The most powerful Bentley model up to date is the Continental Supersports. It is powered by a 6.0-litre, twin-turbocharged W12 unit that delivers an impressive 630 HP. However, a company insider has hinted that an even more powerful version of its W12 engine could be on the way.
The same source has announced that a Supersports version of the latest Continental GT could deliver up to 650 HP. And that’s because recent testings have confirmed that the W12 engine has the capacity to develop more than 105 hp/liter and that without harming reliability or drivability.
The company has recently conducted a durability test for the W12 unit during which the engine was put to four 100-hour sessions at full throttle, or in another words 20,000 miles at over 200 mph. And it looks like the engine passed those testings quite well.
And now Bentley wants to squeeze more from the most successful engine they had in their line-up. And why shouldn’t they, no? A 650 HP luxury sports car will surely put lots of other companies in trouble.
With its acquisition spending-spree apparently over – for now – Volkswagen has turned its attention to developing its current models, which are plentiful. Two models, however, are likely receiving the wrong kind of attention, as Reuters is reporting the Lamborghini and Bentley may see their respective SUVs – the Urus and EXP 9 F Concept – delayed.
As we all know, the European market has been ravaged by the crash of the global economy and VW has been one of the handful of European automakers to succeed in these dark days. This delaying of the two limited-production SUVs would help VW stretch its funds farther with its more productive lineups, like itself, Audi, and Seat. VW is planning a spending review and the final answer will not come until November 23rd, so we’re stuck waiting on an answer for at least a month.
Also up for a potential delay is the upcoming Bugatti sedan, which, just like the Bentley and Lamborghini SUVs, will only be produced and sold in very small numbers. We’ll keep an eye on this situation, as VW inches toward cutting its manufacturing by a reported 300,000 units.
We’ll bring you more information as it comes across the wire.
The new Bentley Continental GT models are one of the few vehicles that are perfect straight from the factory, needing no updates to extend their luxurious nature. German tuner Wheelsandmore apparently doesn’t agree or just likes a challenge as they have found some features that they decided to tweak.
Their package can be ordered for both the V8 and W12 versions and includes some pretty cool updates for the wheels, power, exhaust, and suspension. The most impressive updates can be found in the engines. The W12 engine gets its output increased from the standard 575 HP up to 635 HP and the V8 engine goes from 507 HP to 565 HP. Allotting for 15 HP is the new stainless steel exhaust system with remote valves which joins the new suspension system with an adjustable electronic lowering module that allows lifting at speeds up to 50 mph. The price for this conversion is 2,748 euro, or about $3,550 at the current exchange rates.
The only aesthetics included in the package is a new set of 21" 3-piece handcrafted 6Sporz² wheels at a price of 9,916 Euro (about $12,800 at the current exchange rates).
At the 2012 Paris Auto Show, Bentley unveiled the Continental GT3 Concept to mark their return to racing, but their return is not the only bit of good news coming from the luxury automaker. According to British magazine, AutoCar, Bentley plans to build a road-going version of the GT3 to replace the current Supersports models.
The new Continental GT3 Stradale will be powered by the company’s new twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8 engine that will deliver a total 700 HP, making it a strong competitor for the new Ferrari F12berlinetta, at least on paper. The rear-wheel-drive configuration of the concept will not be utilized as Bentley will stick to the usual four-wheel drive system featured on all current Continental models for the future Stradale.
Unsurprisingly, the concept’s radical look will be toned down for road use, while the interior will boast the same amount of luxury as Bentley’s customers have come to expect, albeit with a few modifications to keep the weight down.
The new Bentley Continental GT3 Stradale will be limited to only 300 units and will be unveiled sometime in 2014-2015.
When Bentley revealed the oddly named EXP 9 F Concept SUV, some of us cheered out of delight, but many almost cringed at its gaudy appearance. To call a Bentley gaudy is like calling most pop singers “Divas;” it’s pretty much a given. But the EXP 9 F was a little over the top – to say the least.
In a recent interview, Bentley spokesperson, Martin Broomer, made reference to the possibility of the EXP 9 F undergoing a bit of a redesign before it is re-revealed around the end of 2012. Bentley made it clear that the EXP 9 F was a show car and not a “dressed-up preproduction car,” which means it will likely be scaled down a bit in production.
We’ll see exactly how far Bentley takes this revision to this controversial concept. We do know that Bentley won’t strip it of the typical over-the-top design of its vehicles, but it does need some mild adjustments.
For now, all we can do is sit and wait until Bentley feeds us a little information on what it has in store for its debut SUV. One thing is for sure, this tweaking is a solid indicator that this is a little more than just another concept; Bentley is serious about jumping into the ultra-premium SUV segment.
Bentley has been rumored to be preparing a comeback to the racing circuits for quite some time. Those rumors will be put to rest in just a few hours when the Paris Auto Show opens its doors and we are introduced to the Continental GT3 Concept specially designed for the FIA GT3 European Championship. The future race car will be racing in the 24-hour marathons starting 2013 and will be joining the circuit to tackle the likes of Alpina, Aston Martin, and Porsche.
