Bentley Continental GT: ski joring in Switzerland

Article by Christian Andrei, on February 10, 2012

The Continental range of Bentley recently left a trail along the Alpine passes of Switzerland with a preview of four-wheel driving in the extreme conditions around Gstaad. Deep in the spectacular Saanenland region, which consists of 240km of ski slopes, spectators apply their winter driving skills in the high-tech Continental GT, Flying Spur and GTC.

The all-wheel drive system guarantees the safe but dynamic performance, style, practicality and sports car handling for which the three models are famous even against the harshest weather elements.

Ski joring expert Franco Moro, who has 27 years of experience and is world champion 16 times, was on hand to demonstrate the Alpine sport, which usually involves strapping on skis and pulled behind a horse. He scored another first, this time around a track below the Videmanette lift in Rougemont, on a pair of zai for Bentley skis, which are attached to the back of a 567bhp (575PS) Continental GT with a four-wheel drive and 6-litre W12 engine.

The ski partner zai of Bentley provided more excitement on the piste.  With durability, innovative technology and high performance at minimal weight, the skis provide remarkable maneuverability to match the absolute responsiveness and handling capabilities of Bentley's spirited Continental range.

Crewe designers and engineers took the opportunity to embark on an exciting and bold direction for one of Bentley’s most respected names: the Continental. The Bentley Continental GT was introduced in 2003 and represented the very first step in the brand’s rebirth. The luxury coupe also defined an entirely new market segment, and offered outstanding usability that stayed true to Bentley’s grand touring spirit.

Now, the new Continental GT four-seat coupe builds on its predecessor’s success, capturing that GT spirit, yet with higher standards of engineering, design, dynamic performance, everyday practicality, refinement, luxury, and craftsmanship.

A beautifully sculptured body lends the new Continental GT coupe a crisper and more defined look. Its contemporary interior gives it new levels of comfort, cabin design, and hand-crafted luxury. For instance, its seats provide greater support and more rear leg-room and its sweeping dashboard sports a more modern style. What’s more, its touchscreen infotainment system boasts state-of-the-art navigation, entertainment, and even Google Maps. Meanwhile, the latest version of the Balanced Mode Radiator speaker tech and the Dirac Dimensions digital audio processing deliver a much enhanced sound quality.

Additionally, Bentley's much acclaimed 6L 12-cylinder twin-turbocharged powertrain generates a raised power output of 575PS and 700Nm of torque. This is paired with a new Quickshift transmission that allows double downshifts. And thanks to the advanced FlexFuel technology, the car can also run on standard unleaded petrol or gasoline, as well as on sustainable bioethanol, or on any mix of the two.

Come late 2011, an all-new high-output eight-cylinder engine will be available, too. This advanced power unit is expected to deliver 40% less emissions than the W12 engine. It will also give you class-leading CO2 emissions-to-power ratio, along with Bentley-level performance and refinement.

Both 12-cylinder and 8-cylinder engines are paired with an all-wheel drive system producing a 40:60 rear-torque bias (versus the original Continental GT’s 50:50 bias) that minimizes understeer while hard cornering and allows you to control the line and balance of your car via precise throttle control.

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