Bentley Continental GT W12 - Inside the Factory | Full DocumentaryMay 30, 2021
It is the most exclusive supercar in England, its enormous features are hidden behind its exclusive design and muscular appearance. Driving it is to feel alive, bigger, stronger and more masculine. Its 12-cylinder Biturbo engine catapults the British car down the road at up to 330 km/h and then With the Bentley you want to demonstrate style and class on the plant's high-tech assembly lines. Technicians make dreams come true. How badly do we push the boundaries? Good is not good enough for Bentley. What you need is the best. Wear the finest leather. and the best veneers available pride and passion run through every fiber of the Bentley Continental GT and that is etched in the faces of the technicians the best grand tourer in the world deep in England, between Manchester and Birmingham, lies Crewe, This small city is the Headquarters of the official vehicle supplier of the English royal family Bentley.
Inside, the magic of the venerable facility dating back to 1938 is combined with the most modern technology of Industry 4.0 on an area of five hundred and twenty thousand meters square, four thousand employees produce around eleven thousand luxury vehicles a year since 2018. Of them, 1,000 have been building the new Continental GT. British grand tourers roll off their own production line. The entire interior of these luxury cars is also produced in this plant. The exquisite equipment installed in the powerful A sports coupe demands traditional craftsmanship and high-quality materials. Modern high-tech machines guarantee the necessary high-precision work. The new Continental GT is available from two hundred thousand euros.
The grand tourer is the third generation of Bentley's six-wheeled all-wheel drive vehicle. One hundred and thirty-five horses catapult the luxury coupe, which weighs around 2.2 tons, from 0 to 100 km/h in 3.7 seconds. The 12-cylinder turbo engine gives the vehicle a top speed of 333 km/h on the road. The bridge cranes bring a new vehicle. frame to the assembly line every nine minutes the first step of operation is specific to Bentley employees remove the fenders from the British cars this allows them to install the headlights at the front from the rear later, three workplaces later These technicians are adjusting the wiring harness in the vehicle that weighs forty-five kilos.
This loom must be lifted to the body by a crane. The electric backbone of the luxury sports car supplies the vehicle dynamics control system. The steering system. The traction. A Continental GT is equipped with numerous electronic assistants. The luxury car contains more than eight kilometers of cables. Its internal electronic architecture encompasses 2,300 circuits and ninety-two control units within a nine-minute cycle. employees connect around 200 plug connections luxury The nervous system of the Hayes coupe is ready to go. The electrical circuit also powers the luxury cabin's displays and control panels. The new screen of the Continental GT is a unique construction worldwide.
It is a rotating information panel that is located on the interior dashboard. The most special feature is probably the rotating screen in the middle that has three sides. Many cars have covers over the screen, but we are the only car to develop a three-sided screen so you can have a completely clean surface if you want all the digital information. if you want or a third side we can have three analogue dials to give it a more classic look and that, as you can imagine, was something very difficult to develop, but we did it so that the sensitive dashboard would not be damaged when installing it.
The assembly team first covers the instrument panel with leather mats. A worker then moves a special handling device to the instrument panel. The technician uses it to insert the instrument panel, which is covered with fine wood, into the body. The device manipulation helps to position the dashboard with absolute precision in the driving position the tolerance value between the chassis and the instrument panel is only 0.1 millimeters the emerging Bentley continues its way in a mounting cage transports the bare skeleton to the next station via a rail on the roof of the plant This marks a decisive step for the new Continental, the high-performance powertrain and the luxury bodywork come together and marry before the two components can Join, employees pre-assemble the powertrain on a steel frame next to the main assembly line like pieces of a puzzle. of the dual-branch exhaust systems the individual components fit exactly into the predetermined grooves of the chassis the central element is the enormous drive unit consisting of the powerful 12-cylinder engine with 635 horsepower, the dual-clutch transmission and the independent suspension of the wheels 92 experts produce the power plants for all Bentley models in the plant's internal engine department a team of 24 engineers is specialized in the Continental engine the team assembles the Biturbo units weighing 315 kilos each in a separate line the Continental GT gets its power from a 635 horsepower engine with a displacement of 6 liters the power plants 12 cylinders are distributed between two V-shaped banks this double V produces what is called an artificial W12 engine this unit is particularly compact and shifts the center of gravity of the vehicle by 10% towards the rear axle as a result the weight of the Bentley around 2.2 tonnes is evenly distributed between both axles, meaning that the luxury coupe remains stable on the road even in tight corners.
