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The History and Evolution of the Bentley Continental GT

When it comes to luxury cars, the Bentley Continental GT is in a class all by itself. As soon as you see this car, you know it's something that's far different from anything else on the market. If you think its looks are impressive, you should try driving one. There are a lot of things about this particular car that make it unique. For example, it's the very first car that was ever produced by Bentley after it was acquired by Volkswagen. It also marks the first model that came from the company after they switched to mass production instead of hand-building each car. The first Bentley came out in 2003 and they've only gotten better over time. If you want to know more about the history of the car and how it's evolved since its inception, keep reading.

2003 Bentley Continental GT

Right out of the box, the car incorporated a six liter twin-turbocharged engine. It allowed it to go from 0 to 60 in less than five seconds. Coupled with superior handling, the car was every bit as much of a performance automobile as it was a luxury sedan. There is no doubt that this car impressed everybody because it allowed people to enjoy outstanding performance and a higher level of luxury than they were accustomed to with almost any other make or model of car.

2004 Bentley Continental GT

There weren't that many updates for the 2004 model year. After all, the car had only been introduced the previous year and as far as the manufacturers and customers were both concerned, it was near perfection just as it was. The main thing that drivers were likely to notice about the 2004 version was the interior, which looked more like an airplane cockpit than an automobile interior.

2005 Bentley Continental GT

Part of the updates for 2005 included additional colors for the interior, ranging from the carpet to the seatbelts and even certain trim. However, the biggest update by far involved incorporating a hands-free telephone device that allowed customers’ smartphones to interact with the audio system on the car itself. Better yet, it could be programmed in six different languages.

2006 Bentley Continental GT

This car featured a bigger engine, namely a 12-cylinder version that was roughly twice the size of the one that was introduced during the 2003 model year. With this new engine, Bentley accomplished what many people thought was next to impossible. They took a car that could already perform like a race car and made it even faster without compromising any of its other features.

2007 Bentley Continental GT

2007 saw additional colors being added to the exterior, not to mention an improved braking system. In the end, special carbide brakes and alloy wheels became standard features on the car, making the braking system better able to handle the new, bigger engine that was introduced the year before.

2008 Bentley Continental GT

The car was made lighter for the 2008 model year, thanks in large part to the utilization of plastic parts. The steering system was also improved. All of this combined to make the handling even better than it had been in the past.

2009 Bentley Continental GT

The car was basically redesigned for 2009. It wasn't as sleek as previous models, as the manufacturer opted for a taller grille and different headlights. In addition to these changes, the car was also outfitted with a lot of technological features. It was capable of sensing traffic ahead of it and assisting the driver during an emergency stop. Its GPS system was also enhanced, as were the breaking and suspension systems.

2010 Bentley Continental GT

2010 was the year that Bentley introduced a convertible based on the original body design. This introduced a whole new clientele to the car and provided something that had been missing in the market in the form of a performance luxury sedan that was also a convertible.

2011 Bentley Continental GT

Bentley went back to a sleeker design in 2011 and that wasn't the only change. They changed the engine so that the car could run on either gasoline or ethanol and enhance its performance. As a matter of fact, the 2011 model could go from 0 to 60 in less than four seconds, shaving a full tenth of a second off of its original speed.

2012 Bentley Continental GT

This is considered the second generation of this particular automobile and it marked several important changes. First and foremost, the car was lowered significantly and given a sleeker appearance. It was also given a massive engine that could produce more than 600 horsepower, not to mention a top speed of slightly more than 200 miles per hour.

2013 Bentley Continental GT

Bentley incorporated one of the most unique features that any automobile manufacturer has ever used in 2013. They developed a V8 engine for the car but also included special computerized technology that allowed a full half of those cylinders to be deactivated when they weren't needed. This increased fuel economy by as much as 30 percent.

2014 Bentley Continental GT

The 2014 model was again completely redesigned. Gone were the more traditional lines that customers had become used to seeing. This version of the automobile was much sleeker and more round from bumper to bumper. It also incorporated new steering and suspension systems to make the car easier to handle.

2015 Bentley Continental GT

In 2015, the manufacturer basically took the exterior design of the car back to the 2013 model year, as the 2014 redesign prove to be largely unpopular. Everything else on the car remained much the same, and the car was once again a popular option for people who wanted a luxury performance car.

2016 Bentley Continental GT

Bentley increased the power output of the engine once again, allowing the car to travel at more than 210 miles per hour. In addition, it redesigned the exterior and incorporated a hatchback design that proved to be quite popular with customers.

2017 Bentley Continental GT

Additional paint schemes were offered for the 2017 model year, as were other features such as automatic headlamps and carbon fiber materials.

2018 Bentley Continental GT

2018 marks the third generation of the automobile and yet another design overhaul. As far as performance goes, the car is capable of going from 0 to 60 in roughly 3.5 seconds and can travel between 205 and 210 miles per hour. In addition, it looks more like a longer version of a Porsche that's slightly more upscale. It promises to be an interesting automobile that will keep long-time customers coming back again and again.

Garrett Parker

Written by Garrett Parker

Garrett by trade is a personal finance freelance writer and journalist. With over 10 years experience he's covered businesses, CEOs, and investments. However he does like to take on other topics involving some of his personal interests like automobiles, future technologies, and anything else that could change the world.

Read more posts by Garrett Parker

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