• 2018 Bentley Continental GT

Faster, fancier, and more powerful than ever!

LISTEN 21:52

The Bentley Continental GT has been a huge hit for Bentley and Volkswagen AG since its launch in 2003, but the problem is that the car really hasn’t changed that much over the years. Sure, the facelift brought tweaked styling, a new V-8, and reworked interior, but it still takes a keen eye to spot the differences between the first Conti and those built after 2011. It’s likely that a $200,000 grand touring Bentley coupe/convertible wasn’t a huge priority for VW coming out of a global recession, but now with high-end luxury cars back in full swing, Bentley finally unleashed the third-generation Continental GT.

Revealed ahead of the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show, the new Conti GT confirms what we already knew from spy shots and the Bentayga SUV. The exterior styling is heavily based on the EXP 10 Speed 6 concept, while the interior borrows some of the features and materials seen in the SUV. Bentley also took the new 6.0-liter W-12 that it launched with the Bentayga and dropped it under the Continental’s hood with revised internals and other drivetrain components. All told, the new Continental GT is sportier, quicker, more powerful, and more luxurious than the outgoing model. But more about that in the review below.

Continue reading to learn more about the next generation Bentley Continental GT.

  • 2018 Bentley Continental GT
  • Year:
    2018
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    W12
  • Transmission:
    eight-speed automatic
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    626 @ 6000
  • Torque @ RPM:
    664 @ 4500
  • Displacement:
    6.0 L
  • 0-60 time:
    3.6 sec.
  • Top Speed:
    207 mph
  • Price:
    195000 (Est.)
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • size:
  • Purpose:
  • body style:
  • Overall:
    8.8/10

Official video

Exterior

2018 Bentley Continental GT High Resolution Exterior
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The third-generation Conti GT is a massive improvement. And it's gorgeous to look at.

When it comes to redesigns, Bentley isn’t the kind of automaker you should go to for radical changes. At least not as far as the Continental GT goes. Just look at the outgoing, second-generation models versus the original coupe. The redesign was mostly about refined details than anything else. But things changed rather dramatically, and the third-generation Conti GT is a massive improvement. And, it’s gorgeous to look at too.

Not surprisingly, the new grand tourer is heavily based on the EXP 10 Speed 6 concept.

Not surprisingly, the new grand tourer is heavily based on the EXP 10 Speed 6 concept car. Granted, it’s not as sporty as the show car — it clearly lacks the supercar-like stance — but it features many of its styling cues. Up front, the grille is almost identical, so it’s significantly wider and placed a bit lower in the fascia. The nose has been lowered too. Flanking the massive grille are the usual round headlamps with smaller units toward the corners, but both have been redesigned and have different proportions.

2018 Bentley Continental GT High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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2015 Bentley EXP 10 Speed 6 Exterior
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2018 Bentley Continental GT Bentley EXP 10 Speed 6

They feature the latest LED Matrix technology and a unique design. Inspired by the finest cut-crystal glasses, the internal surfaces are transparent with sharply defined edges that catch the light like a diamond. The result is similar to that of an illuminated gem, giving the Conti GT a fancy appearance. The bumper is very familiar, with a wider center opening flanked by taller side vents. This configuration is similar to the outgoing model, but the side intakes are now as tall as the bumper.

When seen from the side, the new Conti GT seems longer and lower.

When seen from the side, the new Conti GT seems longer and lower. The lowered engine hood and nose contribute to this feeling, but the revised stance is also the result of the front wheels being mounted 5.3 inches further forward. This translates into a longer wheelbase, hence the seemingly longer body. But, while the overall size and shape feel familiar, there are quite a few notable changes. For starters, the traditional vent on the front fender is no more. Instead, Bentley added an outlet just above the side skirts, integrated into the chrome trim that runs into the rear wheel arches. The rear haunches also feel more muscular, just like on the EXP 10 Speed 6 concept. The 21-inch wheels are standard and can be had in one of two designs. 22-inch lightweight, forged wheels are offered optionally, alongside a hand-finished option with a twisted polish finish.

