The new Bentley Continental GT has won the Motor Klassik Magazine 2012 award for best ‘New Car – Coupe’. Readers of the German motor magazine cast over 13,000 votes for a variety of classic cars and voted the Continental GT top of the New Cars – Coupe category.
The Continental GT was first launched by Bentley back in 2002 as a new, dynamic, luxurious, performance coupe. The latest model was introduced in 2011 and built on the success of the previous generation model. The distinctive, contemporary design of the car, along with the hand-crafted luxury and innovative technology perfectly encompasses the skill and technique of Bentley’s workforce, and these attributes did not go unnoticed by the readers of Motor Klassik.
As well as being a design icon, the Continental GT is also a performance car. Capable of 0-100 mph in 10.2 seconds and an overall top speed of 198mph, the 6-litre W12 twin-turbocharged engine also produces 567bhp. The new highly efficient 4.0 litre V8 engine has recently been introduced to widen the appeal of the GT whilst still delivering power and performance as is expected with a Bentley.
Bentley has also recently unveiled an SUV at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show. If approved for production, Bentley would aim to sell between 3,500 and 5,000 SUVs per year, to add to the current 7,000 sales. Bentley has looked to the success of the Porsche Cayenne, which is now the biggest selling model for Porsche, and believes an SUV could also work for Bentley. Most Bentley customers are likely to have more than one vehicle at home, and many of these currently will be SUVs from other marques. Bentley believes that by launching an SUV, it will be the second car of choice for many of its current customers. The luxury SUV market is competitive however, and Bentley would need to consider the popularity of Range Rover as well as the Porsche Cayenne.
Bentley has enjoyed a period of success over the past year. Sales of new cars in 2011 rose by 37% and new car registrations so far in 2012 have been strong, with Bentley stating that sales have now returned to pre-recession levels. It is likely that the market for buying a used Bentley is still strong also. The US and China remain important markets for Bentley, with sales increasing by almost 50% in China alone.
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