Bentley Continental GT --- Also read about Bentley Mulsanne Speed --- Bentley Continental GT Specifications"/> Bentley Continental GT - Carzreviewz

Bentley Continental GT

Bentley Continental GT


The Bentley Continental is Bentley’s best selling model. It claimed more than 50% of the company’s sales last year and has found more than 52,000 homes since its introduction in 2003. The changes for the facelifted Bentley Continental family are in some cases wide ranging and in others specific. All cars get restyled grilles, bumpers, bootlids and exterior chrome details, along with more colour choices, additional alloy wheel designs and different leathers and Alcantara interiors. There are no changes to the V8 engine’s power and torque, but the W12 gains another 15bhp and 15lb ft and gets a cylinder deactivation system, which helps to save fuel and reduce C02 emissions.



The W12’s cylinder shutdown works in a different way from that of the V8. If you’re above third gear, the engine is at the correct temperature and the throttle is moderated correctly, the W12 drops six of its cylinders for 55 seconds, before reactivating all of them for three seconds, then switching to the other six for a further 55 seconds. This is needed to keep both catalytic converters operating at the correct temperature. It’s impossible to tell when the W12 is running on only six cylinders, and you won’t find a dashboard light telling you, either.


Also read about Bentley Mulsanne Speed


When you’ve had enough of saving fuel, planting the throttle brings about monumental performance, just as before. The eight speed ZF transmission is quickto select the appropriate gear, and from 1700rpm you’re experiencing all of the W12’s torque. The result is relentless in gear performance, enough to ensure complete confidence in every overtaking situation, but it’s not brash, visceral performance. You’re aware that the trees are flying past more quickly, but it’s more muted than you might expect.



The W12’s handling is telling of its GT focus. The nose feels heavier than the V8 car’s and the steering is pretty vague, but the body is well controlled for something weighing 2320kg. Happily, grip levels are high. Ourwet driving route was often a test of nerve, but the wincing and breath holding were always met with assured, stable cornering. Keen drivers will lament that you’re so far away from everything going on but really, in the GT, that’s the point.



Bentley Continental ride quality is good. The standard air suspension has four modes and, dialled right back, it takes camber, potholes and broken surfaces in its stride. The sportiest setting is a touch too firm, with potholes feeling particularly sharp. The sweet spot, unsurprisingly, is in between. Inside, the quality remains high. The leather, in lays and chrome inserts are all genuine and look and feel the part, while the front seats are superbly comfortable yet supportive. The rear seats are best reserved for bags, but a couple of adults will be happy in them for short journeys.



Letting the side down is the ageing infotainment system, which looks dated and is slow to react, but Bentley knows it. The £875 wi fi option is worth the extra, though. It uses a SIM card to bring high speed internet to up to four devices, and we managed to stream music and use a laptop simultaneously. The engine changes are welcome. Okay, so most Bentley Continental owners don’t mind too much about the cost of a tank of fuel, but the act of having to stop to refuel is far more inconvenient. Bentley reckons the W12 now has an achievable range of more than 400 miles, and having to stop just once on your way to Nice will appeal to many buyers.


Bentley Continental GT Specifications


Price:                                                   £150,500
Engine:                                                W12, 5998cc, turbo, petrol
Power:                                                 582bhp at 6000rpm
Torque:                                                531lb ft at 1700rpm
Gearbox:                                              8 speed automatic
Kerb weight:                                         2320 kg
0-62mph:                                             4.5sec
Top speed:                                            197mph
Economy:                                             20.1mpg (combined)

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