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V8-Based Bentley Continental GT to Get Audi S Tronic Transmission

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On: Thu, Oct 14, 2010 at 4:59PM | By: Chris Weiss


V8-Based Bentley Continental GT to Get Audi S Tronic Transmission

Audi and Bentley are known to be working jointly on a 4.0-liter V8 engine that will be used in the Continental GT and Audi models. The latest indications are that Bentley will also share a transmission with Audi for the V8 Continental GT. In an effort to appeal to the buyers it has in mind for the V8 Continental, Bentley will equip it with Audi's S Tronic transmission.

The S Tronic transmission is a sporty, dual-clutch transmission. The S Tronic set-up uses two wet clutches, one for odd-numbered gears and one for even numbers, to ensure seamless power flow, short, decisive gear shifts, and smooth acceleration. The S Tronic provides for both manual and automated shifts.

Bentley believes that the buyer for the V8 Continental GT will be a different breed than that of the W12 model. Sales and marketing chief Alasdair Stewart said: "The V8 will find a new audience for us. There are sports car enthusiasts out there, particularly in the US, who won’t buy a sports car unless it’s powered by a V8." 

The Crewe crew believes that the S Tronic gearbox will appeal to sports car fans over the ZF automatic transmission used in the current W12-based Continental. The company is currently assessing how the underbody of the car will need to be changed to fit the S Tronic hardware. A feasibility study will determine if the S Tronic is the right solution for Bentley.

While the W12-based Continental GT debuted in Paris and will launch early next year, the V8 model won't be ready for market until early 2012. Bentley hopes that the cheaper, smaller-engined Continental GT will help them weather the recession and keep sales floating at current levels. Bentley intends to sell the new Continental GT at the same 5,000/year rate as the outgoing model with help from the V8 version. The V8 engine will also help to boost the Continental GT's dismal fuel economy.

Though no final price has been designated, the V8 Continental GT will be priced below the W12 GT's base of $189,900.


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