2018 Bentley Continental GT High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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2016 Bentley Continental GT High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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New Bentley Continental GT Old Bentley Continental GT

Around back, the new Conti GT is a brand-new car. For the firs time since the nameplate was introduced, Bentley came up with a unique taillight design. Also using LED technology, the lights are now shaped into ellipses that mimic the form of the exhaust pipes. The new taillights also run into the trunk lid for the very first time. The latter has been redesigned too, having a wider opening, which should make loading big suitcases into the trunk easier. And needless to say, the Continental finally has a trunk lid that feels modern and not like a lid you’d get on a vintage washing machine.

The redesigned bumper still bears a resemblance to the old one, but the license plate recess now sits closer to the ground and disrupts the chrome strip. I like the effect that it creates. Below, the oval exhaust pipes are slightly larger and no longer look like a tilted figure eight. All told, the new rear end is a significant departure from the traditional Continental GT design. And while I can’t decide whether I like it or not, I must admit it’s unique and fresh.

2018 Bentley Continental GT High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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The taillights are now shaped into ellipses that mimic the form of the exhaust pipes.

On top of these new design changes, the Continental GT’s body is also made from different materials. Now made entirely of aluminum, the body was crafted using the Super Formed technology, a technique working with aluminium heated to 500 degrees Celsius (932 Fahrenheit) which allows designers to spawn more complex, sharply defined lines. The Continental GT is actually the first production car ever to have the entire body made with the Super Formed process. The new body materials also save more than 80 kg (176.3 pounds) over the previous car.

Customers will get to choose between 17 exterior paints, with a limited extended range of hues available at launch. Of course, more colors can be had via the bespoke Mulliner division.

Exterior Dimensions

Wheelbase (Inches) 112.2
Length (Inches) 189.0
Width (Inches) 86.1
Height (Inches) 55.3
Track front/rear (Inches) 65.8/65.5

Interior

2018 Bentley Continental GT High Resolution Interior Wallpaper quality
- image 728811
Arguably the most impressive feature is the new infotainment display.

Unlike the exterior, the interior bears very little resemblance to the EXP 10 Speed 6 concept. The layout is still closely related to the outgoing model, but Bentley added so many new features that we’re basically looking at a new design. Arguably the most impressive feature is the new infotainment display. Called the Bentley Rotating Display, it’s a 12.3-inch touchscreen housed in a three-sided unit that revolves in the center stack.

When the car is not in use, it appears to be no screen in the centre of the dashboard, with the wood veneer flowing uninterrupted across the dashboard. When the engine start button is pressed, however, the veneer in the center stack glides forward and rotates to reveal the configurable screen. The third side of the Rotating Display reveals three analogue dials displaying outside temperature, a compass and chronometer, so you can opt for either a simple dash or elegant, old school-style dash. This is an industry-first feature, as McLaren’s somewhat similar feature is used in the instrument cluster.

2018 Bentley Continental GT High Resolution Interior
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2016 Bentley Continental GT
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New Bentley Continental GT Old Bentley Continental GT
The new coupe also comes with new veneers, including Koa, a wood that's rarely used in cars.

Speaking of which, the Conti’s new instrument cluster is more modern than ever. Thanks to 3D LED lights, the dials seem analogue, while the big screen in the middle displays high-resolution images and information. The steering wheel has been redesigned too and fitted with small buttons on both spokes.

The new coupe also comes with new veneers, including Koa, a wood that’s rarely used in cars. A dual-veneer option is also available, and Bentley claims that over 10 square meters of wood are used in each car. This isn’t necessarily something to brag about given the issues we are facing due to massive deforestation, but the company say every inch of wood is sustainably sourced. The centre console is finished to match the lower fascia but can be specified in a new finish that is inspired by the mechanical surfacing inside the finest automatic Swiss watches, Côtes de Genève. This surface –- also a first in the business -– is machined onto 0.6 mm-thick aluminum and is created by machining from side to side to create a linear pattern. Each row is five mm wide and machined at an angle to give a three-dimensional finish.

Many surfaces are wrapped in fine leather with contrast stitching.

