More images tonight from the Nürburgring where Bentley was testing suspension and handling of the next Continental GT. Like the last engineering vehicles we’ve spotted, this one is wearing some pretty heavy camouflage to obscure its true lines.
The next Continental GT is expected to be unveiled next year and go on sale as a 2018 model. Based on photos of development vehicles we’ve seen so far, the car’s profile will be mostly evolutionary from the current model. That is a good thing as the current Continental’s classic lines can be traced back 60 years the original Continental coupé.
The new Continental will keep the traditional Bentley headlight arrangement but with a modern take. We expect a very heavy influence from the EXP 10 Speed 6 concept car’s front grille and headlamp arrangement, including the concept car’s heavy dose of 3D printed parts. 3D printing gave the concept car some very unique curves to several of its lights, grilles and trim pieces inside and outside of the car.
The 2018 Bentley Continental GT is expected to use Bentley’s new 6.0l twin-turbo W12 that just went into service in the 2017 Bentayga. Like the current GT, the new car will also have a 4.0l V8 engine option. The new power plant is believed to a new twin-turbo Porsche design, that Bentley’s sister company recently revealed.
Bentley is developing the Continental on the MSB platform, which Porsche also is utilizing for the next generation Panamera. That car was just unveiled last week with the all new Panorama Turbo getting the 4.0l, twin-turbo with 550 hp and 567 lb. ft. of torque. This promising as it would represent a nice bump over the current Bentley 4.0l V8, which puts out 521 hp in the GT V8 S.
Transmission options are less clear. Of course the new Porsche uses the company’s eight speed PDK transmission. That option seems unlikely for the Bentley, which may retain its current eight speed ZF automatic gearbox.
Bentley spent a lot of time working on the Bentayga’s handling at the Nürburgring. As a result, the SUV ended up with its own special tires and tuned suspension and has received great reviews for its on-road performance. Let’s hope the world doesn’t have to wait much longer to learn about the GT’s performance too.