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It isn’t every day that your phone rings and Bentley Motors invite you over to push their all-new Continental GT around a world-class race track at frightful speeds. Pinching myself to make sure it wasn’t a dream, I made my way to the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi and found myself standing in front of the brand’s all-new third-generation super GT.
To be honest, I liked the way the previous generation car looked but I was never in love with it. It always meant hyper luxury in my head, but nothing particularly sporty. This new Continental GT, however, is so different. It’s gorgeous and it still maintains the feeling of hyper luxury but with a much sportier look, especially with the larger front grille and air intakes, the wider wheel arches and strong lines across the bodywork.
In my opinion, Bentley have finally nailed the perfect balance between luxury and sports GT, something they’ve always intended with the Continental range. Of course, the new GT is wider and longer than the previous model, but its dimensions come together with the new design effortlessly. The rear is similar, almost iconic, with the oval taillights mimicking the shape of the huge twin exhausts.
On the inside, it’s everything you’d expect from a Bentley – the very best of woods, metals, and chrome with handstitched diamond leather. The attention to detail is unmatched, and this is evident when noticing the dashboard line aligning with the A/C vents to envelope occupants inside its plush cabin. Of course, like in any Bentley this interior can be customized to your heart’s content in varying colors and materials.
When it comes to features, you’ll get everything you ever wanted and more. There’s a 12.3-inch high resolution infotainment screen, analogue dials with Bentley Rotating Display, Adaptive Cruise Control, an Inductive Phone Charger, Head-Up Display, Night Vision, Bang & Olufsen Audio and plenty more options you can choose from.
In terms of drive, Bentley promises this new gen to deliver much more grip on the road, less body roll and a much sportier feeling to the overall drive, but I wasn’t just going to take their word for it. Strapped in and with my helmet snugly fit, I take to the driver’s seat and prepare to drive the Continental GT the way Bentley intended me to.
Before I delve into the details of the Bentley Continental GT’s drive, you must keep in mind that this is a 2.2-ton luxury cruiser in question. To propel this heavyweight forward, the British babe is powered by a completely new 6.0-liter W12 engine and roots its power through an 8-speed dual-clutch transmission. Pushed to its limits, it will dispatch a 0 – 100 km/h sprint in 3.7-seconds and hit a top speed of 333 km/h.
Driving it around the track at Yas Marina, I couldn’t believe that a vehicle this large and heavy could make driving through corners at high speeds that easy. Sure, you don’t feel the speed since you’re rather isolated with all the luxurious padding around you, but it isn’t far off from something like a Ferrari GTC4Lusso. Afterall, the Bentley Continental GT is supposed to be more luxurious, or should I say the most luxurious GT money can buy?
At the end of the day, the new Bentley Continental GT has surely changed my perception about the car. I can confidently say that it is the most exclusive luxury super Grand Tourer your money can buy.