A revolutionary step for the Bentley brand in style and technology, the Continental GT was formally introduced in 2003. Remaining priced as an exotic car, the Bentley Continental GT was valued at a level that made the car less expensive than the previous Continental R. Debuting as a coupe in 2003, the Bentley Continental GT was powered by twin-turbocharged, 6.0-liter W-12 engine generating 552 horsepower.
The engine of the Continental GT was paired with a standard six-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive system. Despite the 5,181-pound curb weight, the 2003 Bentley Continental GT could accelerate from 0 to 62 miles per hour in 4.8 seconds. In 2006, the Bentley Continental GTC presented a drop-top version of the vehicle. Equipped with lavish interior touches, the 2006 Bentley Continental GT featured dual-zone climate control as well as the use of high-grade leather and wood trim. The navigation system of the Bentley Continental GT was updated to a DVD-based unit in 2007 and Bluetooth was added.
In 2008, the Bentley Continental GT Speed model was introduced with a high-performance edge. Along with engine power being boosted to 600 horsepower, the 2008 Bentley Continental GT Speed also featured a lower stance coupled with a sport-tuned suspension, special 20-inch wheels on Pirelli tires and a Dynamic mode as part of the electronic stability program. The Speed trim option was expanded to the Continental GTC in 2010. Bentley also introduced a Series 51 customization package for the Continental GT coupe and convertible for the 2010 models.