Bentley's EXP 9 F which caused a stir at Geneva was nowhere to be seen at the New York Auto show but the brand had more to display, including the new Continental GTC.
The V8-powered Continental convertible was among the international introductions for the North American market at this year's show at the Jacob Javits Centre. Our man on the ground, Feann Torr mentioned he searched for the EXP 9 F while at New York but Bentley execs told him: "We didn't think it appropriate".
Rather than the bulky, awkward statement made at Geneva in the form of a full-size SUV, the Crewe crew's message at New York was mean but green. Powering new additions to the Continental coupe and convertible lineup is a 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 capable of 800km-range from a single tank (approximately 90-litres).
Official consumption/emission ratings (for the GTC) are 10.9L/100km for a combined cycle; 254g/km CO2. Figures for the lighter (2295kg versus 2470Kg) coupe are better: 10.5L/100km and 245g/km.
On Bentley's usual hi-po focus, the V8 is good for 373kW at 6000rpm and 660Nm from 1700 to 5000rpm. Transmission is by way of a "new, close-ratio" eight-speed auto and all-wheel drive system, and 0-100km takes bang-on 5 seconds. Top speed clears the supercar-standard, at 301km/h.
The V12-equipped models will remain available but customers of the more conscientious Continental can still enjoy Bentley's grand treatment, including a choice between 20 or 21-inch alloy wheels and high-end appointment applied to the spacious cabin. Trim options include "new contemporary Dark Fiddleback Eucalyptus veneer" which we expect is locally sourced.
In other Bentley news from New York, its flagship Mulsanne model was displayed with treatment from the brand's approved very special vehicles' outfit; Mulliner. Trimmed with quilted leather upholstery and available for order with accommodation for a bottle cooler and (presumably Mulliner-gifted) hand-blown and hand-cut lead crystal champagne flutes, the stratospheric-spec Mulsanne is not just about indulgence in the back seat but also comes with a "sportier setting" for drivers.
Bentley's driver-assist system, called Drive Dynamics Control offers adjustability for steering and suspension settings, and now includes a 'sport' setting to "provide enhanced grip, body control and steering accuracy without compromising ride comfort."
We're looking forward to finding out. Meanwhile, Bentley fans can read latest news via its new online magazine; published quarterly at bentleymedia.com. Customer or dreamer, it's worth the look just for the articles including this issue's interview "on the horological wild side" with Simon de Burton.
Visit motoring.com.au again for more details on when the new Bentley models showcased in New York are in line for delivery to Bentley Australia dealers.