Car Review - Bentley Continental GT

Syd Taylor test drives the Bentley Continental GT which, he says, will take you to the stars

Beyond question, the legend of the Bentley name was founded on the drama of its racing history - for a magic has built up around the marque and its triumphs, stretching back to Wolf ‘Babe’ Barnato’s (the greatest of Bentley drivers) Le Mans victories and other battles of long ago when ‘the Bentley Boys’ reigned supreme.

Every now and then motoring dreams come true. Words indeed cannot do justice to automobiles that, not so much tick all the boxes, as blast redundant superlatives into the past tense.

The new Continental GT is achingly attractive to look at and sumptuously comfortable to sit in. There is no end to its impressive credentials. Now redesigned and reengineered, this four seat all-wheel drive �135,760 supercar that uses a 6.0 litre, 567bhp W12 engine (there is a V8 version) driving through a six speed automatic ZF gearbox, will take you to the stars. Mere bystanders too will benefit from the beauty of the car’s appearance - providing, of course, that they are capable of turning their heads quickly enough to capture it in motion because it’s a near 200mph projectile.

A Continental GT is a car to aspire to - and why not? The best things in life sometimes come with a price tag attached despite what they say, and it would be churlish not to welcome the arrival of such a car onto the scene. Considering it from every angle as it sits in repose, it’s difficult to imagine how its contours could be improved. Not a small car to be sure, but a combination of perfect proportion, poise and exquisite taste in execution has produced a design that has that integrated ‘go-anywhere-swiftly’ appeal.

If you haven’t experienced the sensation of driving a car that’s so good and so capable that its limits are, frankly, unattainable, let me impress upon you that the Bentley experience compared to an ‘ordinary’ car is like the difference between a bow and arrow and a moon rocket. Comparison just doesn’t do because we’re talking about a new dimension here.

Imagine a car that’s as quick as can be, as comfy as can be, as grippy as a planetary magnetic pole and as silent and accommodating as a luxury seat at the opera - and you’re not even half way there. It stands as a design icon - a sculpture that symbolises all that’s good about motoring.It’s a symbol of luxury, of style and excellent construction.

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Even stationary it shouts out strength and speed and is testimony to the efforts of the uncounted designers and workers - standing as a memorial to their brilliance.

Was there ever a car so better named Continental? It makes one ache for long voyages across Europe and beyond.

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