Bentley is evaluating Audi's dual-clutch gearbox for use on its new Continental GT

Bentley is looking at equipping its new V8-powered Continental GT variant with a dual-clutch transmission that sister-company Audi badges as S Tronic.

Bentley’s engineers are doing engineering studies on the feasibility of packaging the S Tronic into the Continental’s transmission tunnel.

See pics of the new Bentley Continental GT

The major challenge is re-engineering and productionising the GT’s underbody and running gear to accept the S Tronic, which is a different shape to the six-speed ZF the W12 GT will employ.

The dual-clutch transmission could benefit drivers by delivering a sportier driving experience, which Bentley believes will suit the new group of buyers expected to buy the V8 GT.

“The V8 will find a new audience for us. There are sports car enthusiasts out there, particularly in the US, who won’t buy a sports car unless it’s powered by a V8,” says Bentley’s new sales and marketing boss Alasdair Stewart.

The price of the V8 is likely to be just below the £135k W12, suggesting a figure north of £130k, although it has yet to be finalised.

Read the full story on the new Bentley Continental GT

On sale in early 2012, the V8 will help Bentley maintain sales of the new GT at the same level as the outgoing model, which peaked at around 5000 cars a year. With sales falling away in the recession, Bentley expects to make as many of the new car as the old one, thanks to the addition of the V8.

The company is also defining the next-gen four-door Flying Spur, which is scheduled for launch in late 2012/early 2013. The Chinese market, with its requirement for generous rear legroom, is likely to dictate a very similarly proportioned model to today’s. China alone takes up to 40 per cent of Spur production.

Julian Rendell

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Comments
11

12 October 2010

[quote Autocar]Bentley’s engineers are doing engineering studies on the feasibility of packaging the S Tronic into the Continental’s transmission tunnel.
[/quote]

Is this not something they should have thought about during the new GT's development (ie - at some point over the last 7 years), rather than just after they launched it? It's not like it's newfangled technology for VAG...

12 October 2010

Having driven a couple of exisiting GT's, I can't say the gearboxes have been an issue - the overwhelming power and performance and overall driving experience have just been amazing.

To live is to drive

12 October 2010

" a dual-clutch transmission that sister-company Audi badges as S Tronic."

The end of the (exclusive) Road is Nigh....what next a BMW engined Rolls Royce...? Oh wait.

if it's heavy, it ain't happenin' 

12 October 2010

Ah well, Rollses and Bentleys of old had a GM Hydramatic, did that make 'em any less exclusive?

12 October 2010

..... and the current GT has the same gearbox as the VW Phaeton, though come to think of it they sell so few of those it probably doesn't dent the exclusivity much......

The GT should have had a revised gearbox in time for its recent relaunch. Audi's A7 already offers the twin clutch S-tronic discussed here, the A8 has a great new "conventional" 8 speed auto (also in service in the latest 5 series). Both give greater performance and mpg than the old ZF 6 speed.

Why has a £135k Continental GT got a crummier gearbox than a £55k A8 or a £40k BMW 530d ?

12 October 2010

Why has a £135k Continental GT got a crummier gearbox than a £55k A8 or a £40k BMW 530d ?

because the premiership footballer can't tell the difference, The GT is a blinged up VAG parts bin special.

what next? the 2011 Continental GT will have the navigation unit from a diesel skoda superb LWB taxi driver special, Audi V8 engine , air suspension and from the A8? wait a minute..

12 October 2010

If exclusivity was the sole driver of quality, then one of the best cars on the road would be the CityRover. I've seen 2 in total.

 

 

12 October 2010

[quote morellomax]

The GT should have had a revised gearbox in time for its recent relaunch. Audi's A7 already offers the twin clutch S-tronic discussed here, the A8 has a great new "conventional" 8 speed auto (also in service in the latest 5 series). Both give greater performance and mpg than the old ZF 6 speed.


[/quote]


I also believe the new RangeRover has the same 8 speed box and Jaguar will be adopting it shortly.

12 October 2010

[quote nimmler] what next? the 2011 Continental GT will have the navigation unit from a diesel skoda superb LWB taxi driver special, Audi V8 engine , air suspension and from the A8? wait a minute..[/quote]

Infantile.

12 October 2010

Do not see why every one moans about the Tech behind this GT, so what if its made from parts of other VAG (Audi VW) tech. They produce some of the best technology in the industry at the moment and Audi's tech is really good so why not use it save money and make profit, Bentley are a business !! so they do have to work to a certain goal.

Name me a current car company that has better tech then the VAG group ??? not many so theres nothing wrong with them using some in the new GT.

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