The Continental GT3 Concept will be based off of the Continental GT Speed. It will be powered by a W12 engine, but unlike the road-going version, it will be much lighter. In fact, the car needs to undergo a significant drop in weight considering its rivals in this category only weigh about 2,755 lbs. By comparison, the standard Continental GT Speed weighs an agonizing 5,478 lbs. The luxury racer will also feature a rear-wheel drive chassis in accordance with the regulations, state-of-the-art motorsport hardware, and a comprehensive aerodynamic package
The vehicle would have to drop all of its luxurious features found in the standard model’s interior and adopt a full race cage and carbon fiber shell seats to participate in these races. The large rear wing and front bumper will be made of carbon fiber and the entire body will consist of lightweight materials.
Dr Wolfgang Schreiber, Bentley’s Chairman and Chief Executive, stated: "The clear message from our customers is that Bentley belongs on the racetrack, and the Continental GT3 is the realisation of a dream we’ve had ever since the launch of the Continental GT. The new GT Speed is the perfect car for us to develop into a racer, and our work so far has shown huge potential. The Continental GT3 is set to show the world what the Continental GT is capable of in its most extreme form, and establishes a solid foundation for Bentley’s long-term motorsport plans."
UPDATE 10/16/12: A few weeks after unveiling the Bentley Continental GT3 Concept at the Paris Motor Show, Bentley has released a new promo video of the concept racer, showing it’s "transformation" from luxury sports car to all-conquering race car. Check it out by clicking on the photo above!
The upcoming Bentley Continental Flying Spur has been caught testing at the famous Nurburgring race track once again, but this time, it looks like Bentley has opted to heavily camouflage the luxury sedan. The last time the Flying Spur was caught testing, it was free of cammo and revealed what everybody already knew of its changes, leaving the new disguise to be a bit irrelevant.
Hidden under this new cover-up should be a more aggressive front fascia, a vented hood, and new headlights, as well as a new trunk-mounted spoiler, slimmer taillights, and a revised exhaust system for the back end. Unless the camouflage is now hiding a surprise addition to the sedan, this should be all of the new exterior changes for the Flying Spur.
The standard Flying Spur will be offered with a 6.0-liter, twin-turbocharged W12 engine rated at 575 HP and 516 lb/ft of torque, but just like all of the other Continental models, Bentley will also be offering it with a 4.0 liter, twin turbocharged V8 engine producing an output of 500 HP and 487 lb-ft of torque.
The official debut for the 2013 Bentley Continental Flying Spur will be made by the end of 2012.
The Bentley Mulsanne Vision is little more than a concept sketch to all of us so far, but that doesn’t stop us from using our imagination in creating it. We passed the sketch off to our talented rendering artist and he came back with a full scale image of what we think the Mulsanne Vision will look like.
Much like the current Mulsanne, the Vision model will boast the signature circular headlights and marker lights up front. It will also boast the same pronounced hood as the base sedan model that it’s derived from. One large difference on the front end of our rendered Vision and the current Mulsanne is that the lower grille in the Vision is open instead of grated.
As you continue down the front of the car, the Vision Mulsanne shows the same signature styling of the current Mulsanne sedan. The differences really come once you hit the doors. The Mulsanne Vision is, of course, a convertible model and features just a pair of doors, as opposed to the Mulsanne’s typical four doors and hard top. Short of those differences, the doors boast almost identical styling.
Once you reach the rear quarter panel, you catch a few more refinements given to the Mulsanne Vision to make it more muscular looking than its 4-door version. The body line that goes over the wheel arch on the sedan version shows elegance, whereas the Vision model shows some added aggression, as the body line starts lower on the quarter panel and swoops upward before sweeping toward the rear of the car, toward the ground, then back toward the rear of the wheel arch.
Most people won’t remember the 1999 Bentley Hunaudières (pictured here), a concept car created shortly after Volkswagen took ownership of Bentley. It was built on a Lamborghini platform and powered by a W16 engine, shining a whole new light on the otherwise limousine-filled Bentley lineup. This supercar was so unlike anything Bentley would ever push towards production that we wouldn’t doubt it if not one person ever thought they would see this car again.
We can’t promise that the Hunaudières will come back from its 13-year-long hiatus, a la the Porsche 928 H50 Concept/Panamera return, but we can say that Bentley is making some changes and bringing another cool sports-car concept out into the open. This new Bentley sports car will be making its first appearance at the 2012 Paris Auto Show in September.
There are no details available on this new concept at this point, but we wouldn’t be surprised to see this sports car concept be put into production solely because of Bentley’s sales target of 15,000 units annually. This new model will join the company’s upcoming facelift version for the Continental Supersport, the four-door Continental Flying Spur, the open-top version of the Mulsanne, and the SUV set to be launched in 2015.
We caught a glimpse of the 2013 Bentley Continental GT Speed at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, but the details were still a little scattered. Bentley has been planning an official debut of its new flagship performance coupe at the Moscow Motor Show on the 29th of August, but it chose to release the information on this upcoming model a little early.
We just got our hands on the full press release from Bentley and we are rather impressed with what this ultra-luxury car builder has done with this coupe, on the surface. What really matters is what’s down deep inside the cracks and crevices of this super coupe.
With this new information in hand, we are prepared to give you a full look at the upcoming sports coupe a full week before it ever hits the international auto shows. We’ll also pit it against like models – though there are few cars like the GT Speed – and let you know which looks better on paper.
Click past the jump to read our full review on the 2013 Continental GT Speed.