A driverless transport system takes the naked engine block to the assembly line. The device recognizes the lane marking in the workshop by means of means. from a front-mounted sensor, this allows you to transport the engine from one station to another. First, engineers install the crankshaft. Each unique engine is made up of decades of experience and the latest technology. You get that mix match based on our volume by using the latest. technology that is right for us, but we also use the skills we have acquired over generations. Certain colleagues here who work on the engine line, his father used to work here making engines, his grandfather used to work here making engines, so here in Crewe we.
We have great experience, each crankshaft is unique because during manufacturing small deviations arise that influence the dimensions of the component. Bentley compensates for these tolerances so that later all the components of the engine mesh together like the cogs in a clock mechanism by matching the dimensions of all the elements to each other ensuring that the engine runs absolutely smoothly when it is finished that is what it is for. this machine here the employee is inserting twelve connecting rods for a
continentalengine they also have my new material deviations that now the automatic machine compensates the dimensions of the crankshaft they measure it and selects different bearing thicknesses, whatever the need for the crankshaft, the employee holds the connecting rod, bearing cap and piston into the machine and starts it up.
Three cameras scan a QR code on the components, the system uses this to retrieve the stored dimensions and selects correct bearing caps in different dimensions and adjusts the connecting rods to each other, the automatic machine then mounts the steel rings on the connecting rod and the green light says okay, so the machine gives the go-ahead for assembly when all the connecting rods are as identical as possible to the mechanical then The dozen pistons are installed in the bores of the 12 cylinders. The piston rings and contact surfaces are lubricated with a special oil. The technician on the other side screws the connecting rods to the crankshaft.
Later, an explosion in the cylinder sets the connecting rods in motion. It then drives the crankshaft whose rotation determines the vehicle's torque. The technician uses this crank to move the assembled rows of pistons, allowing him to check that the cylinders do not come into contact with the cylinder wall later. Otherwise, this could cause serious engine damage in the form of piston seizure. The men now tightened the final bolts. After that, the base engine will be almost complete in the next few hours. The power plant will be equipped with all its vital components. The oil pan rounds. outside the basic engine at the bottom two camshafts are installed in each of the cylinder heads that this worker is assembling they regulate the fuel supply to the engine the twenty-four-man crew shares this work with robot colleagues, for example, they have the task of applying adhesives and sealing compounds to the lightweight design elements, all components are intended to increase performance, this includes Continental power plants, two turbochargers, use a compressor like this to force compressed air into the combustion chamber to allow optimal mixing of fuel and air.
Bentley engine manufacturers produce around 30 W12 per turbo per day when
fully assembled the high performance unit consists of around 294 individual elements the English subjects each power plant to complicated testing procedures for the final performance test the first hot test the employee transports the huge motor to a security chamber there he couples it he takes it to the test facility then closes the door during the test the motor reaches high temperatures in the worst case an explosion can occur if something goes wrong Now real fuel flows through the veins of the engine for the first time. The engine runs in all driving modes and speed levels.
On the screen, the tester checks important parameters such as oil pressure, torque, power and efficiency. of fuel the procedure lasts around 21 minutes, then the power plant has passed the test after a cooling phase the engine returns to the assembly line The pre-assembly line operators receive the Biturbo and load it onto a sled of mounting. A total of 16 mechanics extend it to form a complete front axle, which is then mounted on the powertrain. A crane helps move the 160 kilos 8-speed dual-clutch transmission to the line The system behind this automatic transmission has been around for 70 years. Two subtransmissions inside it work constantly in parallel so that there is no loss of traction power when changing gears.
The Continental GT braking system. It is the most powerful ever installed on a Bentley The front brake discs have a diameter of 42 centimeters The team care
fully places the engine transmission unit on the front axle and bolts it to the steel structure The unit now has all the components who needs to accelerate the Continental to its top speed of 333 km/h, then onto the front axle drive and then proceed directly to the main assembly line, there two technicians place the Colossus on the powertrain; It is the missing piece of the puzzle and fits precisely into the prefabricated frame on the platform, this mechanic then installs the propeller shaft and subsequently transfers the torque from the engine to the rear axle.
