with a simple push of your finger.
Even though the app centers around the new Continental GT, users can also check out the new flagship Mulsanne and learn a little bit more on the history of Bentley. Tons of multimedia has been packed in a quick and easily downloadable app – get to it, we know you have a few minutes to kill.
GALLERY: Bentley Continental GT iPad App
Official press release available after the break.
Bentley‘s Continental GT is arguably the ultimate luxury daily driver. You get plenty of performance with all the amenities expected in a pure luxury automobile. In the looks department it is, however, a bit conservative. Enter Vorsteiner, a company that specializes in high quality carbon fiber parts for a variety of Porsche, BMW, Lexus, and Mercedes-Benz vehicles. And now we feast our eyes on their Continental GT.
The outside of this silver bullet sports Vorsteiner’s BR9 kit which consists of a dry carbon front bumper cover with chin spoiler, rear bumper cover with diffuser, side skirts and rear deck lid spoiler. They opted for a simple yet elegant 22-inch V-101 monoblock design to adorn each corner of the car.
It’s always nice to see a U.S.-based company pushing out some of the highest quality products for European luxury rides.
GALLERY: Vorsteiner BR9 Bentley Continental GT
[Source: Vivid Racing]
Been holding off on that flat screen TV? What about that new watch? Go ahead… buy freely and don’t worry about your job, the economy is going to turn around any day now.
That, anyway, is the theory that British luxury car maker Bentley is putting forward… and counting on.
According to a report in Automotive News, which cites Bentley marketing boss Stuart McCullough, Bentley is so confident in the turn-around in the economy that it has moved up the launch of the next generation Continental GT to coincide with the surge in sales. The Conti GT, initially scheduled to make its way in to dealerships in 2011, is now scheduled to appear in 2010.
This would most-likely move the entire product range up a year, with the Flying Spur due out in late 2011 or early 2012 and the GTC (convertible) model arriving in 2013.
[Source: Automotive News via AutoBlog]
German tuning house Hamann Motorsport has just released details of its new Imperator tuning package for the Bentley Continental GT and Speed models.
The package includes a complex widebody kit made up of 16 pieces, including a front bumper with two LED daytime running lights, side skirts, a new rear bumper and diffuser, a rear spoiler and an eight-piece fender flare kit.
Hamann engineers also set about to match the looks of the Imperator with some serious performance, which isn’t hard when you’re working with a twin-turbo 6.0-liter W12 engine. Thanks to an ECU tune as well as a new exhaust system (including high-flow catalytic converters, an x-pipe and new mufflers) the GT model gets a boost from 560hp to 630hp at 6100 rpm and torque rises from 479 ft-lbs to 553 ft-lbs at 1600 rpm.
The power increase for the GT Speed raises it’s already impressive numbers into supercar territory with 650hp (up from 610hp) and 612 ft-lbs of torque ( up from 553 ft-lbs) at just 1600 rpm.
The Imperator kit also includes a new control unit for the Bentley air ride suspension that lowers the front of the car by 30mm and the rear by 20mm, helping it handle better and look meaner on a nice set of Hamann wheels.
Hamann offers its motorsports-inspired Edition Race wheels in a 21×10.5-inch fitment front and rear with 295/30/21 tires. This setup does, however, require 5mm wheel spacers (included).
For an even more extreme look (and why not?), Hamman also offers a new wheel, the Anniversary Race, in a 22-inch setup. This setup comes in a 22×10.5-inch front and 22×11-inch rear fitment with 265/35/22 front tires and 305/30/22 rear tires.
As always, Hamann will craft whatever interior the customer wants. The company also offers a standard silver clear-coated carbon fiber accessory kit with 10 pieces including the center console, center stack, gauge surrounds, passenger dash insert, door inserts, ashtray covers, shift knob and paddle shifters.
An aluminum pedal set and sport steering wheel are also available for the Continental GT and GT Speed.
Hamann has already produced one of the limited edition Imperator models and it is currently on sale at the company’s Dubai offices.
For more details on the Imperator kit visit: