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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.
Tires can make a huge difference in your car’s handling and safety. Additionally, with the right rubber, you can enjoy a more comfortable driving experience and even save money.
The right tires depends a lot on how you drive, and in what weather conditions. To help you pick, Consumer Reports has released a list of the best tires in several different categories: All Season, Performance All Season, Ultra High Performance All-Season, Ultra High Performance Summer, Winter and Performance Winter.
All-season tires are the standard equipment for most manufacturers. They’re the ideal combination of performance in wet and dry conditions. Additionally, they’re known to be very comfortable and quiet compared to performance tires.
The top 4 All-Season tires for cars are:
Continental ProContact EcoPlus+
Michelin Energy Saver A/S
Hankook Optimo H727
Goodyear Assurance TripleTred
The Continental, Michelin and Hankook tires all scored a rating of 82 in Consumer Reports test, while the Goodyear tires netted a score of 80.
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
The 1970s was definitely an interesting era, with good ‘ol disco all over America. And nothing was more luxurious and smooth back in the ’70s then a Lincoln Town Coupe.
Those looking to relive those days can now get their hands on this pristine 1978 Lincoln Continental with just 61,745-miles on the odometer and an asking price of $19,900. Finished in a Midnight Blue Metallic shade on the outside, it’s the Saddle interior that we can’t get over on this retro resale, with the back seat looking like it came out of a VIP room in a 1970s strip club.
Under the hood, this 1978 Lincoln Continental is no slouch either, featuring Ford’s 460-cubic inch V8 mated to their indestructible C6 three-speed automatic transmission. What’s even crazier is reading off the list of options that is on this Continental, giving it a big-dollar price back in 1978: illuminated entry system, defroster group, tilt steering wheel, cruise control, 6-way power bench seat, dual map light, AM/FM/8-track stereo, interval wipers, appearance protection group, right-hand remote control mirror, power lock convenience group, forged aluminum wheels and body side moldings.
This awesome throwback to the disco era would definitely make for a great conversation piece, imaging packing five of your friends with yourself and taking it out on a cruise in town.
GALLERY: 1978 Lincoln Continental V8
[Source: RK Motors]
Set to make their world debut at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show, Bentley has released some photos of their new V8-powered Continental GT Coupe and GT Convertible. Powered by a new 4.0L, twin-turbocharged V8 powerplant with 500-hp, Bentley claims that the new V8 will also deliver 40-percent better fuel economy.
The new V8 Continentals will also sport red-enamelled Bentley badges, originally seen only on performance-tuned Red Label cars. The new V8 was developed in collaboration with Audi, and features a cylinder management system that shuts down four of the eight cylinders at cruising speeds, maximizing fuel efficiency.
The new engine is mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission while the drivetrain is also equipped with stop-start technology to save fuel. Official numbers haven’t been announced yet on the V8-powered GT and GTC, but estimates are coming in at around 25-mpg, which is pretty impressive for a 500-hp luxury sports car.
The exterior of the V8-powered Continental has some styling changes too, with different exhaust tips, black gloss matrix grille, chrome frame and center bar. Both models will come with 20-inch wheels standard, with 21-inchers available as an option while the six-spoke design of the wheels are exclusive tot he V8 variant.
Interior choices include two-tone leather combinations, dark eucalyptus wood veneers and a new cloth headliner. U.S. pricing is expected at the Detroit Auto Show reveal.
GALLERY: Bentley Continental V8
Though there are no real surprises, Bentley has made their new Continental GTC official, detailing the new luxury convertible in a comprehensive press releases. The four-seater convertible features a seven-bow, three-layer fabric roof that’s available in eight different colors. It can fold and rise in just 25 seconds and works at speeds up to 20-mph.
Standard features for the convertible also include a heated glass rear window and reading light in the liner when the roof is down while the heating/ventilation system will automatically adjust the air distribution and volume accordingly.
For the first time, 20-inch wheels will be standard for the GTC while Bentley will also offer three different styles of 21-inch wheels available as an option. It’ll feature Bentley’s infamous 6.0L twin-turbocharged W12 engine under the hood along with a new Quickshift transmission putting all 567-hp and 516 lb-ft of power to the ground.
Inside, the new interior features a bold, sweeping dashboard and instrument panel finished in premium soft-touch leather, while a choice of 17 different colors are available for your picking. In the center console, a new 30GB infotainment system is touchscreen and includes satellite navigation and Google Maps compatibility.
