Bentley Continental GT (2009)

3 Mar 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on Bentley Continental GT (2009)
Bentley Continental GT

Bentley Continental GT

Two figures would seem to say it all about the Continental GT: it accelerates from in 4.7sec (0-100km/h 4.8sec) and a top speed of 198mph (318km/h). In such bold statistics scratch the surface of the Bentley GT’s true capabilities.

The aim the start of the Bentley Continental GT was to create a car with an unrivalled envelope, so that it would not be quicker and more powerful any rival on paper, but that extraordinary talents would be able to be used safely and to the in the real world. The Bentley GT is not and never was about theoretical potential – every of its ability has been specifically so that it is not just possible to its performance, it is easy and natural.

the Bentley Continental GT concept dictated that the resulting car recognise that, though we all wish otherwise, road in all markets mean that its owners will not be able to use of its full potential. Indeed in regions traffic conditions are that being able to such a car is more of a rare than an everyday occurrence. is why in addition to being able to its occupants at a moment’s notice, the Continental GT is also configured to and cosset them the rest of the – in the tradition of a true Grand Tourer.

The Bentley GT is the first product designed under the patronage of the Volkswagen and a £500 million investment in the has enabled a transformation of the site at This made it possible for the Continental GT to be designed, engineered and on site.

2009 Bentley GT

The investment has also made it for Bentley to recruit over 400 new to Crewe, giving Bentley independence and control over its than at any time since it passed into proprietary in 1931.

The heart of the Bentley GT is its 5998cc, four camshaft, twin turbocharged W12 engine. It can now be that its power output, quoted as ‘in excess of is in fact 552bhp (560PS) at 6100rpm. Maximum torque is (479lb ft) which may sound an enough statistic in isolation but its significance only become when you learn that it is at just 1600rpm.

Typically, a car engine will force the to wait until it is spinning at 3-5000rpm before it will maximum thrust; in the Bentley GT it’s all there at barely than idling speed. No car in production makes its torque so accessible.

But this just the of the story for this engine has claims to fame beyond its outputs. Its exterior dimensions, for make it the smallest 12-cylinder currently in production, despite its 6-litre displacement. The block is 513mm long, 715mm and 710mm wide.

This has made possible entirely by its formation where instead of the cylinders in two long rows as you in a conventional V12 configuration, each of cylinders is actually staggered, creating two V6 engines mated on a crankshaft. The angle between the two banks is 72deg, that the staggered cylinders just The result of this is an exceptionally motor, a trait that advantages in many areas.

it helps hugely with distribution as a geographically small is easier to locate nearer the of the car. This in turn the overall packaging of the car and, in its frontal crash performance, a consideration in a Bentley which has a front overhang as one of the main of its design language.

It is no secret the basic engine architecture has supplied to Bentley from its company, the Volkswagen Group, but by the Bentley’s powertrain team had re-engineering it to an exclusive specification for the Continental GT, it could be truly a unique engine in its own right.

the major engineering challenge was to the engine to accept forced a process that required re-engineering of the block, the replacement of internal components and all new inlet and manifolds. The result would to cope with a rise in from 420bhp in standard to 552bhp once installed the bonnet of the Bentley Continental GT.

The features special pistons, designed for the Bentley Continental GT in to deliver the desired compression of 9.5:1, a phenomenally high for a turbocharged engine. The engine features seven main pent-roof combustion chambers and valve timing on both and exhaust valves. The timing is variable within its fixed which is some 52 degrees on the camshafts and 22 degrees on the exhaust

A huge amount of work was undertaken to make sure the Continental GT could use very air to air intercooler. Fitting them the already cosy confines the Bentley Continental GT’s was not the matter of the moment, but Bentley’s regarded their inclusion in the as not negotiable and, after months work, they integrated into the under package.

The Bentley Continental GT also a dedicated exhaust system, two six-into-one manifolds. Much has been paid not simply to the exhaust provides maximum but also that its sound is to the fastest Bentley road car in tone and volume.

