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what s new with the new bentley continental gt

What’s new with the new Bentley Continental GT?

The first was good but apparently the second is great. So, we highlighted five things about the new Conti GT that made it fancier than it already was

Dinesh Appavu Photo

Dinesh Appavu

3 Apr 2018

Under its Volkswagen ownership, the first all-new Bentley was the Continental GT. That car rode on the Volkswagen Phaeton’s platform, which in hindsight made it good but never quite great.

Now, the new Continental GT is here and Bentley claims it’s all-new. From a glance at the facts, they don’t appear to be fibbing.

The Continental GT First Edition recently made a little pitstop here at Bentley Kuala Lumpur and we managed to convince the nice people there to entertain riffraff like us for a few minutes to look around the car.

1. Having humble Volkswagen underpinnings could be rather unpalatable for the potential Bentley client. Therefore, the all-new Conti GT now sits on the Porsche MSB platform, the same as the Porsche Panamera.

It’s 76kg lighter thanks to extensive use of aluminium skin for the panels and a mix of steel for the chassis.

2. It’s still got a 6.0-litre twin-turbo W12 nuclear powerplant under the hood but Bentley is explicit in emphasising that the engine is genuinely brand new despite the similar displacement and layout.

Among the highlights are twin-scroll turbos to bring it up to the 21st century, variable displacement that shuts down one bank of cylinders in gears 3 to 8 below 3,000rpm and twin-injection. The last one means there’re separate systems for the high and low pressure that keeps good particulate management for a cleaner burn, more power and refinement.

The engineers even went so far as to revise the firing order for the cylinders to provide a smoother engine that was more powerful yet economical.

So what does it all add up to? That’ll be 626hp and 900Nm of torque, thank you very much. With launch control, the Conti GT slaps Isaac Newton in the face by rifling its 2,244kg mass to 100kph from a standstill in just 3.6-seconds and a top speed of 333kph.

That transmission is an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic that is brand new and sends power to all four wheels. Essentially, it’s Bentley’s take on Porsche’s eight-speed PDK.

3. Sitting on a Panamera platform is good but does a massive W12 up front offset the handling benefits? Bentley says no. This is in part to the 48V electric ride-control system (which winds the anti-roll bars in and out) from the Bentayga.

The suspension is a trick triple-chambered air suspension. From what we could gather, one air spring is sleeved inside another with a third air doughnut at the end. By locking out the chambers, the system alters the ride characteristics.

Lastly though, the engine has been moved back 150mm further back in bay to almost line up with the front struts for better balance.

4. This thing has a load of tech without compromising the air of luxury expected of a Bentley. Our favourite is the Bentley Rotating Display at the centre of the dash that rotates between three surfaces; a display screen, three gauges or solid wood that blends in seamless with the rest of the dash.

It also has adaptive cruise control, heads-up display, park assist, pedestrian warning, a Naim audio system and, oh yeah… night vision.

5. The body panels are shaped using a process called superforming. Aluminium panels are heated to 500 degrees Celsius and moulded into shape by air pressure. If you’re thinking it sounds time-consuming and expensive, you’re right. But you know, that what make a Bentley a Bentley.

Head over to Bentley Kuala Lumpur to view the Continental GT First Edition that will be there until the end of March but the catch is it’s only by appointment. Call them at 03-2165 1688 if you have RM1.9 million or so to burn.