Bentley bumps up its V-8 power in new Continental

DETROIT -- Bentley gave its new Continental GT V8 S its North American debut at the 2014 Detroit auto show, rounding out the model line-up for its powerful and luxurious coupe.

The new model marks the fourth version of the Continental GT coupe Bentley has released. Previous models include the GT and GT Speed, both powered by a 6-liter W-12 cylinder engine, and the GT V8, with its 4-liter V-8 engine. Bentley engineering chief Rolf Frech told CNET that the new GT V8 S fills the gap between the GT V8 and the standard GT models.

With 500 horsepower, the … Read more

Continental and IBM sign connected-car alliance

IBM and auto supplier Continental announced an alliance designed to let carmakers link their vehicles to the network and therefore offer new services to customers.

Under the deal, IBM will supply back-end computing infrastructure that can process an immense volume of data streaming in from many cars, then process it so cars can know details about what's just ahead in real time, the companies announced Tuesday at the Frankfurt auto show.

"Anticipatory driving will be enhanced by Continental and IBM to develop a next generation 'electronic horizon' platform, which will ultimately make highly automated driving a reality," … Read more

Bentley Continental GT Speed: A 205 mph love letter to the past

At the birth of the automotive era a few companies began to carve out their own niche, an area of the industry in which they wanted to make their mark. For Bentley that was the performance racing car.

With wins at Le Mans in 1924, 1927, 1928, 1929, and 1930 and a reputation for some of the most exciting machines on four wheel the future of Bentley seemed to be bright. The late twenties however brought with it the Great Depression and sales dwindled. As complete collapse seemed imminent a bail out in the form a purchase by British Central … Read more

Supplier Continental expects self-driving cars by 2020

Continental, a major automotive supplier in Germany, expects its technology research will yield self-driving cars by 2020.

The company has invested more than $130 million on self-driving car research so far, said spokesman Vincent Charles. It began participating in DARPA self-driving car challenges in 2007, is licensed to test autonomous vehicles in Nevada, and has 1,300 researchers working on technology to assist drivers and eventually take over altogether.

"We're quite engaged and have a clear road map," Charles said Friday. On that schedule: partially automated cars by 2016 and highly automated cars for consumers by 2020, … Read more

Google, supplier Continental near self-driving car deal: report

Continental, a German automotive supplier, is hammering out partnership agreements with Google and IBM for self-driving cars, according to a report in the Frankfurter Allgemeine on Thursday.

Google is a pioneer in autonomous vehicles, but Continental is headed the same direction, for example through a partnership announced earlier this year with BMW. Although consumers probably know the company best for making tires, it also is a major supplier that makes everything from disk brakes to lithium-ion batteries.

Acquisitions have broadened Continental's business. In 2006, it acquired Motorola's automotive electronics business, for example. In 2012, it reported net income … Read more

Bentley Continental GTC V8: A look at what makes a flying B so special

It doesn't take a mastermind to realise that the Bentley Continental GTC V8 is a very special car. It's a Bentley, after all, and Bentley is a brand that exhudes quality, refinement, heritage, and luxury. What makes its cars quite so special, though, is really quite something.

Y'see, to make a Bentley look and feel as you'd expect, there are various processes to be gone through.

Everything you see, touch, experience, and smell has far more work go into it than you could possibly imagine.

Let's take the paint job: it's an 11-day job … Read more

Bentley GT Speed Convertible focuses on luxury, performance, not tech

Bentley's Continental GT Speed Convertible is so new that pricing has not yet been announced. So I was left to guess how much money I was putting in peril when Bentley dropped one off in the CNET garage for a short loan. Judging from Bentley's current lineup, I ballparked it at between two and three. Hundreds of thousands of dollars, that is.

People who buy Bentleys probably don't ask the first question that came to my mind: what makes this car worth that much money?

Working for a company that recently did a hands-on (eyes-on?) with a … Read more

Cooley's Logbook: 2012 Bentley Continental GT

High-dollar cars tend to lean on the technology pretty hard -- and tend to do it pretty badly. The cabin tech in an Aston Martin or Maserati typically doesn't equal what's in a Camry. But the big boys make up for it with exotic technology in their power trains, audio output, and sybaritic creature comforts like champagne coolers.

I was rather pleasantly surprised to find the 2012 Bentley Conti GT doesn't go too far over the top in high-tech gimmickry. Its W12 engine is exotic, yes, but has been knocking around the Volkswagen group for almost a decade. … Read more

Bentley Continental GT: The 1 percent has it good

With a cabin that abounds in leather and metal, the Bentley Continental GT shows true luxury coachwork. Double-paned windows and excellent engineering insulate passengers from the outside world, making the cabin of this tourer a cozy room on wheels.

All this luxury makes this coupe weigh over 5,000 pounds, but the twin-turbocharged W-12 engine does not strain even when running uphill. A six-speed automatic runs smoothly, making for effortless driving. However, put the car in sport mode, and it suddenly changes from meandering bison to swift-footed cheetah. It seems almost miraculous how this car deals with winding roads, given … Read more

How much will it cost to insure an autonomous car?

Will automotive insurance companies charge you one rate if you're manually driving the vehicle, and another when your car drives itself? That's what Google wants to find out, and is meeting with automotive insurances companies to speed the process for legalizing self-driving cars.

Anthony Levandowski, Google automotive product manager, gave the keynote address at the Society of Automotive Engineers World Congress in Detroit last week, and disclosed that the company has been meeting with an unnamed insurance company, according to a Detroit Free Press article. Complex regulatory and liability issues could stall the technology that is fast approaching … Read more