A grand-tourer with a racing heart
Once again Bentley has surprised us with a car of impeccable design and outstanding performance (0-100 km/h in 3.7 seconds with a top speed of 333 km/h). All of Bentley’s heritage and craftsmanship come together in the new Continental GT to deliver the most outstanding looking coupé completed with a new 6.0 litre, twin-turbocharged W12 engine.
The car has four driving modes which range from a Comfort mode, which optimises the chassis and drivetrain making it ideal for long journeys to a Sport mode, which retunes the powertrain for a more dynamic response and a closer driving experience. The active suspension and chassis settings are also altered, delivering firmer damping and more direct steering turn-in. With its dual-clutch and eight-speed transmission, the new Continental GT delivers a faster, more efficient performance than its predecessor. The engineering excellence of this vehicle includes a front axle featuring the largest iron brakes in series production. The internally vented, slotted brake discs dissipate heat more effectively, while the enclosed, one-piece callipers are both light and resistant to deformation.
Inside the cabin, the optional Bentley Rotating Display allows you to choose between a 12.3” high-resolution touchscreen or my favourite, a more classic instrument style with three analogue dials: a compass, a temperature gauge and a chronograph timer.
The materials used for the interior are, as one would expect, only of the highest quality, ranging from incredibly soft leathers to the rarest (and sustainably resourced) veneers and hand-polished chrome details. I particularly like the new ‘diamond in diamond’ quilt, which is extraordinarily soft to the touch. This new interior pattern features both stitching and embroidery. Eighteen months were spent developing the embroidery, individually optimising and programming the exact alignment of each one of the 712 stitches that make up each diamond shape – an unrivalled attention to detail.
Needless to say, the new Continental GT comes with all kind of intelligent features, such as Lane and Blind Spot Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control and Apple CarPlay. Furthermore, a Head-Up display (must have), Comfort Seat, Bang & Olufsen sound system and a City Specification package are available if you want your GT completely kitted out.
For me, this car is seriously elegant and surprisingly sexy to drive. As grand-touring cars go, I can’t think of a better one.