Once workers have completed this high-power package, they transport the powertrain that is made up of 450 components to the production line, which is where the 750-kilogram powertrain is now mounted under the hood and awakens the beast in the Continental 2 differentials transferred the enormous power of the Biturbo engine to the wheels to a different extent depending on the driving conditions. The powerful British sports car is equipped with air suspension by By changing the gas pressure in the suspension struts, the Bentley adapts its shock absorption to driving mode and loading. An 8-speed dual-clutch transmission ensures consistent shifting performance with a diameter of 420 millimeters, the largest front brake discs fitted as standard on any car in the world. world are also mounted on the solid steel frame now the time has come in the Bentley registry office two employees attach the powertrain to the body a hydraulic lifting platform moves the chassis until it is just a few centimeters below the superstructure of the vehicle the two components must not collide but the threaded holes have to be precisely aligned the technicians conclude the marriage with large steel bolts they have nine minutes to transform the engine and body into a single unit the aerial transporter is set in motion again and The journey along the assembly line continues.
The pit crew now installs the newly developed headlights at the front of the vehicle. Their colleagues at station one had removed the fenders so that the Continental's glowing eyes can be installed on the body from the rear part the mechanic now screws the body The parts are put back together. A special tool is usedBentley to symmetrically mount the headlights. This device can attach the headlights to the fenders using its suction heads. The vacuum suction cup places it flush in the hole. Finally, the technician verifies the dimensions of the space where the pieces are. now sitting without screws or plug connections to disturb the noble appearance of the luxury coupe.
The headlights have a very dark appearance, but when you look at the lamp, particularly in sunlight or when illuminated, you see that they shine like a glass diamond and that is because they are made up of several transparent layers or very defined surfaces give a unique crystal appearance look at the lamp there is an idea that one of our designers had, he was inspired by looking at the explosions of a coq and he wanted to include that in the lighthouse and no one has done that before and every time you do something new it is difficult but also makes it fun for designers trying to achieve that vision.
The Continental GT is the English company's most successful vehicle by far since the first model in 2003. Its basic lines. have been firmly anchored in the model series the third generation of the supercar entered production in 2018 the Continental has always been a car that can really be described from the side even three lines, the lines we call the power line, which is the strong line and sharp over the front wheel, the horns, which is the line over the rear wheel, the more muscular one over the rear wheel and the fastback roof line, those three lines really define the cause ofAll generations of the high-performance Continental GT and Classic shapes have been central features of Bentley's DNA for over 100 years.
The company was founded in 1919 in London by a passionate racing driver named Walter Owen Bentley. The brand achieved international renown in 1924. Winning the 24 Hours of LeMans, a success that Bentley repeated a total of five times during this period, even today the Englishman relies on extreme performance and strives to reach the front on the tracks of races from all over the world to be able to participate in the races. In its version, the Continental GT 3 had to lose almost 1 ton of weight powered by a 4-liter V8 engine. The 1.3-ton racing car has already achieved more than 50 victories.
Its 8-cylinder engine weighs 23 kilos less than the W12 and catapulted the British vehicle. on the Belgian asphalt during the 24 hour race in Spa the Continental team has already been on the podium 120 times as a team the all-wheel drive vehicle is now equipped with special Pirelli tires these tires are designed to produce the lowest possible rolling noise possible in In the cabin, the Continental is equipped for the first time with mixed tires to provide even more grip and precise steering behavior. The rear tires are wider during the final work and on the vehicle it is crucial to protect the exquisite bodywork, so the entire vehicle is covered with thick leather mats that prevent the expensive paint from being scratched.
Bentleys are painted in the 32,000 square meter paint shop. This is where each naked skeleton of the vehicle acquires its unmistakable clothing. The 500 employees in the approximately 2 kilometers long. The painting line has only one goal, absolute perfection, then the painting is ready and in total we have 85 stations, then those stations, many of them composed of colleagues, are carrying out other preparation or painting operations, but also, of course, we have a series of automated processes that are robotic. and of course also many ovens to bake the body within the different layers of paint, so normally in a week we process between 350 and 375 cars per week before painting them, each body is taken to the sanding booth and the skeleton of the vehicle has already been coated. with primer that also protects against corrosion six employees now sand and polish each of the surfaces no dings in the paint are allowed, then professional painters sand every irregular area, no matter how small this is one of the key parts of our process. where we sand the primer coat to remove any texture from the surface finish so the car is as flat as possible before the top falls off.
