||6.0 L W-12
paddle auto, AWD
Ever since the Bentley Continental GT was first introduced in
2003 it has been one of the most popular sports GT cars on the
market. Partly due to the prestigious nameplate, but also because
you could take it on long trips and still get out at the end
with your spine in one piece. It had a blend of performance
and luxury which appealed to those with the money to buy one.
Now the new model has arrived, and it's one of the most comprehensively
upgraded versions yet. There's new bodywork, new engine options,
and new gadgets for the interior.
The styling of the 2011 Bentley continental GT has been thoroughly
revised. It's still instantly recognizable, but now it has a
more sleek, contemporary appearance. There's new sheetmetal
all around - especially noticeable at the front, new headlights
with LED daytime-running lights, and a new grille.
Aluminium Super Forming technology was used to form the front
wings and the boot lid. This technique heats the aluminium panels
to nearly 500 degrees Celsius before shaping them with pressurized
air. By using a single sheet of aluminum, no seams or welding
This highly advanced body construction technique allows for
crisp, highly defined feature lines. The familiar shape, with
the powerful rear wheel arches now have even sharper radii to
create highly distinct surfaces on the 2011 Bentley Continental
The classic Bentley matrix radiator grille is more upright on
the new Continental GT, while the new headlamp design, in traditional
four-lamp format, has intricate jewel-like detailing including
striking, LED daylight-running lights.
At the rear of the 2011 Bentley Continental GT, the designers
have integrated signature 'floating' LED lights which extend
around the corners of the wings - emphasizing the coupe's width
and purposeful stance. The track is wider by 41mm at the front
and 48mm at the rear than the previous model. The bootlid design
has a powerful 'double horseshoe' motif, which is similar to
that of the new Bentley Mulsanne.
The shape of the 2011 Continental GT coupe's body is also more
aerodynamic than its predecessor following extensive wind tunnel
testing. In conjunction with a range of extensive underbody
refinements the car’s coefficient of drag has been reduced to
0.33Cd, and the lift at the front and rear axles has also been
The new GT is specified with 20-inch alloy wheels as standard,
with, for the first time on the Continental family, the option
to upgrade to 21-inch designs. Three styles of wheel are offered
- a 20-inch five-spoke version and two 21-inch Elegant and split-rim
Sports variations, which come in a variety of chromed and painted
The 2011 Bentley Continental is powered by a twin turbocharged
6.0 litre W12 engine which produces 567 horsepower and 700Nm
(516 ft-lbs) of torque.
However later in 2011 (for the 2012 Continental GT) a high-efficiency
4.0 litre V8 engine will also be offered.
The new 4.0-litre V8 engine will achieve a 40 percent improvement
in CO2 emissions - however it won't be some sort of athsmatic,
puny unit. The new V8 is being designed specifically by Bentley’s
engineers to deliver all the oompf Bentley buyers will be expecting.
The W12 engine option will hussle the 2011 Bentley Continental
GT to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds, and haul it up to a top speed of
Power is directed to all four wheels though an upgraded six-speed
Quickshift transmission, which can execute shifts in just 200
milliseconds.The redesigned gearbox also has the added ability
to provide double downshifts (sixth to fourth gear, for example)
and improves acceleration across the entire gear range. To cope
with the additional power and torque, the planetary gear set
of the transmission has also been beefed up.
Interior and Entertainment
The 2011 Bentley Continental GT features an advanced new touchscreen
system with rich map imagery and a 30GB on board hard drive.
The 8-inch screen displays the car’s audio system, telephone,
ride and comfort settings and the very latest navigation system,
which uses both an in-car hard-disc drive and a DVD player to
access route data. It also employs dynamic navigation to guide
you around areas of heavy traffic, finds destinations using
geo-tagged photos from an SD memory card and is Google Maps-compatible
The infotainment system, with 7 digit postcode entry, uses a
combination of touchscreen controls and classic knurled rotary
switches to offer instant usability and crystal-clear feedback.
The graphic interface of the screen is engineered in-house to
ensure its visuals are completely in keeping with the style
of the interior. Look closely and you will see that the knurled
switches on the screen are ‘virtual’ echoes of the knurled switches
The Continental GT's new infotainment system also provides the
ultimate in in-car audio entertainment. An eight-speaker sound
system is offered as standard employing the latest Balanced
Mode Radiator technology. These unique compact, flat-panel speakers
provide exceptional clarity with a very wide frequency range.
An 11-speaker Naim for Bentley system - created exclusively
for the Continental GT by British audiophiles Naim - employs
revolutionary 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.
The GT coupe also benefits from telephone and music player connectivity,
digital television (where available) and DVD movie playback.
Music can be played and controlled directly from an iPod as
well as from a six-disc CD changer, SD card reader or directly
from the car’s hard-disc drive, which can store up to 15GB of
Darren Day, Senior Designer of the car said of the car's interior:
"The new GT coupe interior combines form, practicality
and innovation. Our task was to translate the original design
sketches for the car’s cabin – which were quite extreme, almost
revolutionary for a Bentley – into the final design. The result
is a cockpit that moves the Continental GT on to the next generation."
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