Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but almost every car enthusiast found the original 2003 Bentley Continental GT beautiful at its inception. The majority would also agree that changes to the mildly…

Next-generation Bentley Continental GT makes a good thing much better

2019 Bentley Continental GT
The 2019 Bentley Continental GT has been completely redesigned, and looks stunning. (Photo: Bentley)

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but almost every car enthusiast found the original 2003 Bentley Continental GT beautiful at its inception. The majority would also agree that changes to the mildly redesigned 2011 version made it even more attractive, so the question remains whether history will be as kind to the all-new 2019 Continental GT. 

At first glance it appears the most attractive yet, and does an admirable job of paying tribute to the EXP 10 Speed 6 concept that wowed us all at the 2015 Geneva motor show. Now longer and wider yet seemingly leaner, the new Conti is gifted a certain visual litheness that its more upright, bulkier predecessor lacked. Ahead of a lengthier, lower hood the grille has grown too, or at least it’s been stretched horizontally, while larger circular headlamps at each side sparkle with Bentley’s crystal cut glass design. 

2019 Bentley Continental GT
The new Continental GT certainly looks sportier, yet retains its traditional British elegance. (Photo: Bentley)

Mixed with this elegant glassware is a lower front fascia featuring open wheel motorsport-inspired front wing-like aerodynamics, including two angled struts holding up a razor thin splitter that frames three much larger engine and brake vents above. We saw this level of aggression from the previous Supersports, but not with the regular Continental GT. 

Bentley continues its bigger is better theme rearward, with the previous car’s “B” shaped engine vents enlarged and moved from the upper front fender down to just above the sills, these now forming the beginnings of a thick new chromed baseline that spans the doors, jumps the rear wheel cutouts, and wraps around the majority of the back bumper. 

2019 Bentley Continental GT
The new Continental GT’s most dramatic change can be seen at the rear thanks to new oval taillights. (Photo: Bentley)

Muscular rear haunches, now sculpted from lightweight superformed aluminum as is most of the car’s skin—superforming a process that allows for large, nearly seamless one-piece panels of smooth, creased and folded aluminum fit to perfection—continue to play a prominent role in the Continental GT’s rear design, but the sweptback glass is now wider and flatter, the C-pillars not tapering inward as much and rear fenders sweeping upward to the deck lid, rather than downward overtop the taillights. 

Rear lighting in mind, these lamps might be the most dramatic departure from the previous design, the big, broad, rectangular lenses with dual-oval innards from the old car now replaced by a single, smaller, simpler oval element to each side. 

2019 Bentley Continental GT
The Continental GT’s rear design is a big departure, but a positive one for sure. (Photo: Bentley)

While dramatically different from front to back and head to toe, the new GT is still more evolution than revolution, at least when compared to Aston Martin’s new Vantage that seems to have completely rewritten the competitive brand’s style sheet. Like that Vantage, the new Conti is more visually athletic, but unlike this key challenger it still maintains traditional British elegance. 

Part of its luxury equation is sheer size, the new Continental GT even larger than its already substantive predecessor. It’s now 44 millimetres (1.7 inches) longer than the outgoing model, with 105 mm (4.1 inches) of added wheelbase thanks to a 129-mm (5.1-inch) forward extension of the front axle, while it grows from side to side by just 10 mm (0.4 inches) and remains virtually identical in height (it’s taller by 1 mm or about 1/32nd of an inch), all of this growth opening up the interior for greater space and comfort. Despite its dimensional increase the new model loses more than 75 kilos (almost 170 pounds) of girth thanks to greater use of those aluminum panels mentioned earlier, bringing its curb weight down to 2,244 kg (4,947 pounds). 

