Scoop: Bentley’s Continental GT reborn and reimagined as a luxury EV
As Crewe bids farewell to the W12 engine, Bentley says its grand tourer will morph into a pure EV. By Jake Groves
BENTLEY’S CONTI GT TO GO ELECTRIC
THE SCOOP Illustration: Avarvarii
Asked if the Continental GT will survive into the electric era, Bentley boss Adrian Hallmark (above) tells CAR: ‘Yes, absolutely.’ Electric propulsion can be a good fit with a GT: ‘When I’m on a long journey, I’m not listening to the engine turn; I’m looking at the scenery, chatting and listening to a fantastic sound system.’
Instead of having to re-engineer existing parts from within the VW Group as it has done in the past, Bentley has been a player from the start in the group’s battery-electric platform development. ‘It’s a bit of a game-changer,’ says Hallmark. ‘With this new generation, we’ve been at the top table from the very beginning.’
Bentley’s limited-run Batur by Mulliner (above) previews what Crewe’s future electric cars will look like. The next Continental GT is also likely to be influenced by the dramatic EXP 100 GT concept, albeit with some of the current car’s most recognisable details (such as the double-headlight front end) likely to stay.
BUT FIRST, THE SUV
It’s likely that the first electric Bentley will be an SUV to replace the Bentayga (above) in 2026. As Hallmark told CAR in 2021: ‘If you’re not in SUVs, you’re nowhere.’ But the brand still sees the Continental GT as a crucial pillar of its business, so it’s likely to be the next electric model launched after the big-selling SUV goes EV.
- POWERTRAIN 100kWh (est) battery, twin e-motors, all-wheel drive
- CHASSIS Steel and aluminium monocoque
- DUE 2027 (est)
Conti GT transformed Bentley 20 years ago; now it’s going EV