This is key to understanding how we achieve our final finish. The color paint is automatically applied to any part of the body. the body is left unpainted the robot's six arms can lift or open all moving parts of the vehicle to obtain a base color the robot sprays seven kilos of paint on the body to achieve the precise shade everywhere the robots apply three individual coats duration of the painting process In exactly 12 and a half minutes we offer 63 colors of standard and extended wings, which surpasses any other manufacturer in terms of standard wings. We also offer what we call Mulliner colors, which are custom colors hand painted exactly to the customer's requirements on each body.
The casing receives a special finish consisting of a transparent layer, this last layer gives the skeletons of the vehicle their final shine and protects them from UV radiation. This zebra pattern that the neon lamps in the light tunnel cause in the paint has a specific function: the alternation of light and shadow helps inspectors better see stains or paint chips after 48 hours. The freshly painted GT body heads to the main assembly line. Now he weighs 16 kilos. Now another robot comes into play on the production line. Apply silicone adhesive over the paint. The windshield, even after drying, this compound remains particularly elastic, so the window does not crack due to vibrations when the vehicle is moving.
The employees now insert into the body with muscle force so that the occupants are largely protected from subsequent noises during vehicle operation. The windows are made of a special insulating glass. The side windows are frameless, requiring extreme precision. Precision is absolutely crucial at Bentley. Our vehicles have a maximum speed of more than 330 km/h, so the issue of wind noise or avoiding it has absolute priority. As soon as two windows are not aligned with absolute precision, wind noises occur at these high speeds, after mounting the special frameless windows exactly on the bodywork on the driver's and passenger's side, the workers placed the coupe on a window steep rear in the vehicle at the next work station.
It is carried out inside the vehicle This rear seat consists of 40 individual pieces of leather It is produced in the Sadler II plants Here around 500 employees produce high-quality furniture for all Bentleys The complete interior of a Continental GT is also created in two elaborate separate spaces The lines of our interiors of all Bentleys are a combination of the best hand-crafted materials, to smell, feel the torch, the tactile sensation of the interior, but also the combination of modern technology to make the cabins feel as if you were in a cabin, but "It is also in the comfortable armchair at home, the luxurious British coupe A contains the skins of up to 12 European balls.
By selecting them, the Sadler's ensure that the skins are pristine but still look natural These special wax crayon marks are important for further processing. They mark every anomaly in the dark gray leather. The cameras recognize the marks and special indications so that precisely these areas are omitted when the leather is cut. The Continental range includes the types of most exclusive leather in the world we know that certain countries like certain things within the we know that the US likes cars, they love their cows in the United States and things like that, so they like to see it, it's something natural and they love it, but we are firm in our decision making that we only put the best in the The best, sorry, but scars are not really allowed in the car, while Germany wants the best, they just want perfect leather on their automobiles. 10% of the work in the finishing workshop is done automatically, this includes cutting the leather first.
The camera scans the raw material and the defects marked on it. A system intelligently distributes the necessary cutting patterns for the corresponding interior around the marks and sends the cutting instructions to the machine, then cuts the individual parts of the leather, which means waste is minimized and Sadler's can make the most of the fine material. Two overhead projectors identify finished pre-cut pieces with colored markings. This tells the employee which pre-cut part belongs to which part of the Continental's interior trim according to the respective color. He pre-sorts the leather elements for further processing. The trim workshop also has its own sewing line here. 75 seamstresses use the leather components. to make elaborately decorated seat covers and door upholstery the seamstresses equipped the leather with a soft lining and registered all the finished pieces in the system it takes about 27 hours to hand sew a
continentalset this worker is preparing individual components for the department's six automatic sewing machines carry out more complex top-stitching work complicated embroidery designs and decorative stitching when finishing the interior fittings of a luxury Coupe A contains 2,800 meters of thread.
