Bentley's new Continental to take production back to company peak

Bentley’s entry-level V8 Continental GT, on sale in 2012, is planned to lift GT production back to its peak of 5000 units, a number not seen since the recession halved output.

The V8 is set to appeal to a new group of buyers, especially in the US, where V8s are valued.

Read more about the new Bentley Continental GT

Bentley unveiled the Continental GT at the Paris motor show at the beginning of this month.

It will cost from £135,760, an increase of almost £10,000 on the current car's £126,500 sticker price.

See pictures of the new Bentley Continental GT at the Paris motor show

The new model is charged with continuing the magnificent success of the 2003 original.

It might not look too different, but the Conti' has gained a raft of major updates, including a new engine and a still-secret 4.0-litre direct injection V8.

The 2011 version of Bentley’s familiar twin-turbo 6.0-litre W12 gets handy tweaks to its engine management electronics and some new low-friction measures that together boost both power and torque, from 552bhp to 567bhp and from 479lb ft to 516lb ft.

Bentley isn’t saying much about its all-new V8 except that the capacity is 4.0 litres. It is highly likely to be turbocharged and it’ll come a year after the new Conti’s launch next March. The V8 version will still have four-wheel drive, engineers say.

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Comments
7

14 October 2010

These things are all relative, no-one's saying it yet, and yes one is aware that in Bentley's golden age their most successful machines had only four cylinders...but dropping from six litres to four, and twelve cylinders to eight, apparently in order to wrestle a 50% drop in sales, looks more than a little like a move downmarket.

14 October 2010

This is a step in the right direction. I love the look of the Conti but was always put off by the thirst of a W12. It just doesn't appeal to me. A lovely sounding V8 giving acceptable levels of fuel economy is just what Bentley need to attract customer like me to the Continental. Lets hope its performance figures are similar to keep the fans happy.

15 October 2010

By no sensible definition will it offer acceptable levels of fuel economy. Instead it will drink like the very big fish that it is and typically sly punters will remove the badges in the hope that anyone who cares (does anyone else care?) will mistake it for the W12 version and them for the kind of person who can afford to service the repayments required to buy a W12.

15 October 2010

[quote Liam F]By no sensible definition will it offer acceptable levels of fuel economy.[/quote]

No, but it's all about perception rather than reality, isn't it?

And how many Bentley customers really understand the principles behind the W12 engine design anyway?

15 October 2010

"The new model is charged with continuing the magnificent success of the 2003 original"

Why do I get the feeling that someone is cutting and pasting from the press release?

15 October 2010

[quote RobotBoogie] Why do I get the feeling that someone is cutting and pasting from the press release?[/quote]

I can't imagine. They wouldn't do that, would they?

15 October 2010

[quote disco.stu]And how many Bentley customers really understand the principles behind the W12 engine design anyway?[/quote]

Call me cynical, but isn't the most fundamental principle behind the W12 that your mates down at the golf club have only eight cylinders, or maybe 10 or perhaps 12 but they're arranged in a boring old vee, and so the Emperor's New Bentley must have at least that number and be configured entirely differently in order to overwhelm? Not that the car's appearance wasn't welcome after all those sad rebadged Rollers (at least until soccer players started buying them) but isn't that about the sum of it?

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