Bentley is treating its Continental GT family of coupes and convertibles to a host of interior and exterior changes, as well as a power bump for the W-12 engine. The tweaks arrive with the 2016 model year—which means fall deliveries for U.S. customers.
Up front, the 2016 models sport a smaller grille, a new bumper, and redesigned fenders that incorporate the obligatory side gills, here adorned with the “B” logo. At the rear, a new bumper dons more chrome, and a lower diffuser is added on V8 S and GT Speed models. There’s also a reshaped trunk lid and new 20- and 21-inch wheel designs.
Interior updates include a smaller steering wheel, a revised center console, new gauge faces, and available Wi-Fi. The seats, upholstered in softer leather or available faux suede, now have a new stitching pattern—although rest assured, diamond quilting is still available.
The W-12 engine has been goosed from 567 horsepower to 582, while torque is up by 15 lb-ft to 531. The addition of cylinder deactivation—which the unchanged-for-2016 V-8 already had—allows the W-12 to run as a six-cylinder in moments of lesser urgency. (The fuel-saving feature, but not the extra output, comes also to the Flying Spur sedan’s available W-12. The four-door also gets some of the interior updates, and the Wi-Fi connectivity, but none of the styling tweaks.)
Although the new power and torque figures remain shy of the 12-cylinder Continental GT Speed—which corrals 626 horses and 607 lb-ft—they do nose ahead of the GT3-R. Although, to be fair, that racy two-seater has two-thirds the cylinder count.
Indeed, the GT3-R’s use of the 4.0-liter twin-turbo V-8 rather than the traditional W-12 led some to speculate that Bentley might be ushering its 12-cylinder powerplant toward the exit, at least in the two-door Continentals. But the engine’s update for 2016 suggests that the Flying B brand intends to keep both of its twin-turbo offerings around, at least for a while