Bentley Continental GT & GTC Hybrids Spied

As the Audi-managed Bentley marque moves towards electrification, the next step will by hybridized versions of the Continental GT (coupe) and GTC (cabriolet). Specifically, we’re talking about a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) that can run on purely electric should that be desired or required. Our spy photographers recently caught these two prototypes that appear to be running test mules of the new PHEV drivetrain.

Bentley already offers hybridized models. Its Bentayga SUV utilizes effectively the same 3.0-liter single turbo V6 found in cars like the Q7, while the Continental Flying Spur (4-door sedan) utilizes basically the same 2.9-liter biturbo V6 found in the RS 5. However, it’s believed that the Continental GT and GTC pair will utilize the biturbo 4.0-liter V8 used in cars like the RS 6 and RS Q8.

The thinking here is that Conti GT / GTC owners expect a higher level of performance (and sound), something that they’re more likely to appreciate with the V8. This powertrain is the expected replacement for the current W12-powered Continental offerings (including GT, GTC and Flying Spur), while the 2.9 biturbo PHEV from the current Conti Flying Spur hybrid will likely take the place of the current entry-level 4.0 TFSI without hybrid.

Incidentally, the current Bentley Continental range is based on the same Porsche-derived MSB platform with front mid-engine configuration that underpins the Porsche Panamera. And, the Panamera already offers PHEV versions of both the 2.9-liter biturbo V6 and 4.0-liter biturbo V8. In as much, the Panamera hybrid offerings are probably a great benchmark for what we can expect to see here.

These prototypes also seem to offer updated mid-lifecycle freshening. Photographers on location suggested the headlights appear to resemble those used on the Bentley Bantur or Bacalar. The front bumper design is also slightly changed, now reaching higher up by the headlights.

At the rear, the lights appear to grow in length, reaching more into the middle of the car.

Inside, the most notable change is an E-mode button.