Many surfaces are wrapped in fine leather with contrast stitching. This isn’t unusual in a Bentley, but the firm brags about this new quilt technique called "diamond in diamond." It offers the effect of a floating, quilted surface and it’s also soft to touch. There are 15 upholstery colors to choose from before taking it to Mulliner, which an offer an infinite number of choices.

As you’d expect, the 20-way adjustable seats have heating, cooling, and massage function as standard, while Apple CarPlay, real time traffic, and Private eCall for emergency services are just a few of the convenience features found inside the cabin.

You can also pick between three audio systems. The standard system features 10 speakers and 650 Watts, but the optional Bang & Olufsen unit comes with 1,500 watts, 16 speakers system, and illuminated speaker grilles. Finally, a Naim 2,200-watt, 18-speaker system with Active Bass Transducers built into the front seats and eight sound modes will turn the Continental GT into a concert hall.

Interior Dimensions

Legroom front/rear (Inches) 41.9/32.0
Headroom front/rear (Inches) 40.1/36.7
Boot volume 12.6 cu ft

Drivetrain

2018 Bentley Continental GT High Resolution Exterior
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Just like the outgoing model, the third-generation Continental GT gets its juice from a 6.0-liter W-12 engine.

Just like the outgoing model, the third-generation Continental GT gets its juice from a 6.0-liter W-12 engine. However, this twin-turbo unit is different from the old one, having been introduced in the Bentayga SUV a while back.

The massive powerplant cranks out 626 horsepower and 664 pound-feet of torque, which accounts for a 44-horsepower and 133-pound-feet increase over the previous model. It might not sound like a whole lot in terms of horsepower, but keep in mind that the new Continental GT is at least 200 pounds lighter. Interestingly enough, the new Continental GT is as powerful as the GT Speed was until 2016 while generating an extra 26 pound-feet of torque. Compared to the latest development of the GT Speed, it falls behind by only seven horses, while generating an extra 44 pound-feet.

The new W-12 mates to a dual-clutch eight-speed automatic transmission, the first time such a gearbox is offered in a Bentley. Charging to 60 mph takes only 3.6 seconds, a half-second quicker than the outgoing model. However, this benchmark can be achieved with the dedicated Sport Launch mode only. Top speed also increased to a mind-boggling 207 mph, making the new Conti GT faster than anything else in this niche.

The massive powerplant cranks out 626 horsepower and 664 pound-feet of torque.

The new engine uses start-stop technology that enables the W-12 to rests not only when the vehicle is stationary, but also at near-to-stop speeds. The dual-clutch eight-speed transmission delivers smooth acceleration and helps improve fuel economy, now rated at 23.2 U.K. mpg combined versus the previous 19.9 mpg. Top speed is reached in sixth gear, with the seventh and eighth cogs acting as overdrive gears for highway cruising.

The all-wheel-drive system is also new, replacing the previous 40:60 power delivery split between front and rear wheels. Now, the AWD system varies the front-to-rear torque split based on driving conditions. However, the coupe will use rear-wheel-drive as much as possible during normal driving. Weight distribution has also been improved by moving the engine further back.

2018 Bentley Continental GT 2017 Bentley Continental GT 2016 Bentley Continental GT Speed
Engine 6.0-liter twin-turbocharged W-12 6.0-liter twin-turbocharged W-12 6.0-litre twin turbo W-12
Capacity 5,950 cc 5,950 cc 5,950 cc
Horsepower 626 HP @ 6,000 RPM 582 HP @ 6,000 RPM 626 HP @ 6,000 RPM
Torque 664 LB-FT @ 1,350-4,500 RPM 531 LB-FT @ 1,700-4,500 RPM 607 LB-FT @ 1,700 RPM
Transmission dual-clutch eight-speed automatic 8-speed ZF automatic ZF 8-speed automatic
0 to 60 mph 3.6 seconds 4.3 seconds 4.0 seconds
Top Speed 207 mph 198 mph 206 mph

Chassis and Suspension

2018 Bentley Continental GT High Resolution Exterior
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The new Continental GT is also fitted with a revised air suspension that uses three-chamber air springs.

