Bentley Continental GT 2012

The new Bentley Continental GT

A luxury GT offering excellent usability that remained true to the Bentley grand touring spirit

  • Summary

MORE POWERFUL W12 AND NEW HIGH-OUTPUT, HIGH-EFFICIENCY V8

- New, sculptured exterior exudes quality and design integrity.
- Contemporary, hand-crafted cabin with class-leading refinement.
- More powerful W12 engine at launch with FlexFuel capability.
- A new high-efficiency V8 from late 2011.
- Dynamic, engaging driving experience.
- Class-leading infotainment systems.

The Continental GT is set to have a choice of two very distinctive high-performance engines. In addition to the new 575PS version of Crewe’s renowned 6.0 litre W12 powertrain, a new high-output 4.0-litre V8 engine option will be introduced in late 2011.

The new 4.0-litre V8 engine honours Bentley’s environmental commitment to deliver a powertrain that achieves a 40 percent improvement in CO2 emissions. The new V8 is being designed specifically by Bentley’s engineers to deliver all the exhilarating power and torque synonymous with the marque. The new Crewe-built engine will also offer a class-leading CO2 emissions-to-power ratio.

At launch, the new Continental GT coupe is powered by the latest evolution of Bentley’s acclaimed 12-cylinder, 6-litre twin-turbocharged engine, now calibrated to provide even greater performance, thanks to increases in power, torque and fuel efficiency.

Designed in a unique ‘W’ configuration, it is the most compact and technologically advanced 12-cylinder engine in the world. Four camshafts and 48 valves allow the engine to breathe effortlessly and help to generate the distinctive Bentley wave of torque. It is also capable of running on petrol (gasoline), E85 bioethanol or any mix of the two – all from a single tank.

In 2008, Bentley announced a far-reaching environmental programme that included a 15 percent improvement in powertrain efficiency and the adoption across the Bentley model range of FlexFuel technology by 2012.

Bentley’s FlexFuel models are capable of delivering potential CO2 reductions of up to 70 percent on a ‘well-to-wheel’ basis – the measurement of CO2 released by a fuel from its production (well) through to its combustion or deployment (wheel).

To ensure that the power and torque generated remain constant (whatever the fuel) an advanced Fuel Quality Sensor continuously monitors the ratio of the fuels used. It then guides the Engine Control Unit to adjust the engine’s timing. This provides the seamless power delivery for which Bentley engines are renowned, and ensures there is no compromise on performance when using fuels that create lower CO2 emissions.

Further revisions to the new GT coupe’s engine include low friction, lightweight components which allow the W12-format engine to rev even more freely, while the latest engine management system and twin, low-inertia turbochargers are optimised to ensure minimal turbo lag.

Overall, the GT coupe is 65kg lighter than its predecessor thanks to reductions in all areas of the car from engine components through to new seats. With its power output raised by 15PS and torque by 50 Nm - to 575PS (567bhp/423kW) and 700Nm (516lb ft) – the result is a 6 percent improvement in the new GT’s power-to weight-ratio, making it capable of accelerating from zero to 60mph in just 4.4 seconds (0-100km/h in 4.6 seconds) with a top speed of 198mph (318km/h).

Bentley Continental GT 2012
The increased power and torque are transmitted to the all-wheel drive system via an uprated six-speed Quickshift transmission, which halves shift times (to just 200 milliseconds).

The revised gearbox also has the ability to deliver double downshifts (sixth to fourth gear, for example) and improves acceleration across the entire gear range.

To cope with the additional power and torque, the planetary gear set of the six-speed ZF transmission is also strengthened.

Positive torque during downshifts is achieved through engine and gearbox electronic controller interaction for extra throttle and fuel injection during the overrun, replicating manual throttle ‘blips’ for precise rev matching .

During transmission upshifts, fuel and ignition are cut momentarily to give faster mechanical shift times through torque reduction, also improving shift quality and durability.

“The W12’s extra power and torque and Quickshift transmission endow the new GT with instantly accessible supercar performance across the complete rev range. At the same time, Bentley’s pioneering use of FlexFuel technology underlines our ongoing environmental commitment.”

Brian Gush, Director, Chassis and Powertrain, Engineering
ALL-WHEEL DRIVE FOR OPTIMISED RIDE AND HANDLING
Both engines are coupled with a state-of-the-art, all-wheel drive system employing an advanced Torsen differential. This ensures safe yet dynamic sports car handling in all road conditions and all weathers.

In the new coupe, the power split has a 40:60 rear bias for a significantly more sporting feel in terms of handling and mid-corner acceleration. However, it can adjust instantaneously the power split between the front and rear wheels depending on the available grip. In addition, an uprated Electronic Stability Control (ESC) system provides additional security and grip whatever your driving style.

The new GT’s chassis delivers the optimum ride and handling balance. The wide front and rear track benefits agility and handling, while solid aluminium cast-forged, high-stiffness front suspension uprights and aluminium gravity die castings at the rear work in conjunction with a redesigned front anti-roll bar and retuned spring and damper settings. The result is improved response and stability at all speeds.

Continuous Damping Control (CDC) constantly monitors the car’s attitude and poise.

By adjusting the suspension settings hundreds of times a second it can provide a remarkably supple ride at low speeds and increased control as speeds climb. It can also lower the car in ‘V-Max’ mode for enhanced stability at the highest speeds.

Throughout Bentley’s history, iconic grand tourers have forged the marque’s reputation. In the 1950s the beautiful R-Type Continental set new standards of performance and style. In 2003, Continental GT revolutionised the luxury coupe market, combining supercar performance and dynamism with remarkable everyday practicality.

Now, the new Continental GT coupe sets even higher standards in every area of design, craftsmanship and engineering.

“We’ve distilled nearly 90 years of engineering excellence into the new Continental GT coupe. It represents everything Bentley stands for: breathtaking performance, beautiful design and unparalleled quality, comfort and luxury.”

Dr. Ulrich Eichhorn, Member of the Board, Engineering

 
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