This fall, Bentley will unveil the next generation of the car that has been so crucial to its success over the past decade, the Continental GT. It may appear to be a mere face-lift, but there are big changes under the hood. The W-12 engine will soldier on for grand-touring trims, but a twin-turbo, Audi-sourced V-8 will power a new line of sporty models and should match the current twelve-cylinder's 552 hp and 479 lb-ft of torque. After the coupe lands in 2011, the sedan will arrive in 2012, the convertible in 2013, and the high-performance Speed models starting in 2014.
Can Bentley Do Small? The New Compact Bentley that we first reported in December is on hold, but it's far from canceled. It's said that chairman Franz-Josef Paefgen isn't keen on a $120,000 Bentley, but his imminent retirement should put the project back on track. The V-8-powered small Bentley will arrive no sooner than 2014 as both a two-door hatchback and a four-door crossover.
BUGATTI 16C GALIBIER
What: A sedan as only Bugatti could do: the world's most powerful and most expensive.
Best Parts Bin Ever: The Galibier draws power from the same 8.0-liter W-16 as the Veyron, but it uses two superchargers in place of the two-door's four turbos. Output is somewhere between 800 and 1000 hp, with a top speed of 220 mph. The carbon-and-aluminum-bodied 16C is expected to sell for a cool $1.5 million.
The sixth-generation 3-series
Our spy illustrators bring us our first look at the new family of 3-series cars, which will break cover in 2012. BMW's 3-series rollout will stretch into 2014 -- that's a long time, but it's a big family, especially with the addition of a Gran Turismo four-door hatchback. The GT, which uses a conventional liftgate rather than the dual-piece unit in the 5-series GT, is said to be lower and more sporty than its bigger brother. It and the wagon get a longer wheelbase than the other 3-series models and will offer a full-length glass sunroof. The sedan resembles a shrunken 5-series, while the coupe and the convertible get more sculpted sheetmetal, a lower roofline, and a more steeply raked windshield. The convertible again will feature a retractable hard top, but a Speedster version with a manual fabric roof and a lower-profile windshield may be sold by the M division. Speaking of which, the next M3 will be sold as a coupe and a convertible with a 3.0-liter twin-turbo six in place of the current V-8; it should put out about 450 hp. For the other 3-series models, the engine lineup (with ballpark output figures) looks like this: 220-hp, 2.0-liter turbo four (325i); 270-hp six (330i); 300-hp turbo six (335i); and 245-hp turbo-diesel six (330d).
BMW's great-looking CS concept from the 2007 Shanghai auto show was to sit above the 7-series in the BMW hierarchy. Instead, the brand's first four-door "coupe" will be part of the 6-series family, selling alongside the two-door coupe and convertible, which are being redesigned for 2012. In the engine room, we find a 2.0-liter twin-turbo four (in the 625i) that makes about 250 hp, enough to supplant the standard I-6. A 300-hp turbo six powers the 630i. The V-8 in the 650i makes some 400 hp, and the M6 will get about 575 hp from a twin-turbo V-8 (in place of today's V-10). An optional F1-inspired kinetic-energy recovery system provides a temporary 100-hp boost.