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

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

Bentley has confirmed that it will reveal its fourth generation Continental GT on 25 June, with the outgoing V8 and W12 models replaced by a single model powered by a V8 hybrid powertrain - dubbed ‘Ultra Performance Hybrid’ – making it the most powerful Bentley road car ever. 

With headline figures of 771bhp and 738lb ft, the new Conti GT hybrid produces more power than the ultra-bespoke, W12-engined Batur and matches the hand crafted special for torque. Combining the V8 with an electric motor provides the Continental GT with up to 50 miles of electric driving range, emitting less than 50g/km of CO2 overall. With the V8 pumping away at full chat it will top 208mph, as Bentley recently demonstrated by setting an ‘underwater speed record’ in the Ryfylke Tunnel in Norway, the longest and deepest subsea tunnel in the world. 

Derived from the VW Group’s V8 high-performance hybrid powertrain that has already appeared in the Porsche Panamera Turbo E-Hybrid, Bentley has adapted the motor to suit the Continental GT’s characteristics. Like the Porsche, the 4-litre twin-turbocharged V8 in the GT will be 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. 

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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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