Bentley’s Continental GT is now one of the oldest models in production, with the original coupe having first appeared on the scene as far back as the 2003 Geneva Motor Show.
Yes, the vehicle has undergone numerous updates since then but the basic styling and underlying platform have continued largely unchanged over the years.
A successor is planned and we now have more spy shots of a prototype.
Bentley EXP 10 Speed 6 concept, 2015 Geneva Motor Show
What’s immediately clear is that Bentley’s EXP 10 Speed 6 concept from 2015 was the inspiration for the design. The new Continental is adopting a sleeker, more dynamic look than the current model and should prove to be a stunner.
This isn’t a production version of the EXP 10 Speed 6 as some have reported, as the car’s size is comparable with that of the current Continental and in some of the shots you can make out a 2+2 seating arrangement. The EXP 10 Speed 6, if approved for production, will be a proper sports car with two seats only.
Underpinning the car is the Volkswagen Group’s MSB platform designed for large, rear- and all-wheel-drive cars with engines mounted up front. The platform makes its debut in the 2017 Porsche Panamera.
2018 Bentley Continental GT Convertible spy shots – Image via S. Baldauf/SB-Medien
Porsche is overseeing the development of the platform, which thanks to increased use of lightweight materials such as high-strength steel and aluminum in its construction should result in significant weight savings for the new Continental. The platform will also end up in a next-generation Flying Spur.
Bentley’s new Continental should once again offer both W-12 and V-8 engine options. While it’s unlikely we’ll see a diesel engine fitted to the car, a plug-in hybrid option is expected this time around. The W-12 should be the only option at launch. It will be the new twin-turbocharged 6.0-liter W-12 with direct fuel injection that made its debut in the 2017 Bentley Bentayga. Factor on an output of at least 600 horsepower, up from the 582 hp found in the latest 2016 model.
The new Continental GT should make its debut sometime in 2017-we’re guessing at the Geneva Motor Show in early March. It should arrive on the market later that year as a 2018 model. Shortly after the arrival of the coupe, Bentley will launch a new Continental GT Convertible (shown above).