Considered the quintessential modern Bentley, the Continental GT has undergone a series of stunning transformations over the past eight years.
The first significant redesign since its launch in 2003 was presented in 2010, as Bentley ushered in a suite of new models. This reinvention, according to the marque, “took the Continental’s peerless craftsmanship, exquisite style and near-limitless power – and pushed it to an entirely new level. It introduced new technology, greater efficiency, state-of-the-art materials, a sleek new silhouette and a sportier feel.”
A further evolution of the range followed in 2015, with styling changes to the fenders and bumpers; and, with the introduction of new models based on a leaner V8 powertrain, the Continental GT soon made its debut in elite GT3 racing. Bentley’s motorsport team refined their car for the racetrack, making technological advances that found their way back into the road-going cars.
In 2014, the limited edition GT3-R was launched – a road-going Continental inspired by Bentley Motorsport’s success on the track. One year later the entire Continental GT range evolved further. Styling changes to the fenders, bumpers, radiator, wing vents and boot lid resulted in an even more contemporary look, while new seat finishes, paint colours and wheel options were introduced. Beneath the bonnet, updates to both the V8 and W12 engines increased their power. A new variable displacement system was also introduced, improving fuel efficiency and reducing emissions.
By last year, the Continental GT was available in a choice of 10 models, from the Continental GT V8 to the super-powerful Continental Supersports. With permanent all-wheel drive and convertible body styles available across the range, says Bentley, “the Continental GT has changed the world of grand touring forever. It has delivered a uniquely thrilling experience on all kinds of roads, on every continent and in every type of weather. This is a car with an exhilarating past and an illustrious future. The Continental story continues apace – and it grows more gripping at every turn.”
CONTINENTAL SUPERSPORTS (2017)
Launched in 2017, the second-generation Continental Supersports pushed Bentley performance to new heights. “With agile handling, blistering acceleration and an awe-inspiring top speed,” says Bentley, “it remains the most exhilarating car in this range.”
Bold body styling includes carbon fibre accent details inside and out, reducing weight and contributing to the car’s sporting feel. The 6.0 litre W12 engine was tuned by Bentley’s engineers to deliver 700 bhp (710 PS) and 1017 Nm of torque. As a result, it can accelerate from zero to 100 km/h in 3.5 seconds and on to 336 km/h – the highest top speed of any Bentley.
CONTINENTAL GT3-R (2014)
The Continental GT3-R was inspired by the Bentley GT3. As such, it has been described as the most uncompromising and focused road car produced by Bentley to date. Furthermore, with a limited production run, the GT3-R will always be extremely rare. “For some drivers, performance is the ultimate luxury. And that is why Bentley built the GT3-R: a road-going GT extreme with all the power, responsiveness and acceleration the GT3-R badge implies.”
CONTINENTAL GT V8 S (2013)
The Continental GT V8 S offered a more performance-focused driving alternative to the standard V8 model, while retaining its distinctive red enamel winged “B” badges. Lowered sports suspension, revised damping and uprated anti-roll bars improved agility, body control and cornering relative to the Continental GT V8, while the recalibrated steering provides enhanced feedback and feel.
In 2016, an exclusive Black Edition was revealed, adding black 21-inch seven-spoke wheels, black exterior details and dark tint lights. Both the Black Edition and the standard model feature a 4.0 litre, twin-turbocharged V8 engine that delivers 520 bhp (388 kW / 528 PS at 6,000 rpm) and 680 Nm of torque.
CONTINENTAL GT SPEED (2012)
The Continental GT Speed was designed “to embody the perfect balance between exquisite luxury and an exhilarating drive”. In creating the GT Speed, Bentley's chassis engineers brought the car 10 millimetres closer to the ground, laying the foundation for a sportier driving experience than that of the Continental GT.
Equipped with the Mulliner Driving Specification as standard, it features diamond quilted leather seats, indented leather headlining and embroidered winged “B” emblems on the headrests. Drilled alloy pedals, a knurled sports gear lever and jewel oil and fuel filler caps recall Bentley’s long racing heritage. A Black Edition was launched in 2016, replacing the chrome brightware with gloss black.
CONTINENTAL GT V8 (2012)
Aimed at lovers of the famous V8 engine growl, the Bentley Continental GT V8 can be identified by its red enamel winged “B” badges, seen on the bonnet, boot and wheel centres.
The Continental GT V8 was the first Bentley to feature variable displacement engine technology. At light throttle openings, the valves on four of the eight cylinders close, acting only as gas springs. The remaining four cylinders operate at a higher level of efficiency, reducing energy loss. As soon as the throttle opens wide, the engine instantly switches back to full eight-cylinder operation, the switch taking place imperceptibly.
CONTINENTAL GT (2010)
Since the launch of the first generation in 2003, the Continental GT has moved on to a second generation that is even more powerful, its W12 engine producing 582 bhp (590 PS). Inside the cabin, the steering wheel features knurled paddle-shift gear selectors, while behind it the dashboard design subtly echoes the wings of the Bentley flying “B” badge. The front seats have their own ventilation system, as well as a state-of-the-art massage system.