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4th-generation Bentley Continental GT to launch in June

Goodbye to W12 and hello to electrified twin-turbo V8

It may look similar, but underneath is an all-new engine. PHOTO FROM BENTLEY

The quintessential British grand tourer, the Bentley Continental GT, is set to unveil its fourth iteration in the next few weeks.

The original Continental GT was unveiled in 2002 after being acquired by the Volkswagen Group. The Continental singlehandedly transformed the British manufacturer producing 1,000 cars annually to a sudden success story for its German parent as the model’s massive demand at that time saw production jump to 10,000 vehicles annually in just a few years.

You can imagine then that Bentley executives approach a new Continental model with as much excitement as trepidation. Today, there are 100,000 examples of the Continental GT that have stepped out of Crewe’s doors to hit roads all over the world.

The legendary W12 is now gone, but the new mill is allegedly just as fast. PHOTO FROM BENTLEY

The latest Continental forgoes the legendary twin-turbo W12 in favor of a smaller, lighter but now electrified twin-turbo V8 hybrid producing even more power and more torque: 771hp and a gravity-escaping 1,000Nm of torque. This will be the marque’s most powerful and most athletic model in its 105-year history.

It drives all four wheels via an active all-wheel drive system enhanced with torque vectoring and an electronic limited-slip differential. The suspension utilizes electric active anti-roll bars and dual-valve dampers to deliver a cosseting ride as well as precise handling for this land yacht. Four-wheel steering is also present to aid maneuverability.

All this technology is housed under Bentley’s all-new high-performance hybrid chassis architecture. The hybrid system itself will deliver an all-electric range of as much as 80km in full-electric mode with a highly impressive carbon dioxide figure of 50g/km.

And it goes without saying that it will be extensively handcrafted by the finest artisans from Bentley. Suffice to say that you won’t ever be late for your tea party again.

Botchi Santos

Botchi is your friendly, walking car encyclopedia. He loves helping people choose the right vehicle for themselves as much as he enjoys picking the right one for himself. Expect him to write about car culture, test drives and car-shopping advice. His regular column is called ‘Car Life’.