Bentley’s blend of power and poise

Bentley Continental GT

The brand new Bentley Continental GT “is supposed to be the most definitively perfect grand-touring machine the world has ever seen”, says Ollie Kew in Top Gear magazine. At first glance it looks very similar to the old model, but it’s sleeker, tighter around the seams, and leaner.

The new shape is a “heady blend of its predecessor’s creases and fresh cues” from Bentley’s EXP 10 Speed 6 concept car, says Jake Groves in Car Magazine. The aluminium body has been shaped using a process that heats the metal to 500°C to deliver sharper creases. It is also 80kg lighter than the previous model. The rear retains the Conti’s “haunch” over the wheels, says John McIlroy on Autoexpress.co.uk, but the tail-lights and hatch have a “neater, more resolved look”. Meanwhile, the Bentley Dynamic Ride technology is part of “a concerted engineering effort to make the latest Conti as much of a sports car as it is a grand tourer, giving it handling agility alongside long-distance cruising prowess”.

The cabin is the work of Bentley’s chief cabin artiste, Romulus Rost, says Kew. Rost also designed the very first Audi TT cockpit, one of the most enduring, iconic car interiors of the past 25 years. Audi’s Virtual Cockpit has been re-rendered with Bentley’s own opulent dials, and if you’re bored with the pin-sharp 12.3-inch touchscreen, it’ll electronically rotate, exposing a triplet of delightfully old-school temperature gauges. The 6.0-litre W12 petrol engine is the most advanced of its kind in the world, according to Bentley, says What Car. Power has increased by 44bhp over the old car to 626bhp, and the car sprints to 62mph in 3.7 seconds, 0.8 seconds faster than the outgoing W12. That’s also quicker “than most versions of the Porsche 911”. A cheaper 4.0-litre V8 variant will follow, featuring an engine shared with the Porsche Panamera Turbo.

Price: £150,000 Engine: 6.0-litre W12 petrol Power: 626bhp Torque: 664 lb.-ft Top speed: 207mph 0-62mph: 3.7 seconds