Yes, the vehicle has undergone numerous updates since then but the basic styling and underlying platform have continued unchanged over the years.
The new-generation 2018 Bentley Continental GT has been revealed overnight, bringing a new look, the availability of high-end technology and even more power.
Now in its third generation, the Continental GT is still instantly recognisable as a Bentley thanks to its imposing front grille and four circular headlights, but now has a squarer and more muscular aesthetic compared to its curvaceous predecessor. The design draws much inspiration from the EXP 10 Speed 6 concept that was revealed at the 2015 Geneva motor show.
Headlining upgrades include an all-new body that is 80 kilograms lighter than the outgoing car, an upgraded version of the company’s 6.0-litre twin-turbo W12 engine – now dubbed ‘TSI’ like all turbo petrol models offered by German parent Volkswagen – mated to a new eight-speed dual-clutch transmission, and the introduction of a new 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay.
Bentley’s new GT is faster, sleeker and now jam-packed with tech, and we’ll see it in the metal at the 2017 Frankfurt motor show.
Quite. The new shape is a heady blend of its predecessor’s creases and fresh cues from the EXP 10 Speed 6 concept we saw in Geneva back in 2015.
The headlights and huge mesh grill are a mix of Bentayga and the aforementioned EXP concept, but the swooping front sills in the bumper look very much like the previous-generation Continental it replaces. The rear features simple oval rear lights and rifled oval exhausts.
Bentley Continental GT 2018 rear tracking
The aluminium body has been shaped using a process that heats the metal to 500 degrees Celsius to deliver sharper creases, and enjoys a weight saving of 80kg compared to the previous model.
The altered proportions come from the Conti's new Porsche Panamera-derived chassis. There's a lowered nose, the front wheels have been moved 135mm further forward and the engine has been pushed back to improve weight distribution.
So it still looks like Blenheim Palace on wheels... next!
Hold on a minute: Bentley promises more detailed changes under the skin.
The new Conti GT features Bentley Dynamic Ride, which uses a 48-volt electrical system to help keep body roll and ride comfort in check. There are also different drive modes depending on whether you’re wafting down to Monaco for the weekend or taking a hair-raising detour through the Alps.
Air suspension is standard, too, while a raft of safety tech means the Conti GT is up to date with the rest of its big grand touring rivals.
Oh, absolutely. The refreshed 6.0-litre W12, which is coupled to an eight-speed dual-clutch gearbox and all-wheel drive, launches the big Bentley to 62mph in 3.7 seconds, and on to a top speed of 207mph.
There’s even a launch control function if Jeeves wants to take on some rapscallion in an M4 CS and come out on top in a blaze of pomp and circumstance.
Bentley Continental GT 2018 front end tracking
On the flipside, the W12 has cylinder deactivation tech to ensure that you only have the unpleasantness of visiting a fuel station once every 200 miles instead of once every 150.
What about the interior?
The biggest news is the revision of the dashboard, which includes an all-new 12.3-inch touchscreen that revolves from behind a panel of wood veneer, and a digital instrument cluster set.
Like a fine suit, the Conti’s interior can be tailored to your exacting specifications and uses quilted leather, whacking great panels of wood veneer and metal switchgear by the tonne.
Bentley is keen to point out the ‘diamond-in-diamond’ quilting pattern, which took 18 months to perfect, and that some of the knurled switches have a new pattern ‘for a softer, more refined feel.’
Bentley Continental GT 2018 infotainment
If you’re not in the mood to hear the W12 sing, an ear-destroying 2200W Naim audio system is available, which comes with ‘Active Bass Transducers’ built into the front seats.
When can my butler get me one?
After its public debut at the 2017 Frankfurt motor show, we should see the new Continental GT go on sale in 2018.