29 January 2019
The Bentley Continental GT has always been an important car for the Crewe-based marque, embodying the brand's DNA of speed, comfort and grand-touring. W.O. Bentley, when asked what kind of cars he wanted to create replied, ‘a fast car, a good car, the best in its class.’
When W.O. Bentley was asked what kind of car he wanted to create, he replied “a fast car, a good car, the best in its class”. When first launched, the original 552 bhp GT was very much responsible for turning around the fortunes of the company, embracing production techniques overseen by the Volkswagen Group.
Watching Bentley’s visual campaign, a couple twiddle a coin to see who gets to take the car out for a spin. The first time, the man conquers; on the second, his attractive flame-haired lady companion. Versatile and gender-friendly then? A motor that’s as capable cruising on the French Riviera as it is being raced around Mayfair or the Nordschleife?
With the latest generation, Bentley has quite literally raised the roof. First, there’s the foldable top – which can be customised in a contemporary tweed finish. Folding quicker than the Rolls-Royce Dawn, it also makes the cabin as quiet as the previous generation’s coupé thanks to acoustic treatments – quite an achievement for a car that is already exceedingly refined. And what a glorious cabin once you open the meaty doors. The dash is styled and sculpted by long flowing wings that mirror the shape of the Bentley badge, with a particularly ingenious dash that hides electronics at the touch of a button for a cleaner, more focussed driving experience.
Performance is what we have come to know Bentley for – biblical amounts of torque and effortless power. 626 bhp takes you from 0-60 in 3.7 seconds and to a top speed of 207 mph. Bentley claims that the W12 is the 'most advanced 12 cylinder engine in the world.' On the exterior, deliberate muscular lines have made previous GTs look somewhat paunchy. Effortless speed, comfort and drivability then, enveloped in a handsome aluminium body. Coin toss anyone?