Body and Chassis
The Bentley Continental GT features a steel monocoque construction, with the front fenders and the boot lid being built from aluminum. The revamp has brought a 65 kg (143 lbs) diet for the vehicle, with this being achieved from small gains spread throughout the car. For example, the seatbelts have migrated from the seats to the B-pillars and, despite their electrical fastening assistance, the move has brought a slight weight reduction.
As for the aforementioned front wings and trunk lid, these are created using the super forming technology. The aluminum panels are heated to 500 degrees Celsius (900 degrees Fahrenheit) in order to allow them to be shaped using air pressure. A single sheet of metal is used, so there’s no need for any welding or seems.
The 5,998 cc W12 unit now delivers 575 hp at 6,000 rpm and 700 Nm (516 lb-ft) of torque at 1,700 rpm - Bentley isn’t kidding about its traditional low-end torque. The new figures can be translated into an increase of 15 hp and 50 Nm (36.9 lb-ft), but while peak power arrives 100 rpm sooner, the peak torque rpm was delayed by same number of revolutions.
The fuel efficiency has also seen a slight increase. While the previous model returned EPA ratings of 10 mpg city, 17 mpg highway and 13 mpg overall, the new one comes with 12 mpg city, 19 mpg highway and 14 mpg combines.
Using the European cycle, the Bentley Continental GT W12 now offers the following fuel economy figures: 25.4 l/100 km urban, 11.4 l/100 km extra urban and 16.5 liters per 100 km combined.
The extra benefits arrive thanks to refinements such as the use of lighter components that reduce the internal friction and allow the unit to rev more freely. The low-inertia twin-turbochargers have also been revised and obviously there’s a new engine management software.
The unit keeps its FlexFuel capability, so, besides petrol, it can run on E85 bioethanol, or on any combination between the two. In order to achieve this, it uses a fuel quality sensor that continuously monitors the ratio of the fuels fed to the engine. The information received is sent to the ECU, which adapts the timing.
The Volkswagen Group seems to be very relaxed about leaving direct fuel injection out of certain packages lately. Just like the Lamborghini Aventador’s all-new V12 unit
, the Bentley Continental GT’s revised W12 doesn’t feature this.
Adding direct fuel injection increases the height of an engine, as well as its weight, as the system requires an additional particulate filter. While both downsides would’ve affected the Aventador, Bentley certainly wouldn’t have had any issues related to the mass. Nevertheless, the extra height could be the reason behind skipping the feature for the Continental GT.
That’s because the W12 may be extremely compact for its size, as it’s slightly smaller than an Audi 4.2-liter V8, but it still fills every inch of the engine bay.
Another technical asset that the W12 doesn’t receive is the new eight-speed ZF unit of the V8 powerplant. Instead, the unit sticks to its six-speed ZF automatic transmission. However, this borrows a quickshift system from the pre-revamp Supersports model, the range-topper of the first Continental. The feature allows the transmission to perform double downshifts on the spot and halves shift times to 200ms.
In addition to that, the transmission’s planetary gear set has been strengthened to cope with the output increase of the powerplant.
The Supersport’s influence can also be felt further down the power chain, where it lends its 40:60 (front:rear) continuos all-wheel drive system, which replaces the 50:50 hardware of the standard pre-revamp model.
Up front, this Bentley is suspended on four-link double wishbones, while at the rear it uses a trapezoidal multi-link. The suspension mixes Continuos Damping Control with an electronically-controlled self-leveling air suspension and anti roll bars.
Compared to the previous model, the front track is broader by 41mm, while the rear one is 48mm wider. The suspension now also uses more aluminum, featuring solid aluminium cast-forged front suspension uprights, as well as aluminum gravity die castings at the back. In addition to that, the spring and damper rates have been tweaked.
The standard wheels measure 20 inches in diameter, but our test car was fitted with the optional 21-inch wheels, which were wrapped in P275/35ZR21 Pirelli P-Zero rubber.
As for the speed-sensitive ZF servotronic steering, this now has a shorter ratio compared to that of the replaced model, needing 2.6 turns from lock to lock.
The standard braking hardware consists of 405 mm ventilated rotors for the front wheels and 335mm ventilated discs for the rear one. These manage to do away with the speed of the monstrous vehicle in an admirable way, but you can also opt for carbon ceramic brakes. The cross drilled carbon silicon carbide rotors come in a size of 420 mm and 356 mm, respectively.Continue reading
BENTLEY Continental GT W12 technical data summary
Engine: 5998 cm3 cc W12 Petrol with Bioethanol capability
Transmission: six-speed automatic
Dimensions: 189.2 in OR 4806 mm length / 76.5 in OR 1943 mm width / 55.3 in OR 1405 mm height
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