The turbochargers are for Bentley by renowned specialists, and need operate at only the conservative boost pressure of to provide the Bentley Continental GT its headline performance. Given the existence of maximum torque at and the engine’s 6-litre capacity and easy to see how turbo-lag, the sole side-effect of this variety of induction, has been effectively from the equation. As with all powerplants since the birth of the in 1919, smooth power is not you need to wait or ask for – it is at your disposal at every of the rev-range from idle to its red-line.

Controlling all this is Bosch’s state of the art ME 7.1.1 management system which complete with two throttle exhaust gas temperature regulation, pressure regulation, two air mass four knock sensors adaptive learning and the latest ESP 5.7 stability programme. Ignition is without the need for a distributor, to each cylinder being with its own coil. The engine is compliant with future IV emissions regulations and has been to run on standard 95RON octane fuel.

Such is the power of the Continental GT’s powertrain Bentley engineers took the to reinforce its already substantial mounts with Kevlar to make sure it does not even under the most circumstances.

Powertrain testing

The in the Bentley Continental GT has undergone of the most gruelling and exhausting procedures of any engine in order to that it can be depended upon to all and more than any owner ever need. Naturally have and continue to rack up of miles in some of the hottest, driest and most humid on earth, but perhaps no single illustrates the relentless pursuit of perfection than those performed with the engine out of the car and on a bench.

Perhaps the most of these is a test where the is switched on and revved to maximum (6100rpm) from cold and left there, not for a few minutes or a few hours. It is left to run at maximum for 100 hours or, put another way, four Le Mans in a row.

test puts the engine an advanced programme of cyclical decelerations and steady state at all points in the rev range for 500 hours or, to put that perspective, just hours short of three

The engine has also been to prolonged thermal shock where internal temperatures are brought to a peak whereupon its is replaced by ice-cold fluid in to induce the swiftest possible in temperature before the engine is up to maximum temperature again and the is repeated.

Not many gearboxes are of handling the extraordinary torque that the Bentley Continental GT is able to produce and none so far to a luxury coupé has had the benefit of six Yet with the help of its partners at ZF, is exactly what Bentley has for the Continental GT. Designated 6HP26, the new is the most advanced of its kind in the offering not only six ratios but the ability to lock up its torque in every gear, providing manual gearchanges via either the lever or steering wheel

The gearbox itself is exceptionally and compact, given the torque it handle, indeed it has almost 30 per fewer components than a five speed automatic, weight and improving both and efficiency. Though variants of gearbox have been by ZF to other luxury car manufacturers, used by the Bentley Continental GT is by being adapted for use with a drive transmission and has been modified for use in the Bentley Continental GT.

Not does the Bentley Continental GT bespoke gearing, tailored to the unique torque characteristics of the and the car’s exceptional top speed, it has been fundamentally redesigned for in the Bentley, placing the front ahead of the torque converter in to push the front wheels as far as possible, creating a minimal overhang, an inimitable Bentley trait. Direct drive to 22.7mph (36.5km/h) per 1000rpm with a 0.691:1 top gear gives 32.85mph (52.86km/h) per

At first this may appear a long-legged ratio, after all the Continental GT will sit at the UK national limit (70mph) with over 2100rpm on the rev-counter. In and in keeping with the car’s sporting aspirations, this has been chosen to ensure maximum power and maximum coincide as closely as possible.

All-wheel drive

Pointing the in four directions was part of the strategy for ensuring the Bentley GT would remain, safe, and enjoyable in all weather conditions found around the world.

The used employs a central (TORque SENsing) differential and a differential on each of the front and axles. Both the front and differentials have individual radiators.

After exhaustive and a substantial test programme of alternatives, Bentley’s engineers to divide the drive equally the front and rear axles, a conventional 50:50 torque This is the combination that was to be best at providing not simply the demanded of a car with this potential, but also the most handling response.

