Five new exterior paint colors are available across the range. Power and torque has been increased on GT Speed models to 633 hp and 620 lb-ft. A new Black Edition model offers a more extrovert styling choice on the exterior, with high gloss black finishes to the exterior brightware, all-black 21in wheels and a contrast styling specification available in four different colors. The Black Edition interior includes carbon fiber trim, Mulliner Design seats and a sports steering wheel.
A late addition to the 2017 Bentley Continental lineup is the Continental Supersports, which is the most potent version of the British brand's large grand tourer. Available as a coupe or convertible, the 6.0-liter twin-turbo W-12 has been tweaked to produce 700 hp and 750 lb-ft of torque. The car also features a trunk-mounted wing, 21-inch multi-spoke alloy wheels, gloss black headlight surrounds, grille, and side vents, checker-patterned carbon fiber trim in the interior and available tri-tone interior upholstery. In total, only 710 units of the Continental Supersports will be produced.
The Continental is Bentley's highly successful entry-level model, and is available as a Coupe or Convertible.
Originally launched in 2003, the Bentley Continental GT re-energized a market segment long dominated by the Mercedes-Benz S-Class coupe. A major redesign in 2011 freshened the exterior styling, but the basic vehicle has remained little changed. And all-new Continental GT, built on an all-new platform, will debut in 2017.
The Continental GT range now comprises coupe and convertible models, each available with a 4.0-liter V-8 or 6.0-liter W-12 engine. The Continental GT V8 has 500 hp and 487 lb-ft of torque and the GT V8 S 520 hp and 502 lb-ft of torque. Of the W12-powered models, the Continental GT has 582 hp and 531 lb-ft and the GT Speed 633 hp and 620 lb-ft of torque. All Continental GTs are all-wheel drive, and are fitted with an eight-speed automatic transmission.
The least expensive of the Continental models is the V8 Coupe, which will accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 4.6 seconds, and has a claimed stop speed of 190 mph. The top of the range Continental GT Speed Coupe will accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 3.9 seconds, and has a top speed of 206 mph. Convertible versions, which feature a fully lined cloth top with heated glass window, weigh about 386 lb more, and so are slightly slower. Gas mileage EPA estimates range from 15 mpg city and 25 mpg highway for the base V8 Coupe to 12 mpg city and 20 mpg highway for the W12 Speed Convertible.
The Bentley Continental GT has yet to be rated by NHTSA or IIHS. Standard equipment includes anti-lock brakes, stability control, and front and side airbags. Adaptive cruise control and a rear-view camera are also available. Blind spot warning, forward collision warning, and lane keeping assistance are not available, however.
What We Think
Though big and heavy for a two-door, and despite the fact the basic platform is now into its second decade, the Bentley Continental GT continues to surprise and delight our road testers with the way it drives. "Piloting the Continental GT Speed Convertible through the canyons is definitely entertaining," we noted in our First Test review. "We expected a clumsy mess, but instead got cool and composed."
The 12-cylinder Continental GTs are the headline grabbers when it comes to performance, but the V-8 powered cars look virtually identical, and deliver better fuel efficiency, at a lower price. And, with less weight over the front axle, they're slightly more nimble to drive. With more power and torque than the base car, the Continental GT V8 S is the pick of the bunch, and the best overall value in the range.
One area where the Continental GT is showing its age is its infotainment interface, which is woefully stuck in the early 2000s. The voice command system is hit-and-miss, Bluetooth connection is a clumsy process, and there are no USB ports. The optional Naim sound system sounds spectacular with CDs, but loses clarity when playing back compressed music files. And the ageing electrical architecture means a lack of advanced driver aids.
Despite the increased power, we said in a 2017 First Drive that the Bentley Continental Supersports is a luxury car first, feeling refined despite its carbon fiber aero bits and exhaust that crackles. The car's performance, however, is still impressive offering consistent braking, strong acceleration, and great handling despite its size and over 5,000-pound curb weight.
With a top speed of 206 mph, the Continental GT Speed coupe is the fastest production Bentley in history.
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