2012 Bentley

 The Bentley Continental is next in line for a major refresh for the luxury automaker, and although the new range of Continental models is still about two years off, a few details on Bentley�s next volume model have already hit the Web.

Design-wise, the next Continental shouldn�t stray too far from the current model, although the new car should have a slipperier silhouette. A switch in the Continental�s front axle � from the current Volkswagen Phaeton-derived unit to an Audi A8-sourced unit � will mean a shorter front overhanging, allowing for a longer wheelbase. The Continental�s track will also grow, meaning even more rear seat and trunk room.
The next Continental will employ plenty of aluminum bits � which will shed 400 pounds from the current car�s curb weight � and will borrow its suspension and brakes from the Audi A8, according to Automobile Underhood, the Continental will still use its familiar W12, albeit with a few tweaks. Power will check in at 580

horsepower, with the Speed variants seeing a bump to 650 horsepower. An eight-speed transmission will handle shifting duties.Bentley unveiled its first green version of the Continental at the 2009 Geneva Motor Show, with that theme likely to continue on into the next-gen car. Bentley is reportedly mulling the idea of a diesel-powered Continental � with around 375 horsepower and 590 lb-ft of torque � and even a plug-in hybrid version is under consideration.

Expect the Continental coupe to hit the market in 2011, with the sedan version bowing a year later. A convertible model should make an appearance in 2013, followed by Speed versions by 2015


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