Bentley's diamond design is also found here. About three-quarters of customers ask for this extra for their continental after a final check. This seamstress approves an additional seat cover for final assembly. A finished seat comes off the line here every nine minutes however quality is essential these workers upholster a heated front seat depending on the type of leather it takes a lot of force to place the cover over the padding dark leather is stiffer than leather Of course, the employees must not damage the expensive leather, but the cover and plastic shells still have to be perfectly seated.
Finally, the upholsterer irons out the last wrinkles on the seat. It took a day and a half to build the finished car seat on the production line. a technician now inserts the freshly ironed front passenger seat into the cabin of a continental then bolts it to the seat rails his colleague uses the mounting aid to move the driver's seat closer to the vehicle and now comes the steering the technician places the steering wheel Bentley on the steering column and connects the cables finally the mechanical transport the two doors of the vehicle and bolts them into place, the team at the next station adjusts them until all the space dimensions are correct and the doors open and close perfectly.
The Continental now gets power. This employee charges the British vehicle's battery so that the Bentley can undergo a final electrical check. He connects a computer to the vehicle and transfers all system information to the car. The quality inspector then tests electronic functions such as window or door openers and the automatic trunk lid also the Bentley inspectors checklist includes all the controls in the cabin of this station, the technicians finally bring the Continental to life, an employee fills the vehicle with around 25 liters of gasoline and places a protector against surges in the fuse box, then the luxury sports car can roar during the For the first time, at the end of the production line, a complex final acceptance process awaits the new Bentley so that the customer receives a perfect vehicle.
Quality inspectors examine every inch of the vehicle's interior. They test the seat belts and all the hatches and levers. The expensive instrument panels are also on the inspectors' checklist. They are the unmistakable Bentley trademark and have to be absolutely perfect. The Continental GT is a mobile luxury suite. Everything is designed for maximum comfort. Even a minibar can be optionally integrated. in the refined interior, of course, this also includes a set of whiskey glasses made of elaborately cut crystal with the Bentley you don't want to attract attention with the Bentley you want to demonstrate style and class and Bentley a Bentley is as sporty as other supercars but simply has this refreshing understatement and this basic feeling of luxury in particular it is the handmade elements in the interior of the vehicle that generate this feeling of luxury the staff of the 5,000 square meter owned wood
factoryproduces dashboards and elements of luxury wood trim the choice of raw materials is practically unlimited it is even possible to use root wood from a client's private forest walnut is a very traditional veneer that Bentley has used for many years and it is obviously American walnut.
We have one of our new badges that is Khoa and comes from Hawaii. We have tama ash that comes from China and we have red gum, which is Mississippi, so this is just to name a few, from a wood standpoint we say we areputting veneers on cars, we're actually putting what I think is furniture on cars. The Bentley veneer collection includes a total of nine different ones. types of fine wood before the British decide on a new type of wood they take a look at its origin they want to know precisely whether the wood comes from sustainable forestry and who managed its growth the ancient craftsmanship with which Bentley carpenters process and refine wood is passed down from generation to generation something called mirror blending is carried out in the first step of processing a worker checks that the pattern of the thin sheets of wood veneer flow perfectly together the interior finish should look like If it were made of a single piece of wood, the expert uses a template to mark the subsequent cuts, I say you have to have a good eye and basically put the veneers together so that you have that exact line.
This is a console and inside there is a frame for a shelf that is what's the blue mark and making sure it's central to the console contact so that we get good coverage with no scarring or tissue from the console and then I see that this veneer has to match perfectly, so we have exact lines to see, like this that the line goes in works perfectly when, when reattached correctly, it should be flush and look identical. The suit seems to flow. It looks like it won't be. So water. Modern technology supports traditional manual labor. The machine helps anywhere.
Absolute precision is required A laser is used to cut the veneer sheets Cuts exactly identical molding components from fine wood The result is smooth, precise cut edges The pre-cut pieces are then placed in a press To do this A worker first stacks five layers of sheet metal exactly one on top of the other, each one has a piece of white adhesive paper on the bottom that immediately joins the layers together. The carpenter then places the 1.5 millimeter thick face sheet over the rotating template to protect it. is placed on top once you have greased the heating plates of the press fixes a support on the machine consisting of slightly thicker chipboard or plywood boards the carpenter places the thinner layers on them the lower veneer sheets ensure that the simpler substrate is not visible If the noble wood on the top is damaged, the expert now fixes another blank piece of veneer on a second heating plate.