2019 Bentley Continental GT
Bentley’s crystal cut glass headlamps are becoming a trademark look. (Photo: Bentley)

Unlike the EXP 10 Speed 6 concept mentioned earlier, the four-seat production Continental GT is not powered by a hybrid drivetrain, but nevertheless gets a highly advanced powertrain filled with performance and efficiency tech. The new 6.0-litre W12 TSI, first introduced with the Bentayga SUV, should not be confused with the outgoing 6.0-litre W12, as it not only uses the previous engine’s low pressure TMPI multi-point manifold injection to fuel its cylinders, but in fact incorporates a dual combustion process that allows for the Audi-developed FSI high pressure direct-injection system as well. 

2019 Bentley Continental GT
To quote another brilliant Brit, “And now for something completely different.” — John Cleese (Photo: Bentley)

On top of this it utilizes twin-scroll bi-turbocharging, individual cylinder bank deactivation when cruising or coasting, APS coated cylinder bores, integrated temperature management for the cooling system, an auto start/stop system that shuts the engine off when it would otherwise be idling, and to top it all off it’s 30 kilograms (67 lbs) lighter. 

Output is up a sizeable 44 horsepower over the old Conti’s W12 to 626 hp, plus torque has increased by an even more impressive 133 lb-ft to 664. Official Transport Canada fuel economy figures have yet to be announced, but it’s already been billed as the most economical 12-cylinder engine in the luxury category thanks to its use in the Bentayga as well as internal testing with the Continental GT that shows 12.2 L/100km combined city/highway, a considerable improvement over the outgoing car’s 14.2 L/100km average. 

2019 Bentley Continental GT
The Continental GT’s new interior is absolutely stunning, with improvements in every respect. (Photo: Bentley)

No doubt the new eight-speed dual-clutch automated transmission is partially responsible for the engine’s efficiency, its shift increments likely quickened over the old automatic’s performance as well, which should liven up the new model’s road and track dynamics, although we expect seamlessly smooth operation as well. 

Getting off the line in mind, the new GT’s standstill to 100km/h sprint time has been reduced by a shocking 0.8 seconds from 4.5 to 3.7 seconds, while it now reaches a 333-km/h (207-mph) top speed. That’s an astonishing improvement, vaulting an already fast grand touring coupe into supercar territory. In fact, the new Conti is almost as quick as the outgoing 700-hp Supersports model, which is capable of zero to 100km/h in just 3.5 seconds before attaining a top speed of 336 km/h (209 mph)—there’s also a 633-hp version of the old W12 that hightails it to 100km/h in 4.1 seconds, albeit still slower than the new model. It doesn’t take too much imagination to contemplate just how quick a Supersports version of the new car might be, but we’ll have to wait a little longer to find out. We should also expect a V8-powered base model, which will quicken acceleration over its predecessor as well. 

2019 Bentley Continental GT
A new fully configurable TFT gauge cluster pulls Bentley into the digital age. (Photo: Bentley)

Aiding performance, the lighter W12 TSI sits 50 mm (1.9 inches) farther rearward for more advantageous 55:45 front-to-rear weight distribution (it was previously 58:42). This also makes for less weight over the front axle, which should provide freer steering and a lighter feel overall. To be clear, the new GT no longer uses Volkswagen’s D1 chassis architecture shared with the same parent automaker’s namesake 2002–2016 Phaeton full-size luxury sedan, but instead gets VW Group’s new MSB platform, which has already impressed us numerous times while underpinning the latest Porsche Panamera, this boding very well for the big Bentley two-door. 

2019 Bentley Continental GT
The Bentley Rotating Display rotates from planks of hardwood, black lacquer and metal trim to a beautiful row of ancillary gauges to… (Photo: Bentley)

Like the old GT the new model gets standard all-wheel drive, but where the outgoing car’s torque split was permanently locked at 40:60 front-to-rear, the new model is primarily driven by its rear wheels, only directing twist to those in front when slippage occurs. Up to 38 percent of available torque can be repurposed up front when needed, although when set to Sport mode that number is decreased to just 17 percent. 

