All-new Bentley Continental GT is a magnificent thing that’s also fast

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Added in: Bentley

When it was first introduced in 2003, it wasn’t something you took a liking to in an instant. Yet, it was plenty fast and always made you wonder how does all that visual bulk attain those speeds? The newest iteration of the Bentley Continental GT is pure visual lust though. Although it still looks every bit a Bentley, it probably has been visiting an Aston for its late night flings and that shows in its clean, timeless lines, and a wide, low body which immediately delights your senses.  New crystal-effect LED headlamps define a new face for the Bentley Continental GT, while at the rear, newly designed elliptical lamps shine from within individually polished bezels.

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What is arguably the prettiest four-seater grand tourer, the new Bentley Continental GT is powered by a completely new 6.0-litre, 635 PS, 900 Nm W12 engine which has been paired to an 8-speed dual-clutch transmission and sends power to all four wheels. For the way it looks, it bites with ferocity and can accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in 3.7 seconds to attain an impressive top speed of 333 km/h.

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Hiding under the graceful royalty is a Bentley which is lighter than the car it replaces and is carved out of super-formed aluminium. A new 48-volt Active Roll Control System senses road conditions and changes the car’s movement instantaneously to optimise handling and ensure a smooth ride.  Paired with four driving modes, together these systems make this beauty one of the sharpest handling Bentleys till date.

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The new Bentley Continental GT is enhanced by a wealth of intuitive digital features – including the new Bentley Rotating Display. As in every Bentley, features are added to enhance the experience of driving and integrated intelligently, to provide what is required at the right time, from touchscreen controls that highlight automatically to physical buttons and dials that can be accessed easily, without taking your eyes off the road. Connected services like Apple CarPlayTM, meanwhile, provide access to digital content on the move.

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In the centre of the dashboard sits a 12.3” high-resolution touchscreen. An easily accessed split-screen mode allows you to divide the car display in two, allowing the driver to see navigation output and other essential information in the larger section, while the front seat passenger can scroll through music tracks or other information from the car infotainment system, simultaneously.

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On unlocking the car, a pre-programmed sequence of exterior lighting welcomes you. To complement the car’s striking interior design, the interior mood lighting can be configured to your preference. The seats are minimalist in style, with a streamlined design that ensures they are as comfortable as they are elegant.

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Smooth centre panels maximise the effectiveness of heating, cooling, ventilation and massage functions, while handcrafted quilting adds detail to the bolsters and upper areas – parts of the seats that can be seen from outside the car. Like that of every Bentley, the shape of the fascia is inspired by the wings of the Bentley badge. It sweeps up from an elegant centre console and reaches out towards the doors, where the surface continues, surrounding the occupants in a seemingly unending ring of handcrafted leather and wood.

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In addition to a wide range of veneered surfaces, the new Continental GT can be commissioned with a choice of innovative dual veneers, which see the natural grain of handcrafted wood separated from a contrasting finish by a narrow strip of polished chrome. The finish selected for the lower section of the fascia continues into the centre console. As an alternative, however, the console can be commissioned with a rippled 0.6mm aluminium finish Côtes de Genève, which is inspired by the milled internal casings of fine wristwatches. A hand-finished first for the automotive world.

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A comprehensive suite of assistance systems allows the driver to enjoy the very latest automotive technology – and all can be activated or turned off. A Lane Assist feature provides gentle steering assistance if it detects any drift across lane boundaries, while Blind Spot Assist monitors the area around the car, flashing lights in the door mirrors if you attempt to cross the path of another vehicle. An optional Head-Up Display (HUD) puts relevant information in the driver’s line of sight. Integrated Traffic Sign Recognition detects speed limits and zones in which overtaking is prohibited. The new Bentley Continental GT’s Night Vision camera monitors the road up to 300m ahead, making driving in poorly lit environments much safer. It detects moving obstacles such as pedestrians and large animals, highlighting them in the central touchscreen.

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Decorative features such as the clock bezels and bulls-eye air vents can be commissioned with a new and intricate diamond knurling – a jewellery-inspired texture composed of myriad diamond-shaped flat surfaces. Featuring as standard on control surfaces in the new Bentley Continental GT, it is easy to grip and even easier on the eye. A wide range of custom-designed wheels can be commissioned, with large 21” designs available as standard and optional 22” forged alloy wheels for a more imposing look.