Bentley Continental


Bentley Continental GT, front
Bentley Continental GT, front
Bentley Continental GT, front
Bentley Continental GT, front
Bentley Continental GT, front
Bentley Continental GT, rear
Bentley Continental GT, side
Bentley Continental GT, rear
Bentley Continental GT, rear
Bentley Continental GT, rear
Bentley Continental GT, side
Bentley Continental GT, rear
Bentley Continental V8, 2019, interior

ASTON Martin is often referred to as James Bond's favourite car maker but those in the know will tell you it is in fact Bentley.

Forget that iconic DB5 in Goldfinger with all its high-tech gadgets and the many Aston Martins that have followed in its wake.

Go back to Ian Fleming's Bond books and 007 drove a Bentley.

Anyway, I have no doubt whatsoever that James Bond would love the latest Bentley Continental GT and that ‘bond' (sorry) would be established as soon as he sat in it and pressed the starter button.

This car came with the optional Bentley Rotating Display and it's a feature that could be straight out of a Bond blockbuster.

Start the car and a flat, veneered section of the fascia physically rotates to reveal the car's 12.3-inch high-resolution touchscreen.

That's impressive but press a button and a further rotation reveals yet another panel.

This time, in a nod to Bentley's heritage of exquisite craftsmanship, you get three analogue dials - a compass, a temperature gauge and chronograph timer.

It's one of those touches that makes the Continental's cabin feel like a very special place indeed. It might be a £4,700 option but I'd suggest such an outlay is relatively small beer for a Bentley buyer.

The Continental GT is a car that has revived and reinvented the Bentley marque.

Bentley's best selling car, the current model is the third version of a vehicle launched in 2003.

The Continental GT has evolved and matured over time and the latest version looks more striking and sleek than ever.

Bentley have hailed it as the first production car to have an aluminium body created using something called ‘super formed' technology.

Using the technique, which sees aluminium heated to 500°C, has enabled the designers to create a more complex and sculpted profile. The effect is a super classy creation indeed.

On the inside the Continental GT is the virtual embodiment of luxury and a place where you feel at home in an instant.

Some optional extras might have added to the cabin ambience for this particular car but even so it's a great place to be. I particularly liked the ventilated and massaging seats.

The switchgear and instrumentation are splendidly crafted and suitably sublime.

Cleverly the cabin as a whole manages to combine modernity with tradition to create a classy environment that is almost impossible to fault.

This is best summed up with the Rotating Display in its traditional setting, where even though the central touchscreen is not visible, all essential information is still right in front of you in the digital instrument panel behind the steering wheel.

The Continental GT is an uber comfortable cruiser. It might be a big car in terms of its footprint but it pootles around suburbia at low speed effortlessly and rides wonderfully at mid to high speeds on the motorway.

However it is also a performance car and in that regard it certainly does not disappoint.

Under the bonnet is a 626bhp, W12, 6.0-litre engine which makes a truly wonderful noise and delivers power so smoothly and seamlessly you'll need to keep a close eye on the speedometer at all times.

With 900Nm of torque on tap its pulling power is immense.

There's a super-slick eight-speed dual clutch transmission and four-wheel drive comes as standard, though it's a system that kicks-in when needed with the car operating in rear-wheel drive mode for much of the time.

Another clever trick is that a Variable Displacement system enhances economy by running as a six-cylinder when it can.

The upshot here is that while the previous generation W12 Continental GT offered combined economy of 19.9mpg this current version boasts 23.3mpg.

It is a hugely powerful car that can take you from 0-60mph in 3.6 seconds, which is getting into motorcycle territory, and on to a top speed of 207mph should you ever be in a setting where that is permissible.

The latest Continental GT sits on an adaptive chassis and uses Bentley's Dynamic Ride System to control ride comfort and lateral roll.

The three driving modes are Comfort, Bentley mode or Sport and when switching between them the suspension, engine, gearbox and other chassis systems adjust accordingly. You can also create your own dynamic settings.

The Continental's handling is obviously at its sharpest in Sport mode but in truth it impresses in all three.

Despite its bulk and weight it feels like a proper sports car when the occasion demands it and also feels wonderfully poised and assured through the bends on a twisty B road.

Perhaps its only real limitation is practicality. As a 2+2 its rear seats are best suited to children or the vertically challenged, though I managed to accommodate a lanky teenager in the rear behind a front seat adult passenger without any complaint.

On the flipside it has a pretty big boot with 358 litres of space available.


Bentley Continental GT


Mechanical: 626bhp, 5,958cc, 12cyl petrol engine driving four wheels via 8-speed automatic gearbox

Max Speed: 207mph

0-62mph: 3.7 seconds

Combined MPG: 23.3

Insurance Group: 50

C02 emissions: 278g/km

Bik rating: 37%

Warranty: 3yrs/unlimited miles

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