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DROP DEAD BENTLEY

This article is from our archives and has not been updated and integrated with our "new" site yet... Even so, it's still awesome - so keep reading!

Published on Tue, Sep 7, 2010

By: The LACar Editorial Staff

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The new Bentley Continental GT

The managing editor and I knew it was coming: A new Bentley Continental GT. We were there at the Paris Auto Show in 2002, when they introduced the first one—to this day, one of the best-looking cars on the planet. We weren’t looking forward to the new one. The original was so picture perfect, we figure they can only go downhill. Our biggest fear: The new Continental would sprout those bug eye headlights from the new Bentley Mulsanne—making it look like a distant relative to the old bug-eyed Triumph TR3.

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I’m happy to report that the new Bentley Continental GT looks nothing like a TR3. Yes, there are some Mulsanne influences, but the execution is far better. The new car is very much recognizable as a Continental GT, but even better looking. The original GT, as beautiful as it was, had a slightly unfinished look about it. The new car keeps going where the old one stopped. The impression is one of more refinement and crispness to the finished product.

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“The new GT coupe has an even stronger sporting character than ever before,” proclaims Dirk van Braeckel, Bentley’s Director of Design. “It is an exceptionally refined and comfortable 2+2 Grand Tourer but with the heart, soul and looks of a supercar.” The interior is once again brought up to the state of the art. The latest in high technology is evident, such as a new touchscreen infotainment system, a navigation system that features Google Maps and a 30GB on board hard drive. An 11-speaker Naim for Bentley system employs Dirac Dimensions ™ digital signal processing. This “industry-first” technology creates a virtual ‘sound field’ independent of speaker layout to deliver concert hall-quality sound reproduction for every occupant wherever they may be sitting.

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Bentley’s 12-cylinder, twin-turbocharged W12 powertrain now has a raised power output of 575PS (567bhp/423kW) and 700Nm (516lb ft) of torque and this is mated to a new dual-clutch Quickshift transmission which enables double downshifts. In late 2011, an all-new, high-output eight-cylinder engine will also be available to order. Bentley says the new V8 will deliver a 40 percent reduction in emissions compared with the W12 engine and will offer a class-leading CO2 emissions-to-power ratio with Bentley levels of performance and refinement.

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Both engines are coupled to an all-wheel drive system with a sporty 40:60 rear-torque bias (compared with the 50:50 bias of the original Continental GT), minimising understeer during hard cornering and allowing the experienced driver to control the car’s line and balance via precise throttle control. “The new Continental GT is an automotive work of art, with superb craftsmanship and elegant, contemporary design, exclaims Dr Franz-Josef Paefgen, Chairman and Chief Executive of Bentley. “It drives like a supercar, but without the usual sacrifices in ride or practicality. It is a car that you can enjoy every moment of every day.” - Roy Nakano

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AT A GLANCE Sculptured exterior design • Aluminium Super Forming allow for a more sculpted body and sharp ‘power lines’ • Unique jewelled headlamps with LED daytime-running lights • More upright radiator grille and new ‘double horseshoe’ rear profile first shown on the flagship Bentley Mulsanne Contemporary, hand-crafted cabin • New interior with a sweeping dashboard and instrument panel in premium, soft-touch leather hides • Distinctive ‘cobra’-design seats for added comfort and enhanced rear cabin space • New touchscreen, 30GB infotainment system introduces advanced satellite navigation • Dynamic route guidance, seven-digit postcode entry and Google Map compatibility (market specific) • Audio systems feature the latest wide frequency Balance Mode Radiator speakers as standard • Revolutionary Dirac Dimensions™ DSP for exceptional sound reproduction (Naim for Bentley premium audio). More powerful W12 and new high-efficiency V8 FlexFuel engines • 6-litre W12 engine twin-turbocharged engine produces 567bhp and 516lb ft of torque. • 0 – 60mph in 4.4 seconds (0 – 100km/h in 4.6 seconds) • 0 – 100mph in 10.2 seconds (0 – 160km/h in 10.2 seconds) • Top speed of 198mph (318km/h) • Overall weight saving of 65kg (143lb) versus predecessor • New high-output, high-efficiency V8 engine due for release in late 2011. Dynamic Bentley driving experience • ZF 6HP28 transmission with ‘Quickshift’ system that cuts shift times by 50 percent • New 40:60 rear-biased torque split for the all-wheel drive system reduces understeer • Increased front and rear track improves grip and stability • 20” and (optional) 21” wheels TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS ENGINE Type: 6-litre twin-turbocharged W12 Max Power: 567bhp / 423kW / 575PS @ 6000 rev/min Max Torque: 700Nm / 516lb/ft @ 1700 rev/min TRANSMISSION ZF 6-speed automatic with quickshift and steering wheel-mounted paddleshift Driveline: Continuous all-wheel drive (40:60 rear bias) Final drive: 3.526 BODY CONSTRUCTION Steel monocoque BRAKES Front: 405mm ventilated discs (optional 420mm Carbon Silicon Carbide, cross drilled) Rear: 335mm ventilated discs (optional 356mm, Carbon Silicon Carbide, cross drilled) WHEELS AND TYRES 9.5J x 20” (optional 9.5J x 21”) 275/40ZR 20 (optional 275/35 ZR21 linked to option wheels) STEERING Type: rack & pinion, power assisted, speed-sensitive ZF servotronic SUSPENSION Front: Four link double wishbones, computer controlled self-levelling air suspension, with anti roll-bar. Rear: Trapezoidal multi-link, computer-controlled self-levelling air suspension, with anti roll-bar. Damping: Continuous Damping Control, tuned for dynamic performance. DIMENSIONS Overall Length 89.2 in Width (across body) 76.5 in Width (including mirrors) 87.7 in Overall Height 55.3 in Fuel Tank 24 US gallons Boot Volume 12.6 cu ft Curb Weight 5115 lb Gross Vehicle Weight 6063 lb PERFORMANCE Top Speed: 198 mph 0 – 60 mph: 4.4 secs 0 – 100 mph: 10.2 secs 30 – 50 mph: 1.7 secs 50 – 75 mph: 2.9 secs

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