Bentley Continental GT V8 to make its debut at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show

Article by Christian Andrei, on July 30, 2011

Bentley will be looking forward to the formal unveiling of the restyled Continental GTC in Frankfurt this September as well as to the introduction of the new 4.0-liter V8 for the updated Continental GT this January at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show.

The Bentley Continental lineup includes the GT coupe, the GTC convertible, and the Flying Spur sedan. Presently, each Continental is powered by the same 6.0-liter twin-turbo W12 (tuned for different power outputs in regular, Speed, and Supersports trims).

But this is set to change. During the presentation of the updated Continental GT a year ago, Bentley revealed that it was working on a new 4.0-liter V8 that was more efficient and had lower emissions to be added to the engine lineup. A Bentley insider said that the lighter engine in front makes the model even sportier and that the exhaust has been tuned to have an impressive growl.

The current design of the four-door Continental Flying Spur won’t be replaced yet. However, the next-generation car is expected to be more aggressive than the existing Spur, which has a conservative, upright profile.

It’s to be expected that Bentley will make its next Spur offer a more striking visual impact when we look at its rivals in the segment consisting of sleek luxury/performance sedans like Jaguar’s XF and XJ and Mercedes-Benz’s new 2012 CLS-class.

Moreover, the new Bentley Continental 4.0-liter V8 engine also comes with high pressure direct injection, thermal management and energy recuperation via the charging system, as well as low friction bearings and an efficient turbo charger packaging.

Featuring a distinctive growl, the new V8 engine is set to power two new models -- the new Bentley Continental GT and the new Continental GTC. Both models are marked on the front by a red enamel Bentley 'B' badge, a black gloss matrix grille with chrome frame and center bar, as well as a black matrix three-segment lower bumper that is divided by unique strakes in the same color as the body.

The new Bentley Continental GT and Continental GTC are distinguished by a red enamel 'B' badge on the boot lid, distinct chromed 'figure eight' exhaust tailpipes, and a dark lower valance. As standard, the two new Bentley Continental V8 models ride on 20-inch alloy wheels. Customers, however, could avail of the optional 21-inch six-spoke wheels in either Diamond Black or Diamond Silver finishes.

The interior of these models, meanwhile, are specified with Dark Fiddleback Eucalyptus veneers, an Eliade cloth headlining and short center console. Customers may also avail of the optional two-tone leather color split.

Both the new Bentley Continental GT and Continental GTC are blessed with an innovative all-wheel drive system with an advanced Torsen differential and a 40:60 rear biased power split for a safe yet dynamic sports car handling in any road condition.

They will be slotted just below the Continental GT and GTC models powered by 6.0 liter, twin-turbocharged W12 Continental engine that could develop up to 631bhp (640PS) of output. Since Bentley introduced the first GT in 2003, the carmaker has already sold W12-powered Continental models around the world. This effectively makes Bentley’s Crewe facility in England the largest producer of 12 cylinder engines in the world.

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