It’s been almost 15 years since we had the chance to drive the Bentley Continental GT, and more than five years since Bentley let us get behind the wheel of his luxurious Grand Tourer. Meanwhile, Bentley has tweaked and updated the Continental GT as much as possible, even offering a 700-horsepower version called Supersports. Even so, there is no escaping the fact that the platform is dated. But now, there’s a brand new 2019 Bentley Continental GT, and it seems more than ready to take on the rest of the luxury grand touring segment.
This is especially true for Bentley and its Continental GT. This model, launched in 2004, while going even further, has moved the company’s design from the (so deliciously) Baroque anachronism to the modern, aerodynamic era. It was the first true Bentley of the 21st century, decades before the neoclassical design it replaced while faithfully retaking clues to the brand’s venerable history, particularly its long flanking body line, and its back hips visible. He immediately became Bentley’s bestseller, a position he maintained until this year, when he was slightly overtaken by the left and indistinct Bentayga SUV.
Of course, as with many contemporary luxury vehicle design, it’s inside that the new Conti really makes its happiness. Bentley has always been about tactile pleasures, but this one really moves the virtual needle with a new LCD group, a rotating three-sided infotainment group (white plating, row of analog screens), knurling and quilting everywhere, even on ventilation rings and tactile and haptic touch screens, as well as new finishing materials. Our favorite is the innovative use of metals, part of the super-analog trend that we have been following for years. Machined micro-thin aluminum panels, expressive textured chrome tubing, and in particular metal-on-metal broguing, which introduces bronze between surfaces on primary controls.
As was the case for the second-generation Continental GT, the 12-cylinder model comes first. In the 2019 model, the 6.0-liter twin-turbo W-12 will reduce 626 hp (same as the outgoing GT Speed) and 664 lb-ft of torque (same as the Bentley SUV). The maximum power is 6,000 rpm, but the peak torque is 1,350 to 4,500 rpm (also identical to Bentayga). Power is transmitted to all four wheels via an automatic ZF-series eight-speed automatic clutch system, which can send up to 38% of the torque to the front wheels in normal or comfort mode, or only 17% in sport mode. The gearbox is equipped with a dual-mass flywheel instead of a torque converter, which, according to Bentley, dampens the oscillations of the transmission and makes the power distribution sufficiently flexible to suit the brand.
It’s a good thing that the 2019 Bentley Continental GT has Bentayga-esque power, because it has a Bentayga-esque curb weight of 4,947 pounds, although it’s about 170 pounds lighter than the weight of the second generation GT . Despite the considerable mass, this Bentley will reach 100 km / h in just 3.6 seconds and will be 207 mph. Brake hardware is also massive-16.5-inch discs (0.6 inches wider than before) paired with ten-piston calipers sit at the front, while the slightly more pedestrian combination of 15.0 inches and four-piston calipers is used at the rear. These are sitting behind the choice of 21 or 22 inch wheels.