Last year I piloted a Bentley Continental GT Speed from Manhattan to Montauk and it was one of the most enjoyable motoring experiences of my life. In that review I said the Continental GT was in a class of its own – not as the undisputed king of GT cars, but a car that finds a perfect niche between the graceful Wraith and raucous Vanquish or even the new DB11, which since driving it may eclipse the Speed in the ‘competent all rounder GT’ category.
This week Bentley unveiled their all-new Continental GT and I’m absolutely smitten.
The British manufacturer drew inspiration from the EXP 10 Speed 6 concept which ruffled the industry’s feathers back in 2015, most part due to its refined and dynamic exterior. For this new Continental GT, Bentley has revised the proportions of the whole car, with a longer wheelbase and bonnet and lower nose, making it appear infinitely more graceful. The rear of the vehicle has also had a facelift, with new elliptical taillights mimicking the exhaust pipes beneath them.
The first models to hit the market will be powered by an updated version of the company’s fantastic twin-turbo 6.0-litre W12 engine good for 466kW and 900Nm of torque. For the first time, the Continental GT gets an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission and will sprint from 0-100km/h from in just 3.7 seconds and go on to reach a top speed of 333km/h.
The most progressive feature of this new Continental GT is surely the adoption of Bentley Dynamic Ride, which controls and adjusts the electronic actuators on the anti roll bar of each axle which improves the ride and handling. Combined with revised air suspension, Dynamic Ride keeps the GT flat through the corners, allowing you to squeeze it a little more through the bends, which addresses my only real qualm with the outgoing car.
The existing Continental GT is already a stunning car to sit in and it appears Bentley have taken luxury a step further with the new model. Each cabin boasts over 10 square metres of sustainably sourced wood and an array of natural leather and materials, with hand polished chrome adding a touch of flair. A digital rotatable retina display screen sits neatly in the centre of the dash, displaying outside temperature, a compass, and chronometer.
Production of the Bentley Continental GT will start in Q4 of 2017, with the first cars to be delivered in Q2 2018.