The new Bentley Continental GT has a 6 litre twin turbo W12 engine with 626 bhp and an eye popping top speed of 207 mph (you’ll need a long off road straight to hit that), accelerating 0-62 mph in 3.6 seconds, pleasantly enough to dance effortlessly between cars in heavy traffic, or change lanes with insolent ease on the motorway.
This new Continental GT is sleeker, more menacing and visibly better looking than before. It’s a visual representation of the word “speed” with a lower roof and better aerodynamics, plus a chrome stripe that sweeps from one front wheel to the next via the rear. The swooped haunches are farther pronounced adding to the sporty feel. The exterior paintwork is such a deep gloss that it seems you could push your finger into the glass finish, which reflects and warps the surroundings in its coloured hues . Referred to by Bentley as “piano-finish paint process,” It certainly brings out the sensuous lines, curves and contours in the body.
Bentley has dramatically improved what was already a very fine car. It is faster than the last Continental GT, making it seriously nippy for a car that weighs two tons. It feels smaller, more agile and nimble than before, and is at ease driving down narrow lanes, with better visibility and handling. All of which were good before. They've just tweaked everything to make it perfect. It looks sportier too, with lines that flow sinuously, whilst still retaining the presence of a high end luxury super car. From the moment you get in you can sense the size and width of the car, it is completely tailored around your body, becoming an extension of you, so it is ridiculously easy to manage.
The interior is redesigned to convey luxury and pampering, with carbon fibre and steel touches scintillating everywhere. The steering wheel looks like it's been nicked from a star fighter with lovely detail in the stitching and controls. I'd present the steering wheel as a work of art on a plinth in my living room, it's that beautiful. There is added gleam, wood veneer, leather and carbon fibre, with metallic knobs, grills and flat buttons shimmering at you, sussurating luxury design. The centre console has taken some inspiration from bigger luxury cars and is larger and imposing, probably the right direction, but losing something of the previous simplicity. Polished chrome and diamond knurling abound, accentuating the start stop button amidst the mode controls. The seats are sporty, sleek and glamorous, with a futuristic design and traditional diamond pattern, yet as comfortable as a deep leather arm chair on a wooden porch.
Special mention goes to the Bentley rotating display, completely hidden at first behind the gorgeous veneer, it spins round to reveal the large 12.3” high resolution touchscreen on start up and even has a third option with three beautiful analogue dials: a compass, a temperature gauge and a chronograph timer. Plus my Continental GT had, amongst a few other extras, the heads up display, deep pile overmats (seriously soft), mood lighting, First Edition embroidered emblems and the top view camera which has an astounding 360 overview of the car.
In terms of drivability, the Bentley Continental GT deploys the most sophisticated AWD technology in the world, making this the easiest car to drive, well apart from bumper cars. The drive software is perfection, a four year old could take the wheel and look good (not advised). The Bentley engineers spent a few extra months getting this right. The software alters the steering, engine and suspension dynamics to suit your driving style. There is a comfort and sport mode as well, so you can up the response yourself, but even in comfort setting it exudes self assured, powerful performance. The handling is excellent with no roll in the corners as it senses and compensates instantly and the stability is pristine as you brake with little pitch.
The new W12 engine is able to shut down half the cylinders when not needed, in gears three to eight below 3000 revs, to improve fuel efficiency. The engine has been lowered and moved back to improve handling, which is noticeably better. It feels like a much lighter car, taking small country roads with ease. The acceleration and breaking are literally the measure by which to compare any other car of this weight. Sorry to harp on, but it is the epitome of luxury technology. On the negative side, the car is doing everything for you, so you really can't take any credit for being a good driver. It's almost autonomous.
The Bentley Continental GT is now fully evolved and reached its apotheosis, a luxury super car that finely balances sports performance with luxury design, styling and comfort. It manages the nod to its past yet is most definitely a car of the future, made with the finest luxury materials and the latest engineering technology. The research and development in this car is only possible because VW can pass the benefits on later to other cars in the group. Hand finished luxury craftsmanship matched with unbeatable advanced engineering make this a formidable luxury grand tourer. I can't wait for the convertible.
The Bentley Continental GT base price is £159,100 and my Sequin Blue model with Portland and Imperial Blue hide and extras options came to £209,005
Bentley Continental Gt 2018 Specs:
626 bhp / 635 PS / 467 kW @ 5000-6000 rpm
664 lb-ft / 900 Nm @ 1350-4500 rpm
0 - 60 mph 3.6 seconds, 0 - 100 km/h 3.7 seconds
207 mph / 333 km/h
23.2 mpg, 12.2 litres / 100 km
4947 lb / 2244 kg
190.9 in / 4850 mm
Width Across Mirrors
86.1 in / 2187 mm
Bentley New Continental Gt First Edition Paint
A special request from a customer to match the colour of a sequin on her favourite dress, this bespoke rich shade is now available across the whole Bentley range.
Portland and Imperial Blue split
The finest soft-touch leather graces virtually every interior surface that isn’t metal or wood within a Bentley. Each hide is selected by hand from herds raised in northern Europe where cooler weather means fewer insects, so fewer blemishes.
Derived from the American Red Gum tree; a deciduous species native to the warm, temperate areas of North America.
American Red Gum (Liquidambar styraciflua) is highly prized as an ornamental tree, due to its vivid autumn colours and highly distinctive maple-shaped leaves. The tree’s resin is also called ‘Liquid Amber’, referencing its pleasant smell which is similar to ambergris, an ingredient that is used in the luxury perfume industry. The veneer produced is straight grained and very contemporary, undergoing a natural smoking process to exude a deep, rich brown colour whilst still maintaining its reddish hue.
Mulliner Driving Specification with 22" Black and Polished Edge Alloy Wheel
The Mulliner Driving Specification Includes :
• 22" Black and Polished Edge Alloy Wheel
• Quilting on the seats
• Door casings and rear quarter panels including ‘diamond-in-diamond’ embroidery
• Indented leather headliner
• Sports pedals
• Fuel filler cap - special finish
• Embroidered Bentley emblems • Metal oil cap
Paints Sequin Blue
Colour Split Colour Split - E
Mulliner Driving Specification With 22" Black And Polished Edge Alloy
Secondary Hide Imperial Blue
Main Hide Portland
Veneers Liquid Amber
Seating And Hide Trim
Steering Wheel And Driver Controls
Audio & Communication
Front Seat Comfort Specification
Heated, Duo-Tone, 3 Spoke, Hide Trimmed Steering Wheel
Diamond Knurling Specification
Mood Lighting Specification
Mulliner Driving Specification with 22" Black and Polished Edge Alloy Wheel
Bright Chromed Lower Bumper Grille with Chromed Strip
Naim for Bentley
Inductive Phone Charger