Fourteen years – that’s how long Bentley’s current generation Continental GT has been in production. That’s longer than most dogs live, just for a bit of perspective.
Yes, Bentley’s iconic two-door has been in production for quite a while, and despite a moderate redesign in 2011, it has looked much the same since inception. For most cars, this would be the kiss of death, but the Continental GT has somehow remained attractive well into its golden years.
The original sports car’s prolonged appeal hasn’t stopped the UK automaker from developing a successor, however. With sleeker lines, improved technology, and more robust performance, the second generation Continental GT is striking all the right chords.
With design cues borrowed from the EXP 10 Speed 6 Concept, the redesigned two-door retains the overall size and shape of its forbear while refining its physique considerably. Notable styling elements include a more rounded nose with Matrix LED headlights, slender oval taillights, and a soft-sloping lower character line that wraps from behind the front wheel arches around the rear.
Beneath the long bonnet is an updated version of the current car’s 6.0-liter twin-turbocharged W12 engine tuned to produce 626 horsepower and 664 pound-feet of torque. Like before, the massive engine can guzzle less fuel by deactivating cylinders when maximum performance isn’t required. When you do drop the hammer, however, the Continental GT will hit 60 mph in 3.6 seconds and continue accelerating to a top speed of 207 mph.
Some of the car’s performance capacity is due to a sophisticated all-wheel drive system, launch control system, and eight-speed automatic transmission. When the road gets curvy, Bentley’s Dynamic Ride (shared with the Bentley Bentayga) adapts the suspension to handle cornering G forces.
The new Continental GT also gains a host of driver aids like Active Lane Assist, Traffic Jam Assist, and Park Assist. In-car tech takes a leap with a 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system that hides when the car is off. Apple CarPlay is standard, but both the glorious Naim audio system with 18 speakers and 2,200 watts is optional.
Bentley will showcase its updated Continental GT at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show ahead of an on sale date sometime next year. Pricing is yet to be announced.