07 September 2010 - 15:00
New Conti GT: the ultimate everyday car
Well, it's worked for the Porsche 911 all these years. So now Bentley is trying the same tactic for the Continental GT. New and different, but very much the same.
These photos show the box-fresh model. It steps out in public for the first time at the Paris show at the end of September, and Bentley will graciously accept your $219,000 (based on UK stickers, so probably five times that in Oz) soon after that.
It wears a complete new set of panels. It's wider, and it looks lower and sharper. Shallower glass, bright-eyed LED headlamp rings and a 21-inch wheel option give it a meaner streak, too. You arguing?
As sure as night follows day, it gets more power. The mighty W12 twin-turbo is souped up to 428kW, good for 4.4secs 0-100. It's no slimmer of the year, but the engineers have worked hard to stop the weight mushrooming.
Even better news for drivers comes from the chassis department. Almost all of the changes that made the Supersports such a hilariously unlikely backroads warrior are carried over to the new GT. That brings a wider rear track, lightened suspension parts and more precise steering. Plus a rear-biased torque split and recalibrated ESP, designed to allow an extra dose of hoonery.
But it's still a GT in the best tradition. A comfy, well-equipped all-day everyday car. The cabin is all-new, majoring even more on the buttery-soft leather and jewel-like metal. The seats have been redesigned so a grown-up can sit in the back without cutting off the blood supply to their tender extremities.
There's also a new satnav, hooked up with Google Maps. Should make it easier to track down the secret hideaways of your fellow rich and famous mates.
Paul Horrell, Consultant Editor of TopGear magazine
Want to comment on this?
It looks better and worse than the current GT in equal measures.