Naturally front to rear ratio is variable according to available and the Torsen differential together the 4 wheel ASR can sense slip of than one per cent and act accordingly, the engine’s torque to either the or rear axle. It would, in take exceptional conditions for to happen such as both of one axle being on black ice but in conventional circumstances the Torsen will always be able to the torque loadings between the

Thanks to the Bentley Continental advanced electronic stability the need to equip each with a limited slip is obviated. When slip is at one wheel, the ESP system can apply the individually to that wheel and the torque to be transferred across the to the tyre with the most

In normal use this system entirely unobtrusively but it does, in possess the ability to keep the Continental GT moving forward traction is available to just one of its wheels. It is true that coupés rarely find in these conditions but it is also that this is because hitherto practical limitations tended to keep them places where such are more likely to occur. But all-wheel drive, advanced and stability systems (not to its spacious interior, large and ski-friendly through-loading facility), the Continental GT will easily its occupants to remote mountain where no other luxury would dare to follow.

Safety Systems

Bentley the responsibility of putting a 200mph car on to the general public extremely and, in addition to the clear advantage afforded by its all-wheel hardwear, Bentley’s engineers been working just as to make sure the software is to back it up too.

ABS anti-lock HBA (Hydraulic Brake Assist) and EBD Brakeforce Distribution) in conjunction the Bentley Continental GT’s array of other defences to keep the car under control.

include ASR traction control employs the ABS sensors to detect traction is lost at either end due to a of a low grip surface and an excessive of power. Under these the ASR will instantaneously cut the power traction is restored.

As mentioned the Bentley Continental GT also the latest Electronic Stability (Bosch 5.7). This ESP which necessitates the use of a fly-by-wire operates by a system of sensors a number of different parameters as speed, throttle opening, angle and the car’s yaw and pitch. one of these parameters is breached, a possible or impending loss of the ECU is informed and appropriate action is

Depending on the nature and severity of the this might amount to more than throttle or it could involve the targeted and release of individual brake until full control is

The final weapon in this is MSR drag torque control. is an intermediate, electronic control designed to intervene before a loss of control is addressed by ESP or During deceleration it modulates braking to ensure deceleration is swift and helps remove the of a wheel locking when the changes down on a reduced surface.

Body Structure

It is understood that whether ultimate aim is fine handling, ride quality or any blend of the the fundamental essential quality must be provided before all is a rigid structure. Without firm foundation, the good of finest suspension systems and will be irretrievably undermined.

The is to remove as far as possible the frequency at the body will start to from the frequencies of the disturbances all over the body by everyday on the road. The stiffer the bodyshell, the less the body will in sympathy with road and the better suspension will be to work.

It is also true the potentially positive effect of stiffness to a car’s bodyshell is negated if the weight of that rises in proportion to the additional gained.

When presented with a for the Continental GT, Bentley’s engineers told that nothing than exception torsional would enable the Continental to its dynamic targets. And the challenge faced was providing such to a car with such a long relative to its overall length and one thanks to its pillarless design, a B-post between the front and side windows.

The first to realising its targets was taken in the world. Every single on the Bentley Continental GT was designed on a and integrated into three digital models of the car. the latest Computer Aided (CAD) technology alongside Mock Ups (DMU), Finite and Dynamic Crash Analysis (FE and Bentley’s engineers were to predict, analyse and enhance the Continental GT’s structural long before the first was built.

Next, Bentley’s turned to adhesive technology. have played a vital in aircraft and aerospace technologies for time (where they are for instance, to attach wings to fuselages) but it is only now that full potential is being in the arena of car design. If understood and used properly, adhesives can huge improvements to a body rigidity with a minimal in weight.

Adhesives are therefore throughout the structure of the Bentley GT, but particularly where there are seals, such as around the apertures.

Another emergent employed for the first time by is laser-welding. This process is but, by introducing a new level of into the welding process, it a considerable extra degree of to be introduced into each while, at the same time, minimal wastage and therefore weight.

