The Bentley Continental is, for all intents and purposes, an old car by now. It has been in production, in one way or another, for well over 14 years. And yet, despite knowing that, it’s still one of the most lusted-after motors even today. The secret behind it? Bentley’s constant minor upgrades. Although visually it’s still the same car they debuted back in 2003, the underpinnings have been completely swapped in the last decade or so, as has been the drivetrain. Now though, they’re getting ready to launch a brand-new Continental GT. And when we say brand new, we really mean brand new. Recent spy photos have revealed what the upcoming Conti will look like, and it’s mighty appealing, to say the least.
The traditional Continental lines are still there, but it’s undeniably undergone massive surgery. The facelift is extensive, as the car now seems to be wearing Bentley’s new corporate fascia, as seen on the large Bentayga sibling. Obviously, it isn’t identical here, but you can sort of make out that the Continental copies a lot of styling elements from its bigger brother. The spy shots don’t reveal a lot more because the cars were decently camouflaged, so we’ll be able to tell you more once Bentley decides to share more official information, or even a photo or two. For now, though, we have every reason to get excited.
Unfortunately, no one was able to get interior shots of it. At least not ones which are worth anything. It obviously borrows more stuff from its Bentayga sibling, but just how much is difficult to tell. Knowing Bentley, they won’t change the cabin that much. Perhaps upgrade the materials here and there or perfect the fit and finish, but nothing major. No one’s ever had an issue with the Continental’s cabin, so why change it right? If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it, isn’t that how the saying goes?
One thing we do know is that the Conti’s new platform, called MSB, was co-developed with Porsche. Both the GT and the convertible GTC will utilise it fully, with Porsche offering its own MSB-based competitor shortly after. For the Continental, this means a drastic reduction in weight and, with any bit of luck, sportier driving dynamics. It can still be a large luxury cruiser, but surely a few sporty credentials are no bad thing.
The flagship 6.0-liter W12, lifted from the Bentayga this time, is still here. With 600 horsepower and a tonne of torque, it’s a real powerhouse, but we’d actually go for the V8 version. It may have ‘just’ 521 horsepower, but it’s lighter than the W12 with even better weight distribution. You could argue the W12 makes for a smoother driving experience, but it’s muted. The V8 is shouty and angry, and we quite like that.
We’ll get to see the finished production-ready car sometime in 2018, but we’ll know more about it this summer and later in the fall. Who knew you can get this excited over a Bentley Continental?