The Continental nameplate is to Bentley what the Phantom is to Rolls-Royce. Now, the Continental is no Phantom. Yes, it is a grand tourer and it can chew miles of asphalt without even breaking a sweat. However, unlike the Phantom where all the fun is reserved for the people in the rear, in the Continental, the fun to be had is up front. It is for the people who like to drive in luxury and enjoy the experience. These are the same people who then like to switch things up and amp up their pace. To that end, the third-gen Bentley Continental GT is here to serve them. This car costs US $2,25,000 (approx Rs 1.53 crore per current exchange rate). However, for its intended customers, no price is too high.
|Specifications||2019 Bentley Continental GT|
|Price||US $2,25,000 (approx Rs 1.53 crore per current exchange rate)|
|Engine||Port-and-direct injected, 48-valve, quad-cam, twin-turbocharged 6.0-litre TSI W12 petrol|
|Transmission||8-speed dual-clutch automatic with all-wheel drive|
|Front Suspension||Independent, double-wishbone with 48v active anti-roll bar and air springs|
|Rear Suspension||Independent, multi-link with 48v active anti-roll bar and air springs|
|Front Brake||420mm discs, 10-piston calipers|
|Rear Brake||380mm disc, four-piston calliper|
|Mileage||8.19kmpl (in short, don’t bother…)
|Fuel Tank Capacity||90 litres|
What’s new about the 2019 Bentley Continental GT?
Where should this discussion start? Let’s start from the mechanical bits first. The 2019 Bentley Continental GT gets a port-and-direct-injected, quad-cam, twin-turbocharged, 6.0-litre W12 (that’s why quad-cam) TSI petrol engine. This makes a stonking 635HP power and a ludicrous 900Nm torque. Well, the compression ratio is a sky-high 10.5:1, so that helps. There is also cylinder deactivation technology to shut-off six cylinders at light loads. A ZF 8-speed gearbox sends all that power and torque to all four wheels. However, the all-wheel drive system is rear-biased. At any time, no more than 38 per cent torque is sent to front wheels. This figure drops down to 17 per cent when the car is in Sport mode.
Suspension duties up front are handled by an independent double-wishbone setup with active 48v anti-roll bar. The rear is suspended by a multi-link setup with active 48v anti-roll bar. Three-chamber air springs with variable damping help make the ride comfortable or sporty, and are aided by a four-mode Drive Dynamics control system. Braking duties up front are handled by 420mm discs with 10-piston calipers while at the rear, there are 380mm discs with four-piston calipers. The Continental GT measures 4,850mm in length, 2,187mm in width, and 1,405mm in height. Its wheelbase spans 2,851mm between front and rear axles.
The exterior of the car is unmistakably Bentley (a duh point, actually). Underpinned by a monocoque steel-and-aluminium chassis, the car has superformed aluminium exterior panels. What all that aluminium has done for the car is make it 80kg lighter than its predecessor. Bentley says the third-gen Continental GT is the first car ever to have an entire body side made from the superformed process. The front wheels have been positioned 135mm further ahead, allowing the nose to be lowered and bonnet to be extended.
The car’s design has been inspired by Bentley EXP 10 Speed 6 concept. The car’s design is clean and reminds one of the classic coupes. The long hood, the cab-rear design and the fastback roofline are a nice reminder that Bentley cares as much as about its past as it does about its future. The front end is quite upright but flows seamlessly into the bonnet. The bonnet merges neatly into the A-pillar, leading to the car’s roof. A neat design highlight is the power line (per Bentley) that extends from the headlights and runs all the way to the muscular rear haunches. The rear is clean and goes for a minimalistic feel.
On the inside, the 2019 Bentley Continental GT feels ultra-luxurious. Almost every surface is covered with leather. The dashboard merges neatly into the door panels. This allows the car’s interior to feel like it is wrapping around its occupants. Bentley says over 10sq. m. of wood goes into each Continental GT (the company also offers dual dashboard veneer as an option).
This is the first application of Bentley Rotating Display. The dashboard is adorned by a 12.3-inch touchscreen display (biggest in a Bentley), which hides when the car is off (first rotation). Its second rotation reveals the infotainment display for the driver. This infotainment display is a touchscreen unit, however, certain functions can be triggered with buttons on the centre stack. Three analogue chronometer, outside temperature and compass dials show up in the third rotation.
A digital instrument cluster for the driver will remind some of Audi’s Virtual Cockpit. The seats feature a new diamond-in-diamond quilt creation with both stitching and embroidery techniques. However, the seats are both heated and ventilated and 20-way adjustable as well. Laminated acoustic glass helps reduce outside noise by up to nine decibels more than the outgoing model.
Is the 2019 Bentley Continental GT worth consideration?
Absolutely. It is perhaps one of the best cars one can buy. Despite what this car offers in ‘base’ trim (it offers more than most cars do in their special editions), owners can also commission one to meet their individual needs.
Bentley’s efforts shed light on what Continental nameplate means to the company. Does the car exist in isolation? No. In fact its rivals include cars like Mercedes-AMG S65 and the Rolls-Royce Wraith. Existing among such competitors alone is an achievement for most nameplates. However, for the Continental GT and its owner, that would just be normal.
Is the Continental GT a passion for Bentley? You bet! However, the Continental GT is the reason Bentley is today counted among the top one per cent automakers. And that is no small feat.
2019 Bentley Continental GT – Synopsis
- Price for the third-gen 2-door GT starts from US $2,25,000 (approx Rs 1.53 crore per current exchange rate)
- Features a 6.0-litre twin-turbo W12 engine with 635HP power and 900Nm torque
- 8-speed ZF automatic gearbox powers all four wheels, AWD system has rear-wheel bias
- Double wishbone front suspension has air springs and 48v anti-roll bar
- Rear suspension is a multi-link setup with air springs and 48v anti-roll bar
- Inspired by Bentley EXP 10 Speed 6 concept, the car is 80kg lighter than its predecessor
- Has a fastback design with clean lines and neat styling elements
- Dashboard features multiple layers of leather and veneer; dual-veneer available as an option
- Audi Virtual Cockpit-esque instrumentation for the driver
- 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment display biggest in any Bentley to date
- Bentley Rotating Display has three displays
- Quilted seats have diamond-in-diamond pattern, are heated, ventilated, and 20-way adjustable
- Laminated acoustic glass reduces outside noise ingress by nine decibels more than its predecessor
- The first car to have full body side made out of superformed aluminium