New Bentley Continental GT Speed: 771bhp PHEV lands 25 June

Not so, says Bentley: the new powertrain, suspension, plus additional connectivity and cybersecurity regulations mean this is a new-generation model and the most tested and most regulated Continental GT yet.

Alone, the engine makes 591bhp (600 metric horses) at 6000rpm, so at 148bhp per litre, it’s blowing fairly hard, and even though peak torque comes in at 2000-4500rpm, the motor is partly there to boost torque and reduce lag at low revs. Depending on the drive mode, which we’ll come to in a moment, it’s also sometimes used to smooth gearchanges: the motor sits between the engine and the gearbox.

This front-engine, front-gearbox layout (some rivals have a transaxle instead) has given the Continental GT nose-biased handling previously and, although an active rear differential and torque vectoring (present here too) have greatly improved the balance over the years, it’s the adoption of a 25.9kWh battery mounted at the back that has finally brought the weight distribution to near 50:50.

Slightly concerningly, the overall weight has still to be confirmed, and we put the old W12 car on the scales at nearly 2.3 tonnes in 2018. But the battery has had the effect of reducing the fuel tank by 10 litres to 80 litres (the economy improvement, even if the car is used unplugged, prevents a reduction in the range) and raising the boot floor by a chunk (new capacity also tbc).

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