Bentley gearknob

Bentley gearknob

We already know that Bentley and Audi will share a newly developed 4.0-liter V-8 engine that will debut towards the end of the year in the recently facelifted 2011 Bentley Continental GT and eventually appear in some performance models from Audi. But what we didn’t know is that the S tronic dual clutch transmission designed by Audi for the new engine may also feature in Bentley’s future models, starting with the latest Conti GT.   

Bentley engineers are reportedly studying the feasibility of packaging the six-speed S tronic unit into the Continental GT’s transmission tunnel. Since the S tronic dual clutch transmission is a different shape to the current ZF six-speed automatic used by Bentley, some modifications will be required to allow it to fit. This may include modifying the Continental GT’s underbody and driveshaft layout.

The S tronic can be driven in various modes, such as D (Drive) and S (Sport). In normal D mode gear changes are automatic, however, switch into S and the driver can change gears as they please using a pair of paddle shifters normally mounted behind the steering wheel in cars equipped with the advanced gearbox.

The benefits of adopting the S tronic dual clutch transmission would include quicker acceleration thanks to faster shift times and improved fuel economy--a win-win for consumers.