Bentley is poised to take a huge step forward with the next-generation Continental by basing it on the Porsche-developed MSB platform shared with the next Panamera, which is in development ahead of a planned launch in 2016.
One Volkswagen Group insider told Autocar: “Bentley will use our technology and there is a good relationship between us. This is a big chance for them.”
That’s not surprising, given that the current Continental’s VW Group D1 platform – conceived for the VW Phaeton – is now 12 years old and will celebrate its 15th birthday when the new Continental is launched in mid-2017.
For a start, the new platform will be engineered for Porsche’s sporty driving characteristics, which should endow the Bentley with much more focused driving manners.
Significantly, it should do away with the nose-heavy weight distribution that hampers the dynamics of the current Continental family by replacing the current car’s Audi front transaxle with a system that passes drive to the front wheels via a ‘quill’ shaft driven from the rear of the transmission.