From £135,760
Useful improvements all round for Bentley's jumbo GT

Our Verdict

Bentley Continental GT

Full of character and still able to impress, particularly as a V8

7 November 2010

What is it?

It's an important and interesting car, this revised edition of the Bentley Continental GT. It's the first of the VW generation of models, produced since the Wolfsburg giant acquired Bentley, to have come around for rejuvenation.

Given that the GT was very well received at launch in 2003 and has become the best-selling Bentley in history in the intervening years, it’s fascinating to see what Bentley’s accomplished team believes needs changing.

The revisions have been thorough: nearly every exterior panel changes to modernise and re-balance the exterior, and there's an all-new interior which strikes again for the best quality levels in the £100k-plus class. It also includes a much better infotainment system and new-design seats that look sportier, save space and bring a weight saving of 35kg.

There are also wider tracks and suspension refinements (mostly from existing go-faster Contis), and the adoption of the Supersports’ 40:60 torque split (it used to be 50:50) and a new level of 6.0-litre W12 engine which produces an extra 15bhp and will run on petrol, E85 (85 per cent ethanol) or any biofuel mix in between).

See pics of the Bentley Continental GT in action

What's it like?

It’s a very successful revision of a great car. Bentley builds its cars beautifully, and this new interior only improves the standard. The car looks good, too, though it’ll take you a few views to appreciate the improvements fully. The lengthened nose and ‘prouder’ grille make a big difference, and the stance is improved by the wider tracks, too.

But it’s the driving that’s different. Bentley claims refinement improvements - lowered bump and road noise; controlled wind noise courtesy of double-glazing - as the big issues, but there are other benefits. Great efforts have been made to reduce steering friction, and refine the car’s geometry so that it has brilliant high-speed stability, yet excellent near-centre steering sensitivity.

There was always great cornering grip, and it's made better because the tracks are wider, but this heavy car will now throttle-steer much better than previously, something that belies its 2.3-tonne mass.

The combination of 15bhp more from the flex-fuel engine and a reduction of 65kg overall improves the power-to-weight ratio by a useful six per cent. The car now sprints from 0-60 mph in just 4.6sec, and to 100mph in just over 10sec, even though it’s geared to do 198mph flat out.

If the car now has a foible, it’s the heavy fuel consumption and faint signs of age from its mighty W12 engine, which isn’t quite as good, and doesn’t sound quite as nice, as the very best modern engines in this price bracket.

Should I buy one?

Definitely. The Continental GT is more than a sports car, but far more rakish and agile than a saloon. And its price (boosted to £135,760 by the advent of 20 per cent VAT) still seems pretty decent value against cars that go no faster and are less well equipped and made.

The W12-engined GT’s main rival may turn out to be the still-secret 4.0-litre turbo V8 iteration to be revealed in a year’s time, since it offers a 40 per cent cut in fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. For now, though, the W12 rules the roost.

Bentley Continental GT

Price: £135,760; Top speed: 198mph; 0-60mph: 4.6sec; Economy: 17.1mpg; CO2: 384g/km; Kerb weight: 2320kg; Engine: W12, 5998cc, twin-turbocharged, petrol; Power: 567bhp at 6000rpm; Torque: 516lb ft at 1700rpm; Gearbox: 6-spd automatic

See all the latest Bentley reviews, news and video

Join the debate

Comments
29

8 November 2010

let`s start with the replies before all the folks talking about footballers get in...

concerning the outside looks, it reminds me monsieur Ettore:

"W.O makes fast, very fast trucks..."

it really looks like a truck... and I like it also because of that!

concerning everything else, I want one!

8 November 2010

[quote coolboy]let`s start with the replies before all the folks talking about footballers get in...[/quote]

Yawn another footballer only cruiser. The car looks horrific. Shame on you VW.

8 November 2010

[quote coolboy]

"W.O makes fast, very fast trucks..."

it really looks like a truck... and I like it also because of that!

[/quote]

+1

I always liked the GT becaus eit looks like it's hewn out of a solid piece of metal.

Shame all the footballers have taken to it.....overpaid nancyboys!

8 November 2010

[quote Autocar]this revised edition of the Bentley Continental GT.[/quote]

What Bentley, or Autocar, have been unable to tell anyone since the new GT was unveiled is whether this is an all-new 2nd generation model or merely a heavy facelift. I suspect it's the latter.

8 November 2010

Heavy revision it may have been, but, Mercedes, BMW and Porsche haven't really succeeded in stealing sales have they?,and,to me there's nothing simular on sale that looks-wise, so face lift or not Bentley seem to be getting it right.