The Bentley Continental GT is doubt the most sporting since the original company into liquidation in 1931, but it be no kind of Bentley at all if it was tuned to invigorating handling at the expense of a ride. The Bentley Continental GT is as its describes, a long distance Grand Tourer and while of being enthralling to drive, it recognises that most of the it will be driven on motorways or in when handling response always be of secondary interest to ride quality.

Therefore, in the of no compromise it was laid down the Bentley Continental GT had to be as comfortable as it was as responsive as it was restful. This was no feat to achieve and Bentley’s had to turn to one of the most sophisticated arrangements ever configured to it.

Suspension at the front of the car is provided by upper and lower arms converge as in a conventional wishbone but, in fact, never The system is described as a ‘virtual pin axis’ arrangement because the point, where the arms eventually meet is actually in the of the wheel rather than at a in-board of the wheel.

The problem the conventional system is that the loadings will only not be by the driver if they are equal side and therefore cancel other out. But if one wheel on a low friction surface, the loadings unequal and this is fed straight to the driver through the steering But by having the axis in the plane of the the torque is not created in the first

The result is a car capable of putting amounts of power through its wheels without risking the ‘torque steer’ that otherwise afflict it.

The rear of the Bentley Continental GT is a multi-link designed to promote stability all conditions be they braking, or cornering. Using trapezoidal and tie rods to give the rear a firm foothold on the tarmac of loading, this system a critical role in assuring the Bentley Continental GT meets its for both ride and handling.

of the suspension at the front and rear, all control arms, are made aluminium that not only reduce the weight of the car but, also keeps unsprung to a minimum, helping to achieve ride quality.

Self-levelling air has also been specified as equipment for the Bentley Continental GT. more expensive than a steel spring, air suspension many benefits that otherwise have been to the Continental GT. Air suspension works simply with air-filled bellows acting within a tube with a concentric in the middle.

As the wheel moves up, it the air in the bellows which then resistance and thereby a springing

One of the main advantages of air suspension a steel spring is that the of gas dynamics mean that if you the mass on the axle, it compresses the further so the natural frequency of the car on its spring is held nearly whereas in a conventional system the would become lower. can be exploited to ensure that the car suffers from that feeling that affects all sprung cars when are heavily laden. In addition, the acting on the spring is uniform the entire strut whereas any spring will inevitably be to some side loadings.

Another crucial benefit of air is the scope it provides in being to tailor the car’s ride By carefully shaping the bellows, you can that as they go up and down, also go in and out effectively varying the rate as they do. The further in go, the less air they contain and the the springing will consequently be.

The on the Bentley Continental GT are therefore to be quite narrow at the centre of wheel’s movement so that the is relatively soft about its point with obvious in ride quality. Then, as the are compressed or expanded through braking or cornering, the bellows to accept more air, up the ride and providing an extra of control precisely when needed.

The final primary of air suspension is packaging. If you were to ask a spring to provide the same low that the Bentley Continental GT can there are only two ways of it. You can either make the spring long at which stage it can unstable under compression, or you can and widen it, bringing inevitable problems.

Using an air spring has Bentley’s engineers to allow for a wider range of frequencies a given space.

Air springs allow Bentley to lower the height of the Bentley Continental GT at optimising its aerodynamic performance. the suspension is programmed to lower the car by at 100mph (161km/h).

The dampers on the Bentley Continental GT are continuously and variable and the most sophisticated yet on a Bentley. Controlled entirely by the dampers possess the ability to their characteristics many during a single ‘event’ as a wheel moving up and down a bump.

The electronics are so sophisticated don’t merely look at a and react accordingly – monitor the entire car. One of how this works to the benefit of the GT’s ride comfort is the computer can decide to let a wheel to accommodate a single event if the car is in a fundamentally stable state. So if a is encountered, the damper will the wheel to travel upwards in the way.

If however the body, let us is already moving downwards in to an immediately prior event, the will analyse the relative of body and wheel and, if be instruct the dampers to stiffen, checking the upward motion of the towards the descending body.

