Slated to be shown to the public at the Frankfurt Auto Show, the 2019 Bentley Continental GT has been completely redesigned and deftly blends the latest in auto technology with traditional craftsmanship that has long been the British automaker’s calling card.

Now it’s third generation, the Continental GT retains is familiar silhouette with a long nose and steeply raked rear window. But beyond the proportions, every aluminum body panel is new and thanks to this construction, the car is 176 pounds lighter. The slightly more rounded nose houses a larger version of Bentley’s signature mesh grille and is flanked by additional mesh-covered inlets. Crisp character lines define the flowing sheetmetal that form muscular haunches over the rear wheels, giving the car an athletic stance. The lower side sills are accentuated by a chrome strip that runs from a low mounted vent ahead of the door.

V12 power

Beneath the hood is a 6.0-liter W12 direct-injected engine producing 626 horsepower and 664 lb ft of torque delivered to all four wheels via an all-new 8-speed dual clutch transmission. The new Bentley Continental GT accelerates to 60 mph in 3.6 seconds on its way to a top speed of 207 mph.

“Bentley has been at the forefront of luxury Grand Touring for nearly 100 years,” said Wolfgang Dürheimer, chairman and CEO of Bentley. “The new, third-generation Continental GT is the pinnacle of our design and engineering achievements…[it] encapsulates our design to innovate as well as celebrate our heritage.”

The 4-seat coupe also features an advanced 48-volt Dynamic Ride System that uses active control of the stabilizer bars front and rear to control body roll while improving handling and ride comfort. This technology provides variable torsional resistance and works in concert with the three Drive Dynamic Control settings: Comfort, Bentley and Sport modes. In addition to the active roll bars, the Continental GT rides on adaptive air springs which help provide a large range of compliance to provide either taut handling or a relaxed, supple ride.

Also: Get your first look at the new and redesigned cars of 2018

Handcrafted interior

Real wood veneers, Piano Black accents and fine leathers are a big part of the Bentley experience and this handcrafted approach using traditional touches like the organ stop vent controls are incorporated in an interior that also uses the latest in electronics and infotainment. Perhaps the slickest innovation is a unique three-sided module in the center of the dash that houses a 12.3-inch touchscreen on one side, a blank side with wood veneer that perfectly blends in with the dash design and a third face that houses three traditional analog gauges.

The seats feature a diamond-quilted sew pattern and the front buckets come with 20-way power adjustment. Buyers can choose from three audio systems, a base 650-watt 10-speaker system, a 1,500-watt Bang & Olufsen 16-speaker system or the 2,200-watt Naim 18-speaker setup.

Two technology option packages are offered. First, there’s a City Specification, which includes hands-free trunk operation, pedestrian warning, traffic-sign recognition, city braking and around view camera. The Touring Specification includes adaptive cruise with traffic jam assist, active lane assist, a head-up display, night vision and pre-sense braking.

The 2019 Bentley Continental GT is expected to be launched sometime next year with pricing announced closer to its on-sale date.

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