The new Continental GTC is now available for order through your local Bentley dealership.
GALLERY: New 2012 Bentley Continental GTC
Bentley has officially revealed the all-new Continental GTC with updates similar to those of the GT coupe. Originally hitting the market in 2006, the revamped second generation GTC is set to officially debut at next month’s Frankfurt Motor Show.
There are no real surprises to the new GTC, as it was heavily anticipated to receive the same treatment as the GT coupe, but it will have a weight savings of about 154-lbs compared to the first iteration.
Standard to the second generation GTC will be stylish 20-inch wheels, with three styles of 21-inchers available as options. Compared to the first generation, the new GTC will feature a 40:60 rear torque bias as opposed to the original’s 50:50, helping minimize understeer during hard cornering. It will be powered by a 6.0L twin-turbocharged W12 powerplant with 567-hp and 516 lb-ft of torque and with a weight savings of 154-lbs the convertible can hit 60 mph in just 4.5 seconds.
The new Continental GTC is now available to order with first deliveries starting in late 2011. MSRP is set at $212,800.
GALLERY: 2012 Bentley Continental GTC
Pope Paul VI was the first pope to travel the world, visiting Asia, Africa, and the Americas extensively. When he came to the USA for the first time, he needed something fitting to represent the Catholic Church—and this Lincoln Continental served nicely.
This Continental was built upon a request from the Vatican, who needed a ride for Paul VI’s address to the United Nations in 1965. To fulfill the order, coachbuilder Lehman-Peterson built it in just two weeks. They stretched it to 21 feet and added a removable roof section, with a PA system to address the huddled masses and a removable transparent window, more to shield the pope from the weather than from the likes of Carlos the Jackal.
When Pope Paul VI came to New York, he addressed the United Nations, attended the World’s Fair, and witnessed a Yankees game, to the chagrin of Red Sox fans. After his whirlwind New York tour the Pope and his Continental went to Bogotá, Colombia, where the car was modified to fit in with the city’s 8,000-ft elevation.
The car never made it back to Italy after the South American trip, but rather to Chicago where, given the right series of events, it could have become the Bluesmobile. Instead, it carried a series of astronauts: Frank Borman, James Lovell and William Anderson after they orbited the moon, and then the Apollo 11 crew after the 1969 moon landing.
Just another example of a Lincoln Continental becoming part of world history. And this bit of history could be yours at Pebble Beach, where it will go up for auction on August 19th. Auction house Bonhams believes it will go for $250,000 to $350,000, which seems low for a car that’s a genuine holy roller.
GALLERY: 1964 Lincoln Continental Pope Mobile
[Source: New York Times]
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]
It appears that Bentley will be ready to debut the new Continental GTC at this year’s Frankfurt Auto Show in September. This debut will come one year after Bentley first unveiled its refreshed Continental GT, featuring a lighter body, more powerful and slightly more fuel-efficient engine.
The cabrio Conti GT will look similar to the GT’s refresh, featuring the same 6.0L twin turbo W-12 engine and six-speed transmission.
With the GTC on its way, look for a Flying Spur (sedan) or high performance Speed variant to follow with a Supersports in the distant future.
[Source: Car and Driver Blog]
As Bentley‘s new 2011 Continental starts to hit the streets, aftermarket companies are starting to release even more modifications for the current model in the hopes that owners will look to invest in their current car rather than buy a new one. One such tuner is Onyx, which has just announced an update to its GTO Package promising a horsepower bump to 660-hp (over the factory 550-hp) while freshening up the aesthetics to rival the 2012 Continental facelift.
The new GTO kit comes with a new front bumper, fully equipped with carbon inserts and LED daytime running lights. The lower front splitter is also constructed from high quality carbon fiber. There’s a slight widebody added with arches over the wheel wells that flow with the new side skirts. In the back is a modified rear bumper, carbon diffuser and carbon trunk spoiler.
No details were mentioned on how Onyx raised power output to 660-hp, but suspension upgrades and a set of 22-inch wheels are also part of the package. For the interior, bespoke buffalo hide leather can be found contrasting with carbon trim pieces.
