Currently reading: Opinion: why the new Bentley Continental GT is different
The new Bentley Continental GT is here and it's better than ever before...

The new Bentley Continental GT has been logged in
 my mind as a potentially landmark luxury car for more than a year now, since a conversation I had with Bentley chief of chassis dynamics Andrew Unsworth at the 2016 Goodwood Festival of Speed

Having just driven a Bentley Bentayga, I was intrigued to find out what the firm’s 48V roll cancellation system could do for the GT, a lower, lighter car. Unsworth said the answer to my question was “plenty” but also made the point that the MSB platform delivers a big weight saving, a lower roll axis and a much better weight distribution on the new GT 
as well. “This is a huge leap forwards for the car on ride and handling,” he said, with the look of a man who meant every word. 

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When I subsequently drove the new Porsche Panamera, my hopes for the new GT hit an even higher gear. Bentley couldn’t have picked a more accomplished grand tourer on which to base its debutant if it had every new car in the world to choose from. 

But there’s also plenty for Bentley traditionalists to get in a fluster about. If the new Continental GT hybrid is realised as we expect, it’ll be the first six-cylinder Bentley in almost 60 years. We’ve already questioned whether the powertrain it’ll get is even worthy of an £80,000 Porsche, never mind a Bentley at twice that price. 

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Meanwhile, the move from a torque-converter gearbox to a dual-clutch one will give the new GT’s performance
 a subtly different flavour from its predecessors’ and may also limit the amount of torque that Bentley can give the car. The same gearbox has restricted the amount
of twist Porsche could give the range-topping Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid, after all. 

Be prepared, then, for
this to be a very different kind of car from the current Continental GT — and probably a more sporting one than any Bentley coupeà yet. 

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Matt Saunders

Matt Saunders Autocar
Title: Road test editor

As Autocar’s chief car tester and reviewer, it’s Matt’s job to ensure the quality, objectivity, relevance and rigour of the entirety of Autocar’s reviews output, as well contributing a great many detailed road tests, group tests and drive reviews himself.

Matt has been an Autocar staffer since the autumn of 2003, and has been lucky enough to work alongside some of the magazine’s best-known writers and contributors over that time. He served as staff writer, features editor, assistant editor and digital editor, before joining the road test desk in 2011.

Since then he’s driven, measured, lap-timed, figured, and reported on cars as varied as the Bugatti Veyron, Rolls-Royce PhantomTesla RoadsterAriel Hipercar, Tata Nano, McLaren SennaRenault Twizy and Toyota Mirai. Among his wider personal highlights of the job have been covering Sebastien Loeb’s record-breaking run at Pikes Peak in 2013; doing 190mph on derestricted German autobahn in a Brabus Rocket; and driving McLaren’s legendary ‘XP5’ F1 prototype. His own car is a trusty Mazda CX-5.

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Halfabee 1 September 2017

Back end...

...of an 1970 Aston DBS.  Grille from a Routemaster bus - the '60's one. 

Halfabee 1 September 2017

Back end...

...of an 1970 Aston DBS.  Grille from a Routemaster bus - the '60's one. 

Halfabee 1 September 2017

Back end...

...of an 1970 Aston DBS.  Grille from a Routemaster bus - the '60's one.