Both pieces are then used as a covering on a dashboard with a force of up to 250 tons. The machine now presses the seven layers together to form a single piece. The heating plates heat the adhesive to about 145 degrees Celsius. After five minutes, the expert takes out of The veneered finished pieces are pressed and the protective layer is removed to prepare the freshly baked wooden consoles for varnishing. This station now sands away the remaining chips and scratches from the veneer, the exquisite interior elements and then they move on to the production line. varnished to seal and protect them the pieces receive a total of seven coats of varnish after four hours in the rest area they are placed in an oven at 50 degrees Celsius for two more hours so that they harden the elaborate finish is carried out by a robot to allow this employee to hold a steering wheel trim finished on a carousel in the gondola the thin wood is moved to a position from which the robot can easily grasp it with four brushes with different degrees of hardness the high-tech yellow robot polishes every millimeter of The sheet metal coating acquires a brilliant shine after 10 minutes, the design element is returned to the employee, who checks whether the robot has done a good job, then removes the last particles of dirt from the part and sticks a protective film on it for the robot to make it brighter.
Ergonomically friendly in terms of the complex shapes that were used and the robots eliminate all the hard, heavy manual work, allowing craftsmen to find the finish for some of the complex components we have. The final step in the production process of Continentals furniture is carried out. Behind this door, so that the individual components can be perfectly integrated into the cabin, they are provided with all the necessary notches and holes for threaded and plug-in connections. In this CNC milling cutter, the robot picks up a tool from the inside and mills the programmed slots and slots in the workpiece fully automatically.
After a few minutes, the components are ready to be installed in the cabinet. The fine wooden elements are now assembled. undergo their final quality checks, an employee precisely examines each and every part to meet Bentley's high quality standards on a frame that she assembles. The complete interior trim of the Continental GT and checks whether the grain of the 15 Individual pieces matching perfectly to a flat surface is also vitally important. If the quality inspector's expert eye discovers a gap, the part is sent to a manual correction department, these guys will be handy, send it back to me.
Bentley's experienced tester inspects around 25 sets per day. The plant's internal carpentry workshop team needs a total of 20 days to refine the wood for the interior of a single continent. The real value comes from that. Good finish at the end and that attention to detail that you'll see in some of the things that you've seen inside the
factory, that's where it really matters to do the things that robots and technology can't do and that always will. It will be a passion that will always be part of what makes Bentley Bentley returns to the final quality control if this two hundred thousand euro sports car passes the final controls it is approved for delivery Dinah's father each car as a personal quality control carried out by a Expert on the inside for design and craftsmanship on the outside for clearance accuracy and paint quality, we're talking several hundred checkpoints that every car must pass to maintain high quality.
In 100 hours, workers have built a new luxury coupe, a 2.2-tonne Wayne, the Grand. Now Tour leaves the assembly line, however, it has to complete two more tests, only when it has passed them can it finally leave the plant in the rattle and roll test, the engineers really give the content until it shakes thoroughly The rollers simulate different paths. On these surfaces, the testers accelerate the British car up to 24 km/h to detect annoying noises and loose parts. Once the fitness test has been passed, the Bentley turns into a long alley. In the monsoon test, inspectors soaked the two-door vehicle with water simulating heavy rain not a single drop can enter the interior of the luxury car an employee measures the time how much moisture has entered the cabin and checks the trunk for of water damage this continental has been kept airtight and is now ready for its new Somewhere in the world, our customers have an average of eight cars in the garage when they wake up in the morning and wonder if they should drive a supercar, a sedan luxury or a practical car for everyday use, and they usually choose a combination of these three.
The features of this combination of super sports car, luxury car and suitability for everyday use are the Bentley, the Continental GT, a dream car from the Bentley brand. In the plantation team, 1,000 employees have produced a new luxury coupe and around 5,000 of these exclusive British vehicles are on the road. Off the assembly line here every year since 1919, the passion and tradition of luxury have combined to produce England's most exquisite supercars.
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