2025 Bentley Continental GT Hybrid: More Power, Extra Weight

shawn By On 25/06/2024 at 21:03

In Luxury Cars

The Bentley Continental GT has gracefully evolved over the past 21 years, reflecting its relaxed yet powerful driving experience.

2025 Bentley Continental GT Hybrid

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The journey began in 2003 with the first Volkswagen-era Continental GT, which boasted a turbocharged 6.0-liter W-12 engine delivering 552 horsepower, moving its hefty 5250-pound frame. The 2012 revision saw a modest increase to 567 horsepower and a slight weight gain to 5264 pounds. The third generation, launched in 2019, brought more significant changes with a 626-hp W-12 engine and a reduced weight of 5056 pounds.

A Radical Shift: The 2025 Continental GT

Now, the 2025 Continental GT marks a more radical shift as Bentley unveils what it describes as the fourth generation. Despite sharing much of its core structure with its predecessor, this new model sees the departure of both the W-12 engine and the less powerful V-8. Instead, the new Continental GT Speed debuts with a plug-in hybrid V-8 powertrain, generating an impressive 771 horsepower. This makes it the most powerful road car Bentley has ever produced. However, this power comes with a trade-off in weight, as the additional mass of the 25.9-kWh battery brings the coupe’s weight to 5421 pounds, with the GTC convertible weighing in 390 pounds heavier.

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Design and Aesthetics: Subtle Yet Significant Changes

Although mechanically transformative, the new Continental GT is more of a substantial facelift than an entirely new model. Bentley claims 68 percent of the components are new, yet the car retains its familiar glazing and proportions. The overall length has increased by 1.8 inches to 192.7 inches, while the wheelbase remains at 112.2 inches. Noteworthy exterior changes include new headlights with linear running light elements extending beyond the oval lenses, described as "eyebrows," marking the first single headlamp design for a road-going Bentley since the 1950s. The rear features larger taillights with a "three-dimensional diamond pattern."

Interior: Luxurious Upgrades and Advanced Features

The interior of the outgoing Continental always felt luxurious, and this continues with the new generation. While the digital instrumentation has been redesigned, the center console retains its physical switchgear for dynamic functions and HVAC controls. The optional rotating center display persists, offering a choice between a 12.3-inch touchscreen, a set of three analog gauges, or a beautiful piece of handcrafted veneer.

New color and trim options, including a “Dark Chrome” pack, bring a more somber tone to the cabin. The audio experience is also elevated with three different systems available: a 10-speaker, 650-watt base setup; a 16-speaker, 1500-watt Bang & Olufsen system with illuminated speaker grilles; and an 18-speaker, 2200-watt Naim setup.

Powertrain and Performance: The Heart of the Beast

The most significant upgrade in the new Continental GT lies in its powertrain. The GT Speed combines a twin-turbo 4.0-liter V-8, peaking at 584 hp, with a 187-hp electric motor, resulting in a combined output of 771 horsepower and 738 pound-feet of torque. The electric motor alone can deliver up to 332 pound-feet of torque. As before, all-wheel drive is standard, with an electronically controlled center differential.

The substantial battery capacity provides a serious electric-only range, targeting up to 51 miles under the optimistic European WLTP test cycle. Even achieving half of this figure would be a significant improvement over Bentley’s first plug-in hybrid powertrain, which offered just 23 miles of EV range. The new Continental can drive up to 87 mph on electricity alone and recharge the battery while on the move, taking nearly three hours to replenish the battery through the maximum charging rate of 11 kW. The rear-mounted battery also improves weight distribution, now at 48:52 front to rear.

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Dynamic Hardware: Advanced Engineering

The Continental GT Speed retains advanced features like air springs, dual-valve adaptive dampers, rear-axle steering, and 48-volt anti-roll bars. Standard cast-iron brakes can be upgraded to carbon ceramics. The GTC convertible, with its folding roof, has a slightly lower top speed of 177 mph compared to the coupe’s 208 mph. Despite the additional weight, the GTC is only 0.1 seconds slower from 0 to 60 mph, taking 3.2 seconds versus the coupe’s 3.1 seconds.

Looking Ahead: The Future of the Continental GT

As Bentley introduces the 2025 Continental GT with a single powertrain option, the use of the "Speed" branding suggests a slightly less powerful model may follow. Given Bentley’s commitment to hybridize its entire range, any future Continental GT variant will also be a plug-in hybrid.

The new Bentley Continental GT represents a significant step forward, blending luxury, performance, and advanced hybrid technology, ensuring it remains a benchmark in the world of grand tourers.


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