Test driving the majestic Bentley Continental GT

Bentley has rolled out its latest generation of the Bentley Continental GT. Here's all you need to know about it.
Published November 5, 2018

Bentley recently rolled out its brand new third generation Bentley Continental GT. Here's a test drive report of the powerful machine with killer looks to boot.

Bentley has made a number of important changes in the third generation Continental GT.

Unlike its predecessor, which was based on the VW Phaeton platform, the latest version shares its underpinnings with the Porsche Panamera.

It boasts of 467 kW of power, and an incredible 900 Nm of torque. The 12-cylinder engine reaches a top speed of 333 km/h.

The new engine weighs 30 kgs less than in the previous Continental GT incarnation and is more like the one found in the Bentley Bentayga

This grand tourer sprints from 0 to 100 km/h in just 3.7 seconds.

Thanks to its tight steering, the Continental GT now responds even more quickly to the drivers’ maneuvers.

It comes with Bentley’s electronic anti-roll system and all-wheel drive, with fully variable torque distribution and an 8-speed dual clutch transmission.

Driving this elegant beast feels absolutely wonderful. That’s because this car is seriously specced. You only have to nudge the gas pedal a little bit and the 2.2 ton GT catapults forward.

It's great to drive and the GT’s 3 chamber air spring suspension system allows for either a distinctly sporty or luxuriously comfortable drive.

The GT’s front is more streamlined, while the front grill has grown wider. The front axle has moved forward by 13-and-a-half centimetres.

The logo on the side boasts of the 12 cylinder engine which is a real eye catcher, and the powerhouse under the hood also doesn’t disappoint.

Headlights and indicators are each mounted separately.

The rear features the Bentley name written in stylish chrome. The tail lights have shrunk a little compared to the previous version and are now elliptical, as are the tail pipes.

Bentley’s head of interior design, Darren Day, tells us what makes these cars so unique.

“When you go into a beautiful home, maybe a loft apartment or a chateau, you always walk through the doors and you always admire the architecture and the beautiful materials and the craftsmanship that has gone into the house. You never walk in and just go and look at the television. We wanted to create that same impression within the Bentley Continental GT," he says.

"Your first impression of the car will be of the craftsmanship, wonderful details, beautiful lines that flow around the car. The technology story comes to life only when you turn the ignition on," he adds.

One highlight of the vehicle is Bentley’s rotating display where you can choose between a 12.3 inch touch screen or a more classic alternative with analogue dials.

“All these distractions of screens and technology can be overpowering, so we wanted to create a car which is purely about driving. You set up your destination in the screen and turn away, enjoying the drive and the view as you’re going on your journey."

"Naturally, a lot of the lovely details in the Bentley Continental GT are actually created from the design team. So for instance you have these wonderful quilts, there’s these beautiful nurdle parts inside the car, which were inspired by jewelry. We have this split dashboard where you can choose different vignettes. And all these ideas weren’t in the design brief. These were ideas the design team came up with and obviously my job, I’m there to encourage and develop these ideas and create an ambiance inside the car which is second to none.”

The car maker claims you’ll need just 12.2 litres of premium plus gas per 100 kms, though that will require drivers to not go too heavy on the gas pedal. Cylinder deactivation technology helps to cut gas consumption too.

Bentley offers two choices of trim lines. One for long distance touring, which includes traffic congestion assist and active lane assist, and another for inner city commutes with features tailored to urban environments, like pedestrian and traffic sight detection, city braking systems, a 360 degree camera and a power activated trunk hatch.

The verdict is clear. This new Bentley GT is a definite success and it doesn’t just look great, it’s fun to drive.

This content has been published in partnership with Deutsche Welle (DW).