As the Bentley nears its centenary celebrations, the grand old automotive giant has launched its latest model – the Continental Grand Tourer (GT) – exemplifying everything that the company has so far stood for.
Not unlike its predecessors, the new Bentley Continental GT is on one hand, a product of status and luxury for the wealthy and on the other, a mean, powerful machine that will have speed demons all across the world rubbing their hands in glee.
A soft yet sharp look
When it was introduced back in 2003, the Continental GT was a big, bold, beastly model of a car, being inspired loosely from its 1950s R-type ancestor. The new model is a considerable overhaul from the previous models. Even after losing an impressive 80kgs and adopting the platform of the Porsche Panamera, the new Continental GT still remains an exceptionally beautiful car, gaining certain crispness and giving definition to its aluminium exterior while retaining its soft, rounded and aesthetically soothing design with the teardrop rear lights and the sloping rear screen.
Evidently luxurious interiors
On the inside, you get your first look at what luxury really looks and feels like with the exquisite diamond quilted patterning on the upholstery made with an incredible 310,000 stitches to it and its elegant blend of metal and wood finishing. On the technological and entertainment front, the dashboard has the Bentley Rotating Display that whirls and spins with the click of a button. It switches between the standard display screen that adjusts brightness according to ambient lighting and a less-distracting and more traditional panel with analogue switches and dials. There is also a splendid 16-speaker sound system complete with a Bang & Olufsen equaliser.
The Beast within
However, it is only on popping the hood that the true nature of this majestic powerhouse is revealed. The new Bentley Continental GT has a formidable 5950cc engine that packs an astounding 626 bhp of power between 5000-6000 rpm and delivers an impressive maximum torque of 664 lb-ft/900 Nm at 1350-4500 rpm. The power-packed 12-cylinder engine of the new Continental GT allows it to reach a maximum speed of 333 km/hr in optimum conditions and to go from 0-100 km/hr in a measly 3.7 seconds. However, there are talks of the Bentley soon releasing a more fuel-efficient and focused hybrid V8 engine for the new Bentley Continental GT.
Made for the perfect long drive
All in all, the latest Grand Tourer from Bentley makes for a smooth, pleasant driving experience not only across scenic landscapes but even during multi-laned intercity drives. The three-chambered suspension coupled with the antiroll bars iron out the effects of any minor road bumps or depressions while also negating the body lean that is often experienced while driving around the bends. The new and improvised PDK gearbox of the GT works like magic, shifting swiftly and powering even in between shifts; all of this without the PDK ever requiring to be replaced during the lifetime of the car. For all the comfort, luxury and thrill it provides, this Continental Grand Tourer by Bentley is very reasonably priced at around $214,600 (about £159,100).
You can’t wait for this one to arrive so that you can hit the roads for a ‘grand’ long drive across the pleasant countryside or the scenic mountains, wherever the heart finds it’s calling.