A new Arnage will appear this fall, but work has also begun on the next generation of Bentley‘s volume family, the Continentals. The redesign will see them lose weight, add a diesel, and share more Audi A8 components under the skin.
Design Styling is once again directed by Dirk van Braeckel. Change is evolutionary, but the coefficient of drag is reduced. Switching from a Volkswagen Phaeton to an Audi A8 front axle allows for a shorter front overhang and results in a longer wheelbase for the coupe; the track is wider as well. The larger footprint yields a roomier rear seat and trunk.
Body/Chassis A mix of aluminum spaceframe (at the front) and conventional steel (at the rear) helps shave some 400 pounds, dropping the curb weight of the coupe to about 4800 pounds. The air suspension and the brakes are borrowed from the A8.
Powertrain The big W-12 engine returns in upgraded form, now paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. Expect 580 hp and 515 lb-ft of torque for the standard cars, 650 hp and 590 lb-ft for the Speed models. Later, a 4.2-liter turbo-diesel V-8 (375 hp, 590 lb-ft) could join the lineup, and a plug-in hybrid is also possible, pending the availability of high-performance lithium-ion batteries.