The drivetrain isn’t the only thing that changed under the Continental GT’s skin. There’s also a new adaptive chassis with the company’s intelligent Dynamic Ride System, which provides a more responsive ride and enhanced handling in all road conditions. The system controls and adjusts the electronic actuators on the anti-roll bar of each axle and instantly counteracts lateral rolling forces when cornering.

It also provides variable torsional resistance, whereas conventional anti-roll bars present a compromise between body control and ride comfort. The new Continental GT is also fitted with a revised air suspension that uses three-chamber air springs which give the car 60 percent more air volume in the softest setting than the previous model. This translates into improved ride comfort and dynamic character.

Personalization Options and Mulliner Program

2018 Bentley Continental GT High Resolution Exterior
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Paint, leather, veneer, and lifestyle options are "virtually unlimited" and can tailored to individual specifications.

The new Continental GT benefits from a range of extra options, as well as access to the Mulliner bespoke division for unique features and designs. Bentley claims that paint, leather, veneer, and lifestyle options are "virtually unlimited" and can tailored to individual specifications.

For instance, while the standard exterior color palette is limited to 17 colors, up to 70 hues are available in the extended range. Likewise, there are 15 carpet options, eight different handcrafted veneers (with a further four dual-veneer options) and 15 choices of interior trim hide. This creates hundreds of possible combinations.

Also, Bentley offers two technology packages at launch — City Specification for urban journeys and the Touring Specification for long-distance driving. City Specification includes hands-free trunk opening, pedestrian warning, traffic-sign recognition, city braking systems, and a top-view camera. The Touring Specification pack, meanwhile, offers adaptive cruise control with traffic-jam assist, active lane assist, a heads-up display, night vision with an infrared camera, and pre-sense braking.

Bentley offers two technology packages at launch.

There’s also a Mulliner Driving Specification pack, which adds 22-inch lightweight forged alloy wheels, "diamond in diamond" quilting, embroidered Bentley emblems, additional veneer options, a jewelled-finish fuel filler, sports pedals, and indented leather headliner. Customers can also get personalized stitching in the front and rear of the car and custom treadplates.

The new Continental GT can also be handed over to the Mulliner division for bespoke requirements, but specific details aren’t yet available.

Prices

2018 Bentley Continental GT High Resolution Exterior
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Pricing information for the all-new model is not yet available, but expect it to get some kind of a price hike. With the outgoing model retailing from $214,600, the third-gen Conti GT could start from around $220,000. On the other hand, the V-8 model, which will be unveiled in 2018, should still come in under the $200,000 mark.

Competition

Aston Martin DB11

2017 Aston Martin DB11 High Resolution Exterior
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2017 Aston Martin DB11 High Resolution Exterior
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Introduced for the 2017 model year as a replacement for the iconic DB9, the DB11 is significantly more aggressive and modern proposition to the previous grand tourer. It’s also a solid option against the Continental GT, even though interior space might not be as impressive. Essentially the car that launched Aston Martin’s new design language; the DB11 is also revolutionary on the inside. Although simple and clean, the interior styling is fresh and modern, while the amount of luxury features is impressive. There’s also a 12-inch TFT, race-inspired instrument cluster, an eight-inch infotainment screen, new satellite navigation, and an auto-park assist feature. Power comes from a newly developed, twin-turbo, 5.2-liter V-12 engine rated at 600 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque. These figures enable the DB11 to hit 60 mph from a standing start in 3.8 seconds. Drivetrain tech includes new chassis and suspension, multiple driver-selectable modes, and a torque vectoring system. Pricing starts from $211,995 in the United States.

Learn more about the Aston Martin DB11.