The set-up of the suspension has been to make the Bentley Continental GT an mildly understeering car in steady-state This approach has been primarily because Bentley that oversteer is a condition should only ever at the driver’s command.

A car with low of natural understeer will, the limit of adhesion is finally gently start to run wide in a a condition that can easily be by a simple lift of the accelerator. believes this is undoubtedly the and therefore the only responsible to take.

Bentley Continental GT

That said, is equally aware that Bentley Continental GT drivers be of the ‘press on’ variety and made it possible for the engine’s to be used to overcome understeer in conditions, allowing the car to adopt a of neutrality or even mild and oversteer, regulated by the ESP system.

The Continental GT features rack and steering with speed Servotronic power assistance. The and pinion was chosen as it is the most form of steering available and great feel to the driver, an consideration in a car such as this. The has been designed with a ratio so as to provide maximum and consistency across the locks and has equipped to give excellent both on and off-centre.

Wheels and

The Bentley Continental GT uses the size wheels and tyres on the front and rear axles extensive investigation revealed to be the optimum solution for a front car such as this when with four-wheel drive. Two will be available with rims as standard and 19in rims as an option. Tyre is 275/40R19.

These sizes been chosen not only they fit the ride and handling of the Continental GT, but also because can be fitted without changing the gearing of the car.

The Bentley GT is equipped with the largest ever to be fitted to a standard car. The ventilated front have a 405mm diameter and are 36mm (1.4in) thick, them wider than the wheels of most production Ventilated discs are also at the back, this time of width (13.2in) and 22mm (0.9in).

These brakes are not available on any car, indeed they created specially for the Continental GT by to a specification laid down by Teves were also for their appropriately huge

The reason Bentley chose a specification beyond that yet on any production road car is simply it holds the conviction that the Continental GT should stop as as it goes.

The energy contained a fully laden Bentley GT travelling at around 200mph is considerable. Through months of world tests and computer it was determined that nothing than the finest braking in the world would be capable of not only the retardation Bentley but also the ability to do so again and with no fade or loss of

This formidable braking is also backed by a comprehensive package. In addition to Hydraulic Assistance (HBA) and anti-lock and drag torque control the Continental GT also comes Electronic Brakeforce Distribution This system monitors the of grip available to each and apportions braking force

This not only helps stopping distances but also enhances the feeling of control by the driver under heavy

The role played by aerodynamics in car design has advanced considerably the age where making the smallest in the air is the most important consideration. affect almost all areas of the car and both the exploitation as well as the of the airflow, no modern car will its full potential.

And the faster the the more important are its aerodynamics, not to realise such speeds, but to keep the car stable and its under-bonnet cool.

The Bentley Continental shape can be said to be a thoroughly interpretation of classic fastback and as a result it boasts the enviably low coefficient of just 0.32. one of the historical drawbacks of such a is that if the airflow is allowed to off the back of the car unchecked, it creates conditions for encouraging rear-end This could potentially the balance of the car, alter the weight distribution and create instability.

To counter this, the GT has two specific aerodynamic devices, of which is immediately visible to eye when the car is stationary, that the potentially threatening airflow and it to the car’s advantage.

The first is a spoiler that lies the base of the rear windscreen and once the car is travelling at above a speed. This effectively the flow of air coming off the back of the car and it actually to push the car harder the road rather than let it unwanted lift. Working in conjunction with the rear is a diffuser underneath the back of the which not only contributes to the car’s overall stability, but helps extract air from the car and this reduces drag.

crucial responsibility of the aerodynamics is to ensure there is sufficient to and from all heat-generating components. One at the displacement of the engine, its power and the tightly packaged under-bonnet gives some idea of the involved.

But in fact, the cooling is that the Bentley Continental GT be able to run fully laden in 40C temperature and at maximum speed it has drained its fuel tank a tougher test by far than ever be replicated by any owner on the road. To achieve this, of hours were spent and studying computational fluid data (CFD) to ensure the airflow to all areas under the and to the brakes. In those areas this flow in inherently (such as for both the front and differentials) individual cooling have been installed.

