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A new, 771bhp Bentley Continental GT hybrid is coming next month

Out with the W12, in with a 771bhp plug-in hybrid V8 for Bentley’s new Continental GT

Bentley’s W12 engine has reached the end of the line, but that doesn’t mean its future models won’t be absurdly powerful. The firm has announced that its new Continental GT will come with a V8 hybrid powertrain – dubbed Ultra Performance Hybrid – for the first time, making it the most powerful Bentley road car ever. 

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The headline figures are 771bhp and 738lb ft, beating the bespoke, W12-engined Batur for power and matching it for torque. Those outputs come from a V8 engine combined with an electric motor, the latter of which enables the Continental to drive for 50 miles in EV mode and emit less than 50g/km of CO2. 

The powertrain is expected to be derived from other high-performance hybrids in the Volkswagen group (pictures of the engine reveal tell-tale VW part stamps if you look closely), such as Porsche’s Panamera Turbo E-Hybrid. That car uses a 4-litre twin-turbocharged V8 supported by an electric motor housed within an eight-speed automatic gearbox, which draws energy from a 25.9kWh battery. 

These hybrid components will add a chunk to the Continental’s kerb weight, potentially pushing it up to 2.5 tons. Even so, Bentley promises that the new car will be its most dynamically capable road car yet, with a suite of chassis electronics to harness and deploy its enormous power. These will include a torque-vectoring four-wheel drive system, rear-axle steering and an electronically controlled limited-slip differential, plus active anti-roll bars and new dual-valve adaptive dampers. 

The hybrid Continental will be an evolution of the current model rather than an all-new car, so expect its fundamental proportions and cabin layout to remain. With that said, certain design elements will be overhauled and the interior will receive a tech boost in a bid to steal sales from Aston Martin’s DB12

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