Bentley has finally unveiled the all-new Continental and they’ve started with the GT, and she’s a beauty.
The new Conti doesn’t look completely different from its predeccesor, but instead is more of an evolution in form. It’s sleeker, leaner and the curves are tighter and less bulgy. It’s haunches seem more sporty, giving it a faster look as it rides on forged 22-inch wheels. It’s lighter too than the previous generation, its super-formed aluminium body now weighs 80kgs less. Those new oval head lamps come from the Exp 10 Speed 6 concept previewed at the Geneva motor show earlier this year. The number of ways the new Conti has evolved with the times continues and the more you look at it, from every angle, you can see the its progress.
Bentley has also given the new Continental GT extra bite, it’s 6.0-litre twin-turbo W12 powerhouse now producing 626bhp and 900Nm of torque, which gets sent to all four wheels via an 8-speed dual-clutch gearbox. Those kind of figures are enough to launch Sir’s luxury suite from standstill to a 100kph in just 3.7 seconds and will carry on launching it to a top speed of 333kph, in 6th gear.
It’s more than just a looker though and comes loaded with new technology too. The new Continental GT has a 48-volt electrical system that is used by the active suspension to keep the body propped up at the right angles to banish any sensation of rolling in the turns. It’s tech that’s been seen on the likes of the Audi SQ7 and the Bentayga too, but with the longer wheelbase of the new Conti and the engine being further back, it should make THIS one of the best-handling Bentleys that you can drive on the open road.
The tech isn’t just in the performance, but also in the overall lush Bentley experience. The new cabin is the work of Bentley’s chief cabin artiste, a gentleman by the name of Romulus Rost. The man’s craft is as splendid as his name, as he points out the subtleties in his work. Instead of going for the Porsche Panamera styled touch-sensitive glass, he voted for physical buttons to make it more familiar and traditional to use. It even uses real metal for customer touch points. The driver’s console uses a reimagined version of the Audi Virtual Cockpit to offer up its own opulent dials for the same infotainment capabilities. Bentley says the new Conti GT employs ten square metres of wood for the interiors, taking 9 hours to create and fit the inlays by hand, and that each embroidered diamond on the quilted leather is made of 712 stitches.
Then there’s the party piece on the dash. There’s a 12.3-inch touchscreen for all the media, navigation tools and car settings. Pretty standard right? Could get a boring to look at though. So Bentley has designed it to electrically rotate to expose a triplet of old-school temperature guages. Bored of that too? Then the toblerone panel will rotate again to now present a veneer section which creates a calm, minimalist marquee that compliments the rest of the cabin.
The new Conti will make its gobal debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show next week.
It’s not the only luxury grand tourer out there, but there is nothing else quite like the Bentley Continental GT, with it’s attnetion to detail, it’s performance and it’s blend of tech and tradition. After all, it’s supposed to be the most definitively perfect grand-touring machine the world has ever seen.
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