In luxury cars, the primary aim is to reduce noise intrusion the wind, road, suspension and to create the greatest level of possible. But when you are charged creating an all-new Bentley rather more subjective and no important considerations need to be In short, the Bentley Continental GT not only to look like a from bumper to bumper, it to sound like one too.

acoustic engineers have at work since the very of the Bentley Continental GT project first how the car should sound and determining how that sound be achieved. So important is their that they were to influence the design of both the and exhaust manifolds to make a true, unique and instantly Bentley soundtrack would the occupants. Bentley also out extensive customer research existing Bentley owners and who will be new to the marque, in conjunction benchmarking the sound quality and of other luxury sportscars.

The of the Bentley Continental GT is therefore smooth, muscular and inspiring

In keeping with its Grand aspirations, the Continental GT has also configured to be an extremely refined In pursuit of this, the design has helped by the provision of an astoundingly engine and a very rigid These have provided engineers with a platform already possesses minimal vibration and harshness (NVH)

Beyond that, the task was to every component, every and the car as a whole to make sure no NVH sources were inadvertently into the car. This was carried out first in the virtual and was then incorporated into the tunnel programme.

It continued on own Hydropulse four poster rig at which replicates road without the potential for inconsistency by changes in weather and traffic of course, on real roads the world to ensure that part, from the smallest to the body structure itself, to making the Bentley Continental GT the refined car in the marque’s history.

Use of

There are many elements of the Continental GT’s specification deserve to be described as extraordinary but none more so than its use of

Consider these points: Bentley Continental GT contains two miles (3.2km) of cabling and the wiring harness alone over 50kg. A Continental GT contains 70 microprocessors. A PC has just

It has 35 individual control units black boxes by another – and they all talk to one via three Control Area (CAN) working at 500 kilobits/sec, and one fibre-optic serial network at 4.2megabits/sec. A conventional low-speed network functions at just At any one time, the quantity of CAN messages in use the car can number over 2000.

electronic dialogue is important all the various features on the car need to what the others are up to as rarely one have no impact on any of the others. For if the windows are being lowered, is information that is likely to be of to the security systems. Another is the information provided by the self-levelling in the suspension is also of use to systems as the ESP to help it constantly monitor the progress and the automatic headlight to keep the beam at a constant

This system also simplify operations as it saves the information being gathered by systems. One example of this is responsibility for measuring vehicle has been allocated to the ABS sensors but information is also used by the network for the engine management and

The easiest way to understand how the Bentley GT’s internal communications are is to imagine the networks as a huge board upon which all systems post information as receive it. Once there it can be by all other systems and, if be, acted upon accordingly.

As can be the Bentley Continental GT is one of the most cars ever to be produced, new ground in several areas offering a level of performance for a seat car that is unique in quantity and quality. And while engineers have made use of processes and components that existed within the Volkswagen the result is as much a Bentley as it be if it had gone to external suppliers.

the car is a tour de force and a mobile for the technical capability now resident in It shows that Bentley has the backing and the ability to take on the with a product unlike any in the market place – one still benefits from the understanding of handcraftsmanship that has handed down the generations at but one that also sits at the cutting edge of 21st knowledge.

Not once during the of the Bentley Continental GT, has this of the traditional and advanced worked less than total Using techniques both new and they have produced a car does not need to look because it knows already from where it has come.

75 years ago (1928), WO Bentley what would become his fabled car, the Speed he saw no problem in producing a design could be both a limousine and a Le winner, both disciplines in the car went on to excel; and while the Continental GT cannot claim to its net quite that wide, the principle of creating a car with the to both cosset and enthral is the now as it was then. Then it created one of the few automotive legends; it is not for Bentley to make such lofty for the Continental GT – all we would say is it is a car of which we are inordinately proud and can hope that, could he see it, it is a car to which WO would be equally to lend his name.

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