Ferrari Portofino

2018 Ferrari Portofino High Resolution Exterior
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2018 Ferrari Portofino High Resolution Exterior
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Introduced for the 2018 model year, the Portofino is a mid-cycle upgrade to the California T. The name change is the result of significant changes inside and out, which pretty much make the Portofino a new model altogether. Although it competes in a slightly different niche due to its convertible layout and smaller V-8 engine, the Portofino is well suited to challenge the Continental GT in terms of size, seating configuration, and pricing. The California’s exterior was updated to the company’s recent design language, with sportier front and rear fascias and a more muscular profile. Inside, changes are less obvious, but the grand tourer did get a larger, 10.2-inch infotainment display, a revised steering wheel, and a new wind deflector. Under the hood, the turbocharged, 3.9-liter V-8 gained revised internals, as well as a power boost to 592 horsepower and 561 pound-feet of torque. Charging from 0 to 60 mph takes 3.5 seconds, a tad quicker than the Bentley, despite the lower output. Top speed, on the other hand, is far inferior at "only" 196 mph. Pricing is expected to start from $220,000, which will put the Portofino on par with the new Continental GT.

Read our full review of the Ferrari Portofino.

Conclusion

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I’m going to start this by saying that I didn’t expect Bentley to rock the boat too much with the third-generation Continental GT. And that I was definitely wrong and I’m certainly glad about it. The outgoing Continental GT looked a bit dated since the second-gen upgrade wasn’t exactly comprehensive design-wise, but the British fixed that and launched a significantly revised model. I must admit I would’ve liked to see more cues taken off the EXP 10 Speed 6 concept, but the third-gen grand tourer is fresh enough as it is. The front end is decidedly sportier, while the rear end is... well... something else. The interior is gorgeous to look at, and it has more luxury features and technology than a Ferrari. Just look at all that fine craftsmanship, the massive and rotating display, and the complex instrument cluster. It doesn’t get better than this. The new W-12 is plenty powerful, and while the Conti GT isn’t as quick as the Portofino, the upcoming Speed model will fix just that. On paper, the new Continental GT is the ultimate grand tourer, and I’m positive that only Rolls-Royce will be able to challenge this role with a new two-door.

  • Leave it
    • Plenty of other cars fighting in the $200,000 price range
    • Bentayga SUV might cannibalize Continental GT sales

Spy Shots

August 29, 2017 – Warm weather testing in sexy camo

2018 Bentley Continental GT Exterior Spyshots
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2018 Bentley Continental GT Exterior Spyshots
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March 24, 2017 - Upcoming Bentley Continental GT reveals more of its design

2018 Bentley Continental GT Exterior Spyshots
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2018 Bentley Continental GT Exterior Spyshots
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March 7, 2016: Upcoming Continental GT our for a new testing session

2018 Bentley Continental GT Exterior Spyshots
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2018 Bentley Continental GT Exterior Spyshots
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February 23, 2016: First testing session

2018 Bentley Continental GT Exterior Spyshots
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2018 Bentley Continental GT Exterior Spyshots
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Updated History

Update 8/29/2017: The Bentley Continental GT has been caught testing for the first time in five months, and while Bentley has played shadow games by adding and removing panels with each outing, this time around, the GT wears a thin foil camo and looks to be production ready. Take a look at the latest spy shots below to learn a little more about it.

Updated 03/24/2017: Our spy photographers caught the upcoming Continental GT out for a new testing session and this time the prototype is revealing more of its design elements.

Updated 04/27/2016: The upcoming Bentley Continental GT was caught testing at the Arctic Circle. Hit "play" to watch it in action on the snow.

Updated 03/07/2016: Our spy photographers caught the upcoming Continental GT out for a new testing session during cold winter conditions in Sweden. The new generation Continental GT is expected to be unveiled by the time of 2017.

Updated 02/23/2016: Our spy photographers caught the upcoming Continental GT testing on public roads. Despite the heavy camouflage it is pretty obvious the next GT will take its design inspiration from the Bentley Speed 6 concept. The new generation Continental GT is expected to be unveiled in late 2017.

Ciprian Florea
Ciprian Florea
Senior Editor and Supercar Expert - ciprian@topspeed.com
Ciprian's passion for everything with four wheels (and more) started back when he was just a little boy, and the Lamborghini Countach was still the coolest car poster you could hang on your wall. Ciprian's career as a journalist began long before earning a Bachelor's degree, but it was only after graduating that his love for cars became a profession.  Read full bio
About the author

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