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Geneva show: Bentley updates Continental GT

Continental ballistic: A light upgrade for Bentley's Continental GT range has brought mild aesthetic changes inside and out, along with more grunt for the W12 6.0-litre donk.

Tune-up takes facelifted Bentley Continental GT W12 to 434kW and 720Nm


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18 Feb 2015

BENTLEY will roll-out a refreshed Continental GT range at the Geneva motor show next month, showcasing its best-selling model's sharpened exterior, updated interior and an output increase of 11kW and 20Nm for its W12 engine.

Its increased output takes the 6.0-litre twin-turbo W12 power up to 434kW and increases torque to 720Nm, but despite the improvements, fuel consumption has fallen by up to five per cent to 14.1 litres per 100km.

The savings are the result of variable displacement technology, which reduces throttle opening on half of the engine's 12 cylinders – effectively reducing the cycled volume when under low load without sacrificing smoothness.

For 2015, the Continental GT range will wear a new restyled front end, featuring a smaller grille, reshaped lower valence, while the front mudguards have new B-shaped ornamental vents above chrome V8 or W12 badges depending on the variant.

At the back, the continental's boot lid has been resculpted to improve aerodynamics and the bumper is wider for a more assertive stance, while V8 S and GT Speed versions get a diffuser to set the 'driver-focused' versions apart from the more luxurious W12.

New wheel designs accompany the facelift with a choice of 20-inch or 21-inch hoops depending on the variant, and three new paint colours – Marlin, Camel and Jetstream – join the Continental palette.

The upgrades continue throughout the Bentley GT's sumptuous interiors with straight-fluting pattern adorning the four leather upholstered seats, while the GT Speed gets 'small-diamond' quilting.

Other contact points have been upgraded and an optional more ergonomic steering wheel with enlarged paddle shifters is now on offer.

The interior changes include LED cabin lighting, device charging points for rear seat passengers, a storage cubby between the two second-row seats and WiFi connectivity.

Seat and backrest cushion upholstery can be upgraded to softer semi-aniline leather. Two new leather colours – Shortbread and Camel – have been added to the 17 other options.

V8 and W12 versions can also have their roof lining upgraded to matching alcantara.

As is synonymous with the Bentley range, if standard fare is not satisfactory, virtually limitless customisation variations are available for those with a little more budget.

Power output for the V8 S is unchanged at 389kW and 680Nm, as is the top-performing GT Speed with a handsome 460kW and 800Nm of torque.

Bentley is yet to announce an arrival date for the refreshed range and pricing for Australia is also yet to be confirmed, but the current Bentley Continental GT range starts with the GT V8 Coupe for $381,000 before on-road costs or $419,100 for the convertible equivalent.

The top performing GT Speed is priced at $461,300, while the topless version rounds out the range at $507,400.

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