GALLERY: ONYX Bentley Continental GTO
MC Customs, based out of Miami, Florida, specializes in high-end builds for celebrities, professional athletes and the layman with a thick enough wallet to satisfy their customizing tastes. Their collection of vehicles include Rolls-Royces and Bentleys, one of which is this custom widebody Continental Supersports. While its styling may not be for everybody, there’s no denying the quality and craftsmanship in the work in addition to being one of the most extreme Continental Supersports in the world.
On the outside, it’s hard to not notice the custom widened body which features a set of Savini Forged SV-31c Xtreme Concave wheels on all four corners. Clearly along with the widebody conversion came a custom body kit featuring carbon fiber accents that goes well with the carbon fiber barrels on the Savini wheels. The entire exterior transformation was completed with a custom paint job.
The interior also got some work done, though details weren’t really revealed. The vehicle was recently shot for this month’s DUB magazine and belongs to MLB pitcher Carlos Silva.
GALLERY: MC Customs / Savini Widebody Bentley Continental Supersports
[Source: GT Spirit]
How did we ever amuse ourselves while on the subway, standing in line or just killing time at work before the iPhone came along? It doesn’t matter, because there’s another game you can play while fighting boredom on the go – the ContiTireRace.
The free app from Continental is the first tire game that can be run on the iPhone. In the game, you must make your way around the race track with ContiWinterContact TS 830 as quickly as possible. Along the way, you can collect valuable points that give the rolling tires additional speed and give you better lap times, but watch out for snowy and icy roads that can make driving tricky. Players can manoeuvre their way through the game using either the keys or by tilting the phone.
If you register by December 20, you have the chance to win one of three PlayStation 3 units that Continental will be giving away. All registered players can view their results on the iPhone and see who the reigning champion of the track is.
“With the ContiTireRace, we want to gather experience in the area of eGames and position Continental as brand in the app store,” says Carola Natzel, Manager Business Development E-Business at Continental. “Of course we would like to get young technology fans in particular interested in our company and its products.”
The app is available in English and German and is available for free at the iTunes Store.
With the acclaim Anderson Germany got with the release of its tuning package for Bentley’s Continental Supersports, it’s no surprise the German team went straight to the drawing board for Bentley‘s Continental GT Speed. For those not wanting to upgrade to the newer Continental model, Anderson Germany is releasing a very limited quantity styling package (at 150 units) to the general public.
Dubbed the Elegance Edition, Anderson Germany adds more sport than elegance to the exterior of the Continental GT Speed – something we really dig. Lightening up the load is a carbon fiber hood with additional air intakes, and a matching rear deck lid. The front and rear bumpers are also constructed out of lightweight carbon fiber, matching the paired side skirts to the kit. LED daytime running lights are also added to the front, giving the car a more modern appearance along with its new chrome grilles.
Performance is also enhanced, giving GT Speed owners a little bit of ammo against Supersports owners. Anderson Germany ups horsepower output to 685-hp from the stock 601-hp thanks to a new air filter, exhaust system and ECU upgrade.
Inside the cabin, subtle carbon fiber accents can be seen. The leather seats also receive a reupholstered black leather finish, accented with white logo stitching.
GALLERY: Anderson Germany Bentley Continental GT Speed
As if the standard Bentley Continental GT Speed wasn’t enough, Bentley went ahead and put out the Continental Supersports, boasting 630-hp in a luxurious coupe. If you ever get the opportunity to place yourself in the driver seat of a Continental Supersports, take advantage of it. The car is truly a whole different experience than any other luxury sports coupe out there. But we digress, apparently there are people out there that find 630-hp lacking in the performance department and thankfully Anderson Germany is here to save their day.
After a quick ECU reflash, installation of a sport exhaust system and air filters, your Bentley Continental Supersports puts out 695-hp, a 65-hp gain. And if the stock Supersports styling is just too mundane for you, Anderson Germany also outfits the aesthetics with a limited edition body kit (300 will be produced). The kit includes a new front, rear, side skirts and rear spoiler. Of course the kit also fits your standard Bentley Continental models from GT to GT Convertible to GT Speed.
The wheels are a little plain for our taste, but they are 22-inch 3-piece wheels in a 22×10 setup, wrapped with 285/30/22 rubber. Lastly, no Anderson Germany vehicle is complete without interior upgrades, and this Supersports features carbon fiber accents and a mixture of Alcantara with black leather with color-matched stitching.
GALLERY: Bentley Continental Supersports