2011 Bentley Continental GT unveiled with updates and optional V8

2011 Bentley Continental GT unveiled with updates and optional V8

The 2011 Bentley Continental GT represents just the second generation of the popular coupe since it was introduced back in 2003. Back then it represented the first step in Bentley’s renaissance and helped define a whole new market segment. It was a luxury GT offering solid usability that retained much of Bentley’s grand touring spirit.

Now the new Continental GT 4-seat coupe builds on the success of its predecessor, with refreshed design and updated engineering, luxury, craftsmanship, dynamic performance, everyday practicality and refinement.

A  sculptured new body gives the GT coupe a more defined appearance. There are more prominent front guard lines that roll over the headlights and into a more-upright grille, a more pronounced grille treatment that pushes itself into the lower intake, LED running lamps surrounding the main headlight elements and a double-horseshoe rear-end treatment inspired by the Mulsanne.

Inside the cabin apparently offers new levels of design, comfort and hand-crafted luxury. There’s a sleeker dash and climate-controlled seats that provide more legroom. There is also a new touchscreen infotainment system featuring state-of-the-art navigation, Google Maps and entertainment while playing the tunes is the latest Balanced Mode Radiator speaker technology and Dirac Dimensions digital sound processing which delivers enhanced audio quality.

In terms of power there has been a boost in horses with Bentley’s 6-litre, 12-cylinder, twin-turbocharged powertrain raising output to 423kW and 700N of torque and this is mated to a new Quickshift transmission which enables double downshifts. Thanks to advanced FlexFuel technology it can also run on both standard unleaded petrol (gasoline) and sustainable bioethanol (up to E85) or any mix of the two.

From next year the rare eco-conscious Bentley buyer will be able to select an all-new, high-output 8-cylinder engine. This advanced power unit will deliver a 40 percent reduction in emissions compared with the W12 engine and will offer a class-leading CO2 emissions-to-power ratio while still offering high performance. So it’s time to trade in that Toyota Prius.

Both engines are mated to an all-wheel drive system with a 40:60 rear-torque bias (compared with the 50:50 bias of the original Continental GT), this should minimise understeer during hard cornering and allowing the experienced driver to control the car’s line and balance via precise throttle control.

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