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    Bang, not a whimper / #2017 / #Bentley-Continental-GT / #Bentley-Continental / #Bentley / IGNITION / New Cars / #2017-Bentley-Continental-GT / #Bentley-Continental-Supersports / #Bentley-Continental-GT-Supersports /
    The new Continental GT looms. So Bentley has powered-up the old one… Words Dan Prosser

    Having been launched way back in 2003, the Bentley Continental GT is due for replacement next year. With close to 60,000 cars sold during those 14 years the heavyweight coupé has been a huge success for Bentley so, rather than let the model fade away with a whimper, Crewe has instead produced the fastest and most powerful version yet. In fact, the new Continental Supersports is the most potent roadgoing Bentley full stop, its twin-turbocharged #W12 engine having been wound up to a titanic 700bhp. The Supersports badge was revived in 2009 for a run of 1800 special edition models, but this latest version will be more exclusive still, with only 710 set to be built across coupé and convertible body styles. With a list price of £212,500 the Supersports coupé, tested here, costs £43,600 more than the erstwhile range-topping model, the W12 Speed.

    In keeping with its king-of-the-swingers status the Supersports is the most aggressivelooking Continental GT yet, its new front splitter and rear diffuser, both in carbonfibre, lending a more menacing look. The ungainly rear spoiler can, thankfully, be deleted.

    The 6.0-litre W12 has been reworked for the Supersports with new intake and exhaust systems, bigger turbochargers and strengthened main and conrod bearings. The 750lb ft torque figure is available from 2000rpm, giving a vast, tabletop torque curve and enormous straightline performance: Bentley quotes 0-60mph in 3.4 seconds and a 209mph top speed. There’s so much power and torque at your disposal that the force of acceleration seems to be entirely unrelated to engine or road speed, gear, incline, load or any other of the variables that normally impede a car’s performance. The Supersports just fires itself at the horizon regardless.

    As amusing as that trick might be, it isn’t what makes this the best #12-cylinder Continental GT yet. Instead, it’s the combination of gargantuan performance, longdistance refinement and the surprisingly fleetfooted agility that make it such an outstanding Bentley. The four-wheel drive system and chassis settings are carried over from the Speed and, despite its 2280kg kerbweight, the Supersports is very good to drive on a twisting road, with its light, direct steering, very taut body control and a neutral chassis balance.

    Some of that weight-defying agility can be attributed to the car’s torque-vectoring-by-braking system, borrowed from the 2014 GT3-R special edition, which shuffles torque between the four wheels to where it can be used most effectively. Without it, the Supersports would feel heavier and flat-footed.

    What’s harder to reconcile with the winged ‘B’ on its nose is the Supersport’s raucous titanium exhaust system, which emits such violent pops and cracks on downshifts that you wonder if the entire thing isn’t being dragged along the road behind you.

    There isn’t anything subtle about the Continental Supersports and some will doubtless find its styling and soundtrack crass, but, thanks to its vast turn of speed and total indomitability in all conditions, this is a high-performance Bentley of the highest order.
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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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    M 222 ye / 97 RUS reg There must be a story behind this Russian Bentley Continental R Le Mans. I'm thinking that the dealership was on the phone confirming the colour, and at the same time the waiter was asking what was for lunch. Ill stick with that. Salmon. For lunch as well. #2002 / #Bentley-Continental-R-Le-Mans / #Bentley-Continental-R / #Bentley-Continental / #Bentley ‏ — at Moscow, Russia
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    2005 Bentley Continental GT £27,495 Modern Classics For Sale Sampled

    Having covered little more than 6000 miles per year, this Bentley is in fine fettle and ready to conquer motorways. Nathan Chadwick.

    SPECIFICATIONS #2005 #Bentley-Continental-GT / #Bentley-Continental / #Bentley / #Bentley-Continental-GT-MkI /
    Engine 5998cc/ #W12 /DOHC
    Power 552bhp@6100rpm
    Torque 479lb ft@1600rpm
    Maximum speed 199mph
    0-60mph 4.7sec
    Mileage 61,000
    Transmission AWD, six-speed auto #ZF6HP / #ZF / #ZF-6HP26A /
    On sale at ASM Performance asmperformance.co.uk

    The Bentley Continental GT sits in the either/or camp, in a similar fashion to more obscure oddities such as the Alfa Romeo SZ – you either love or hate 'em. Unlike the Italian stallion, for everyone who hates the Bentley there are probably two who love them, which means that Bentley have sold a shedload. As a consequence, not every car is as well loved as Bentleys of old have been.

    No fear here, however – this model's 61,000 miles may seem high for a prestige vehicle but the deep green/grey paintwork is in great overall condition. There are a few stone chips across the Bentley's broad face, with only very minor imperfections elsewhere.

    The of side wheels have a small amount of kerbing damage, but the 275/40 R19 Pirelli P Zeros have a good level of tread left on them.

    The service history, up to October 2013 and 56,420 miles, points to main dealer and specialist care and attention. The Continental will be serviced prior to sale.

    Under the bonnet, the tightly packed engine bay looks clean, with all the fluids at the right level and the oil is a desirable rich brown colour.

    The black leather interior is in fantastic condition, with the only signs of wear to the driver's-side bolster. The wooden inlays are free from scratches, though – and we're really nit-picking here – the start button is missing some of its typography and the circular badge on top of the gearlever came of. Otherwise it's hard to fault this interior, considering the mileage.

    Time to start driving, and with a low, refined waaargh noise the 6.0-litre W12 fires up on the button. The steering feels suitably hefty yet easy to manoeuvre, and on rougher surfaces the suspension performs quietly and efficiently.

    The gearbox was equally well behaved, with no undue hesitation or peculiar sounds when working through the gears. The brakes bring the car to a halt quickly and predictably and the CGT raises and lowers its air suspension without any untoward drama.

    Even if you're one of those who hates the Continental GT it's worth trying one anyway. There's truly epic amounts of traction and eyebrow-squishing acceleration. It's no Lotus Elise but this is much more comfortable, and faster too. For the amount of performance and luxury on offer, the Continental has to represent a bit of a bargain at less than £30k. This one is in great overall condition, and aside from a few minor exterior niggles, could easily be a brand-new car.

    Only minor marks spoil an otherwise excellent place to spend a weekend in Sport mode – and simply hold on.

    PRICE WHEN NEW (2005 UK) £124,805

    CHOOSE YOUR CGT PHASE I

    Unveiled at Geneva Motor Show in 2003, the CGT is offered with six body colours and eight hide colours. Bentley updates the GT in 2004 with more trim options. Mulliner Driving Specification option from same year includes 20-inch alloy wheels and upgrades to interior. Continental GT goes on a diet in 2007, shedding 35kg. GT Speed model launches the same year increases power to 602bhp and uprated suspension.

    Zagato-bodied special called the GTZ launches in 2008. Series 51 models of 2009 adds a plethora of trim options. Supersports released in 2009. Thanks to 621bhp and 590lb ft of torque, it can hit 204mph and reach 60mph in 3.7 seconds. Gearshifts are 50% quicker than standard GT's.
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