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Bentley Continental GT, V8 To Debut For 2012

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On: Wed, Sep 8, 2010 at 11:08AM | By: Sherry Christiansen

 Bentley Continental GT, V8 To Debut For 2012

The 2012 Bentley Continental GT 4.0 liter V8 model will be unveiled at this year’s Paris motor show later this month. “The V8 is our hedge against fuel-price spikes, carbon-dioxide-related legislation and uncertainty in the global supercar market,” Uli Eichhorn, Bentley's technical director, said in a statement to the press about the sportier-looking GT model.

The engine, according to Eichhorn is an all new redesigned V8 being built in collaboration with Audi, and although the production model has not yet been launched, Bentley says the new V8 will be assembled in Great Britain, just like the W12. The exact specs on the vehicle’s engine are yet to be announced, but according to a recent automotive news article, speculation is that “given Bentley's enthusiasm for turbocharging, the likely output figures to rate between 350 hp and 400 hp, extending the GT's appeal into market segments where the W12 can't compete,” according to Automotive News.

The current Bentley Continental GT model has been in production for 7 years, with 23,000 vehicles having been produced.

The 2011 model will have the same length and wheelbase, seating positions, and height, but the body will undergo a new design, although the changes are said to be subtle; overall the car will be given a whole new look, much sportier and “sharper-looking. According to automotive news; “the grille and hood are set lower, which emphasizes new power bulges over the front wheels, and the glasshouse extends rearward into a shorter rear deck lid, these changes visually stretch the new GT so that it looks longer and lower, even if the tape measure says it isn't.”

The car’s interior is dramatic, as you would expect from an automobile with a reputation of being built from only the best material that money can buy. The leather interior has been given a foam backing which lends to the appearance of a thicker, more luxurious look and feel. The backseat has 1.8 inches more leg room accomplished by the addition of seats that are thinner. Bentley says, “there's no impact on rear-cabin accessibility, which a couple of in-and-out shuffles of the car confirm.”

Of course, the most exciting upgrade happens under the hood with an engine that has been upgraded from 560hp to 575 hp, and torque up from 479 lb./ft. to 516 lb/ft. The new GT sports a 6-speed transmission with a very fast shifting capacity.

According to automotive news: "the four-wheel-drive system now features a standard 40/60 torque split front/rear, the bias developed for the outgoing Supersports model. The steering is also recalibrated, and there's a new alloy upright in the front suspension, which completes the switch to all-alloy axle components started with modifications first introduced in the 2008 model year."

Bentley has also reduced the curb weight by 143 pounds through changes such as lighter seats and boosted power. According to Eichhorn “It's a bit quicker.”


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