“To build a fast car, a good car, the best in its class.” was the initial vision of Bentley Motors founder W.O. Bentley, and this, The Continental GT V8 S, the latest incarnation from the British luxury carmaker, certainly does justice to those fine words.
"This Bentley ‘Travelling Spa’ welcomes you with massaging chairs and a nice warm breeze on your neck and shoulders to ease the tension after hours of work behind the desk"
In terms of the exterior design, the GT S takes a more dramatic direction than its other siblings from the Continental family. A 10mm lower ride height and 20” Open-spoke wheels add sleek, sporty lines to the Continental’s famously muscular stance whilst a new sharp front spoiler, side sills and rear diffuser signify a more menacing and sleeker design direction. Bentley’s designers have managed to get the right balance between the heavy stance of Bentley’s heritage, shape and modern attitude without compromising on a luxury motoring icon. Finished in eye catching / curve flattering ‘Kingfisher’ blue, the model Auto Trader had on test (the GT V8 S convertible) has very quickly became one of our favourite cars in the GT segment.
Relaxing and exhilarating:
Entering any Bentley means a VIP invite to the world of high-performance luxury. The world where soft-touch leathers, wood veneers, polished metals and deep-pile carpeting are the norm, all sublimely hand-crafted in the Crewe, England, factory workshop.
It all adds up to a modern first class car travel experience. This Bentley ‘Travelling Spa’ welcomes you with massaging chairs and a nice warm breeze on your neck and shoulders to ease the tension after hours of work behind the desk. Add the respect on the road, which comes with no extra charge on the 816,000 Dhs starting price tag; no flashing lights from tailgaters; drivers politely share the space and even give way and your everyday commute and long trips turn into a driving treat.
Once massaged and comfortably ushered into the first class cabin, helping you relax even further is the outstanding Naim Audio system: 15 channels, 11 custom-built speaker system. Just perfect to enjoy the music; hear every pluck of finger upon the guitar string and every nuance of fret board squeakiness, even over the roar of the mighty V8 it really was a delight to hear.
Performance wise, the GT S takes Bentley’s advanced V8 platform and pushes it even further. Pressing the start button gets your full and lingering attention. The GT S responds with the most refined purr of its 4.0 Litre V8 Twin Turbo heart. The purr transforms into an emotive and satisfying growl if you ask the car to use its 520 horses and it will push you toward your destination with a staggering 680Nm of torque.
"It's a secret essence of fine British craftsmanship and huge power combined, a feeling of not just simply reaching a destination, but of doing so with purpose, grace and power"
Surprisingly, for a car weighing 2500kg, the GT V8 S shoots from standstill to 100-kms mark in an amazing 4.5 seconds (this is 0.1 second less then sporty, track inspired, Aston Martin N430). However, the increased performance does not affect fuel consumption. Sipping on only 10.6 litres of petrol for each 100km driven, this Bentley can go without refuelling for 805km. Extremely impressive results that have been achieved by advanced technologies deployed in the new V8 engine. Variable displacement for this instance, in which four of the eight cylinders shut down when cruising, reduces fuel consumption without any loss of refinement. When more power is required, the engine switches back automatically and seamlessly to the full eight cylinders operation.
“The Bentley Continental is the definitive grand tourer. Its effortless performance, generous space, handcrafted luxury and all-wheel drive capability take you on a journey in refined style and comfort” So says Dr Wolfgang Schreiber, Chairman and CEO of Bentley Motors and Auto Trader could not agree more.
It delivers exactly what Bentley stands for, a secret essence of fine British craftsmanship and huge power combined, a feeling of not just simply reaching a destination, but of doing so with purpose, grace and power.
Mr Bentley, himself, would be mightily impressed.