Although the new Continental GT dosen’t look vastly different to the outgoing car, it does usher in a number of stylistic touches that bring it in line with the recently-launched Mulsanne as well as some notable changes under the bonnet.
The overall look hasn’t altered dramatically – up front the grille sits a little lower and more upright than that of its forebear. The headlamps have received LED accents within their circumferences, a sort of toned-down version of those featured on the Mulsanne, while the rear is highlighted by a stepped boot section and more rectangular brakelamps similar to those of the Brooklands replacement.
At the heart of the new Continental the 6,0-litre twin-turbo W12 has undergone changes to its ECU while low-friction materials have been implemented at numerous key points. The engine is still mated with a ZF-sourced 6-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters. In this new model the gearbox features a quickshift function that Bentley claims will halve shift times to just 200 milliseconds. In addition, the revised gearbox is capable of double-downshifting (i.e from fourth to second). The overall outputs have been boosted from an already-impressive 411 kW and 650 N.m to 422 kW and 700 N.m of torque, which Bentley claims will result in a 0-100 km time in the region of 4,5 seconds and a 318 km/h top speed.
Bentley will also showcase a new engine for this model about a year after the official launch in March 2011. The company has remained fairly tight-lipped with regards to details, only going as far as disclosing a 4,0-litre capacity and all-wheel drive drivetrain. It has also been strongly suggested that the new powerplant will utilise turbocharging and possibly direct fuel injection.
Some of the company’s Continental Supersport’s DNA has permeated in to the new GT’s underpinnings – most noticeably the adoption of that car’s Torsen centre differential with 40/60 front to rear distribution.
Changes to the GT’s cabin include a more curved facia, redesigned dials that echoe the company’s winged B logo and an updated infotainment system that integrates a 30 GB media bank, phone, navigation and sound system. Thinner front seats in what Bentley calls a “cobra design” free up additional rear legroom while an enhanced acoustic pack helps to reduce road noise by as much as 11 percent at motorway speeds.