ADMITTEDLY there are a few new cars appearing at the Frankfurt Motor Show that are really only for the business owners and company directors. If that’s you, and the idea of driving around in supreme elegance is suitably tempting then the brand new Bentley Continental GT should definitely be on your list.
The philosophy behind the Bentley Continental GT is very similar to that of the heyday of the great ocean liners: Immense power effortlessly wafting you inexorably toward your destination.
You won’t get the personal steward, or the obligatory deck games at the Captain’s table, but the principles of comfort, style, and elegance remain.
What you will get from the new Bentley Continental GT is a traditional luxury Grand Tourer that is designed, engineered, and handcrafted in Britain.
A Grand Tourer with an enhanced version of Bentley’s 6.0-litre, twin-turbocharged W12 TSI engine which is now available with a dual-clutch eight-speed transmission. A Grand Tourer with 626bhp that can reach 60mph in just 3.6 seconds and keep going until it hits 207mph. A Grand Tourer that despite the enormous power can cover 460 miles between fuel stops.
The new version is still obviously a Continental GT but the exterior has been tweaked to be a bit more sculptural and sharply defined. It also boasts a luxurious interior packed with exquisite details that showcases major evolutions in Bentley’s unique application of technology, including an advanced, fully digital, driver-focused instrument panel and revolutionary Bentley Rotating Display.
Bentley Chairman and CEO, Wolfgang Dürheimer, summed it up perfectly when introducing the new car:
When Bentley launched the original Continental GT in 2003 it established an entirely new market segment – the modern luxury grand tourer. Today, I’m convinced that we are redefining this segment again. It is an honour to replace a car that has – for 14 years – been the benchmark against which all other grand tourers are judged.
We might have to give him that one.
And with Bentley confirming plans to introduce a plug-in hybrid model in the future it’s likely those goalposts will keep on moving.