The most hi-tech Bentley ever has been launched with the world’s first three-way rotating dashboard that takes its inspiration from James Bond’s famous revolving number plate. A clever triangular ‘Toblerone-style’ device showing three different dashboard ‘faces’ allows the driver to choose which one to view.
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The new model Bentley Continental Gt is due to go on sale next year with a £160,000 price tag, It will be capable of smashing through the 200mph barrier and will be built exclusively in the UK.
The new engine is an enhanced version of the Bentayga’s 6.0-litre W12 TSI with a dual-clutch, eight-speed transmission for performance that delivers 635PS (626bhp) and 900Nm of torque. This allows the car to reach 0-100km/h in 3.7 seconds (0-60 mph in 3.6 seconds) and go on to a top speed of 207mph.
The GT’s adaptive chassis also borrows from the Betayga by using Bentley’s intelligent and powerful 48-volt Dynamic Ride System that controls ride comfort and inhibits lateral roll better than anything WIRED has experienced to date.
Apart from more aggressive styling (constructed from a new aluminium architecture which saves more than 80kg over the previous Continental), which results a much wider, more attractive GT that is longer and lower than the previous 2011 model, it’s the car’s technology that really impresses. We’ll have a full review later in the year, but for now here are our highlights.
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The new look takes much of its inspiration from Bentley’s EXP 10 Speed 6 concept car. The aluminium skin has been crafted using Super Formed technology, where aluminium is heated to 500°C previously only used on Bentley bumpers.
The Continental GT is supposedly the first production car ever to have an entire body side made using the Super Formed process. The first moves the unit in to the dashboard to provide clearance for the second stage – rotation – before the unit is then moved back in to a flush position.’The system even has built-in cooling fans to manage motor and screen temperatures.
A Touring Specification option brings a suite of aids for highway traffic and long-distance driving including adaptive cruise control with ‘Stop & Go’ which cut s the engine when stopped in traffic or at lights. In traffic, the system senses queuing vehicles and initiates small steering inputs to keep the car in line without visibility of road markings.
Another system scans the road ahead and recognises possible frontal collisions before alerting the driver. It automatically applies the brakes to prevent collisions at low speed.
Wolfgang Dürheimer, chairman and chief executive of Bentley Motors, said: ‘Bentley has been at the forefront of luxury Grand Touring for nearly one hundred years. The new, third-generation Continental GT is the pinnacle of our design and engineering achievements and marks the next step in Bentley’s journey’.
Each individual interior is crafted from NINE northern European bull hides stitched together with 1.7 miles (2.8km) of thread.
The leather is shaved to just 1mm thickness to save weight.
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Diamond-style patterning on seat embroidery includes 712 stitches per diamond shape totalling more than 310,000 stitches per car.
Each luxury handcrafted cabin has 10sq metres of veneer wood that takes 9 hours to create and fit.
The 20-way adjustable seats feature cooling, heating and massage functions.
The digital instrument cluster – which replaces traidtional clocks – can be tailored to fit the needs of each driver
The car’s fully digital instrument panel can be configured to suit the driver.
To customise your car there are are 17 basic exterior paint options, plus 70 in extended range, as well as 15 luxury carpet options, eight handcrafted wooden veneers plus four ‘dual ‘ veneers, and 15 choices of interior trim hide.
Diamond-style pattern on knobs and trim are inspired by luxury Swiss watch-makers, including a special ‘Cotes de Geneve’ finish machined on aluminium just 0.6mm thick.
There is a choice of three audio options including a top of the range Naim system with 18 speakers and active bass.
Soundproofing, including full acoustic glazing, means the cabin is 9db quieter.
Special Pirelli P Zero tyres have a ‘noise cancelling’ system which reduces road noise coming into the cabin.
Up to 12 ultra-sonic sensors, six cameras and radar allow the car to respond to potential dangers around it.
The headlights feature the latest LED matrix technology with lamps inspired by ‘the finest cut-crystal glasses’.
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