Peter Cavellini.

8 November 2010

Good value? You must have smoked your grandma's couch. [quote] [/quote] The Continental gets its pants comprehensively whooped in each and every department by the XJ Supersports. Style, modernity, driving enjoyment, space, acceleration & braking, fuel consumption, ride quality etc etc. [quote] [/quote] It is beyond me why any-one would pay an extra £50 000 just for the privilege of driving a souped-up version of the utter failure that is the VW Phaetus. [quote] [/quote] It was really a sad day when VW got its hands on Bentley, as unavoidably VW would do its sad badge-engineering again. And sure enough Bentley is now a commodity, a badge-swap away from VW.

8 November 2010

[quote Lanehogger]merely a heavy facelift.[/quote]


Damn straight, clearly the car has the same architecture, platform and drivetrain as the previous model. The cabin is revised but still bears a pretty close resemblance to the old one. Still, it's growing on me, though I don't like that light arrangement here any more than on the Mulsanne. It looks like a moon fish coming at you, big eyes and all, and for some reason makes me think of the "Guppy" Ford Scorpio.

Interesting to note that they ran the launch in Oman - wonder what it will be like on wet, twisty British roads.

8 November 2010

[quote Grunt]Style, modernity, driving enjoyment, space, acceleration & braking, fuel consumption, ride quality etc etc.[/quote]


Style and modernity are subjective Grunt. In terms of space I would expect a four door luxury saloon to be more spacious than a 2+2 luxury GT. Hell, a Skoda Superb is more spacious too. Acceleration and braking - not sure about the braking, but the old Conti was good and fitted with a hefty set of stoppers, and acceleration wise this is quicker than the XJ Supersports. I love the XJ and drive an old XJR myself, but I can absolutely recognize this Bentley's value in the marketplace in which it competes. While it may share its basic architecture with a Phaeton W12, there are a number of technical revisions, not to mention costs with the relatively speaking lower volume production, that justify the price. This is before you start considering the material quality etc that takes the Bentley cabin a step up from the actually rather good VW. The new CL63 however is as fast, more economical and modern, probably more fun, more spacious and cheaper.

8 November 2010

[quote JacobE]

[quote Grunt]Style, modernity, driving enjoyment, space, acceleration & braking, fuel consumption, ride quality etc etc.[/quote]


Style and modernity are subjective Grunt. In terms of space I would expect a four door luxury saloon to be more spacious than a 2+2 luxury GT. Hell, a Skoda Superb is more spacious too. Acceleration and braking - not sure about the braking, but the old Conti was good and fitted with a hefty set of stoppers, and acceleration wise this is quicker than the XJ Supersports. I love the XJ and drive an old XJR myself, but I can absolutely recognize this Bentley's value in the marketplace in which it competes. While it may share its basic architecture with a Phaeton W12, there are a number of technical revisions, not to mention costs with the relatively speaking lower volume production, that justify the price. This is before you start considering the material quality etc that takes the Bentley cabin a step up from the actually rather good VW. The new CL63 however is as fast, more economical and modern, probably more fun, more spacious and cheaper.[/quote]But its not a Bentley is it. They are a bit chav i admit, but its a nice feeling getting in one and an even better one when you plant the big pedal to the floor.

8 November 2010

I really am in 2 minds about these. I admire them and can see their attraction despite the premier league footballer image. On the other hand, they have obscenely high fuel consumption and CO2 output. A really new model should be RWD, with the engine moved further back for better weight distribution, be at at least 500kg lighter and offer a CO2 figure of under 250gm/km.

Pages

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Car review
    23 September 2016
    Aston kicks off its ‘second century plan’ with an all-new turbo V12 grand tourer
  • Ford Ka+ 1.2 Ti-VCT 85
    First Drive
    22 September 2016
    A rounded, refined and well-sorted bargain supermini – once you’re used to the confusing role redefinition imposed on the once-cheeky Ka
  •  Maserati Ghibli Diesel
    First Drive
    22 September 2016
    Maserati releases another range of updates for its range best seller, the Ghibli. We've driven the diesel version, but there's little improvement on before
  • Tipo Front
    First Drive
    21 September 2016
    New Fiat Tipo offers impressive space and practicality for a reasonable price. We try the 1.6 diesel on the demanding roads of North Wales
  • Seat Ateca 1.4 TSI 150
    First Drive
    20 September 2016
    The Seat Ateca 1.4 TSI 150 makes perfect sense: it's spacious, tidy to drive for an SUV and cheap to run