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    CONTIINENTAL SHIFT / #2018-Bentley-Continental-GT / #Bentley-EXP-10-Speed-6 / #Bentley-Continental-GT / #Bentley-Continental-GT-III / #Bentley-Continental / #Bentley / #2018

    A lighter, lower, long-legged looker, the all-new 2018 Bentley Continental GT is about to break cover.

    The next-generation Continental GT is still in the depths of development, but it looks as though a host of new technologies and styling that’s both traditional and forward-looking will make Bentley’s core model even faster and more desirable than before.

    SPEED 6 STYLE

    The most dramatic aesthetic change to the GT is the adoption of front-end styling that’s heavily influenced by the striking EXP 10 Speed 6 concept. In addition, the new car will be lower and have shorter overhangs than the outgoing car. Even so, traditional Bentley styling traits such as the raked roof flowing into pronounced rear “haunches” will be integral to the new car’s design.

    PORSCHE-PREPARED PLATFORM

    This new Bentley will be underpinned by a new modular platform that has been developed in conjunction with Porsche and underpins the new Panamera. Dubbed MSB, its application in the new GT will considerably shorten the wheelbase and that suggests a greater emphasis will be placed on making it a dynamically more adept car.

    GETTING THE LEAD OUT

    With the current GT tipping the scales at a shade under 2,4 tonnes, it’s imperative for the new car to go on a diet. To this end, Bentley will dispense with the full-steel body and adopt a hybrid-material construction comprising an aluminium shell supported by high-strength steels. According to Bentley boss, Wolfgang Dürheimer, the new car will be 350 kg lighter.

    FROM TURBOS TO CHARGING

    The reworked 6,0-litre, twin-turbo #W12 petrol engine from the Bentayga will headline the powerplant line-up. Developing 600bhp / 447 kW and a mammoth 900 NM, it could propel the GT from 0-62MPH / 0-100 km/h in around four seconds. It will be joined by an updated version of the Audi-developed 4,0-litre V8 turbopetrol, as well as a 305 kW V6 plug-in hybrid powerplant sourced from Porsche. All of these units will be coupled with an AWD drivetrain.

    THE FUTURE OF SPEED

    First seen at last year’s Geneva Motor Show, the EXP 10 Speed 6 concept showcased a potential sub- Continental GT model and was the first Bentley to feature a V6 hybrid drivetrain. A production version could arrive by 2020.
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    Luc Donckerwolke

    Car #2015 #Bentley #EXP-10-SPEED-6

    Luc was previously with both Audi and Lamborghini before joining this outpost of the VW Group. He is very much a ‘car guy’; he owns #Porsche #911 s and a #BMW-3.0CSi #E9 , and recalls being captivated by the ‘Batmobile’ look of the factory race cars at Spa when he was a boy.

    His posting to the Crewe-based marque was a new challenge and the design of the #Bentley-EXP-10-Speed-6 concept presented here really focussed his thoughts on what it means to develop a design for such a famous and long-established company as Bentley.

    ‘The Speed 6 is not merely any Bentley but the most sporting model yet to come from the #VW era. This project demonstrates that the most important part of a chief designer’s job is to immerse oneself in the culture of the company and then to interpret that culture into a three-dimensional object,’ says Luc, who is very much aware of this responsibility. ‘Everyone would be looking at the car to see if it concurred with their idea of what a sporting Bentley should be. I was actually quite concerned that I should not disappoint.’

    With his enthusiastic team of young designers I don’t think he has anything to worry about; the Speed 6 was without doubt one of the best-looking cars at the show. It was also by far the finest example of the showcar-builder’s art I have ever seen.

    With the punishing schedule that senior designers always have to endure at motor shows, the chance to just talk about cars and how things are in your part of the business comes as welcome relief and for Luc to find time to enjoy being a ‘petrolhead’ was fun for both of us.
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