Merc SLS roadster vs Bentley GTC vs Aston Virage Volante
West Scotland is icy, dark and dangerous this time of year. The perfect place to head with £500k of lairy supercabrio metal...
Posted: 10 Feb 2012
Driving this 567bhp monster fast isn't an exercise in managing grip, skilfully exploring the limits of the tyres or clipping apexes with reckless precision. It's a flat-out, hammer-footed blast: point the bonnet vaguely towards the exit of a corner, squash the accelerator, ride the W12's mighty rush of torque, slam on brakes, repeat until out of fuel. Though it flattens the scales under two and a half tonnes of kerbweight, the Bentley is surprisingly nimble in corners, only betraying its sheer mass under hard braking. You're ever aware of the lurking danger of hustling two and a half tonnes of stately home along a greasy back road, but it's a stately home equipped with permanent four-wheel drive and a range of death-avoiding electronic systems, one that's always on your side. On an unknown road, those of us not possessed of Stig-spec driving skills would go faster in the Bentley than the SLS.
Most of the time, you won't feel the need. The Bentley wears its supercar pace lightly, a chilled-out, tactile experience, a car to be stroked rather than ragged everywhere. It exudes the cool, understated luxury posh hotels strive for, an air of expensive material and deep-rooted quality. OK, some elements verge on the chintzy - even Liberace would have baulked at the walnut-trimmed sunglasses case slotted into the central cup-holder of our test car - but spec your GTC with a little restraint, and nothing short of a Rolls Ghost can match it for opulence.