Special 48-volt active anti-roll bars, also used with the Bentayga first, assist fast-paced handling by resisting body roll, pitch, and dive at each wheel, their effectiveness dependent on the selectable driving mode chosen. The Dynamic Ride system works in conjunction with the updated air suspension, resulting in a car that’s reportedly flatter through corners than the previous model, yet still capable of providing the cushioning ride quality Continental GTs are renowned for when in Comfort mode, its new three-chamber air springs breathing in 60 percent more volume when set to its supplest setting. 

2019 Bentley Continental GT
…. a 12.3-inch high-definition infotainment touchscreen filled with the latest features such as Apple CarPlay, navigation, a parking camera and more. (Photo: Bentley)

Additionally, standard brake-based torque vectoring applies caliper-to-rotor pressure individually to limit understeer and oversteer and therefore aid high-speed stability further, this previously only offered with the aforementioned Supersports and ultra-performance GT3-R model. 

Braking is mastered by a set of 420 mm rotors with 10-piston calipers up front and 380 mm discs with four-piston calipers in the rear, with a carbon ceramic set optional, and in case you were wondering, Z-rated Pirelli rubber measuring 275/35 up front and 315/30 in back keep this big GT glued to the road. 

2019 Bentley Continental GT
The metal details are exquisitely crafted. (Photo: Bentley)

Saving what might possibly be the best for the last, the new Continental GT’s interior may be the big differentiator that causes ultra-luxury buyers to choose a Bentley over one of the brand’s rivals. The word exquisite hardly does it justice, with the new Conti receiving a horizontally themed interior design that makes for a wider more open ambiance. 

It’s at once modern and advanced, yet retrospective in its approach thanks to the latest Audi Virtual Cockpit-inspired high-definition gauge cluster (capable of showing navigation, audio, communication, vehicle data, etcetera) and infotainment displays regarding the former, and beautiful sustainably sourced hardwood veneers, piano black lacquers, metals and leathers with respect to the latter. 

2019 Bentley Continental GT
The new Continental GT’s switchgear shows a big improvement over the previous generation. (Photo: Bentley)

Even better, Bentley allows you to pay a little extra if you want even more hardwood (there’s a total of 10 square metres in each car, all of which requires nine hours of labour from the process of matching the grains to hand-fitting the inlays), black lacquer and metal trim added to the forefront of the instrument panel, all of which hides the 12.3-inch centre display behind a uniquely powered panel when turning off the ignition, resulting in an even more classic interior design that won’t age with time, as even this state-of-the-art Apple CarPlay-infused electronic interface eventually will. It’s dubbed the Bentley Rotating Display, and upon start-up the triangular-shaped merry-go-round rotates via two electric motors and 40 moving parts to reveal the touchscreen, after which pressing the “SCREEN” button on a strip of analogue switches just below spins it around a third time, exposing three beautiful analogue dials for reading the ambient temperature, compass directions, and chronometer times. 

2019 Bentley Continental GT
Only the best materials and artisanship go into making a Continental GT. (Photo: Bentley)

Back to modern tech, Bentley offers a bevy of advanced driver assistance systems such as lane keeping assist, blindspot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, night vision, traffic sign recognition, and a full-colour head-up display. 

Lastly, a standard 650-watt, 10-speaker audio system can be upgraded to a 1,500-watt, 16-speaker Bang & Olufsen design with illuminated speaker grilles, or better yet a 2,200-watt, 18-speaker Naim system includes Active Bass Transducers fitted within the front seats for reproducing concert hall sound quality. The interior is quieter than the outgoing car’s too, thanks to a laminated acoustic glass windshield and side windows, which is said to reduce exterior noise by up to nine decibels. 

2019 Bentley Continental GT
The 20-way adjustable front seats can be diamond-quilted too, with each diamond receiving 712 stitches. (Photo: Bentley)

All of the interior switchgear appears much improved over the outgoing model’s buttons, rockers, knobs, and dials too, not to mention vent bezels and stoppers. Some is made from black composite (now glossy instead of matte), some aluminized, and others continuing forward with even more exquisitely detailed diamond knurled metal edging than in the previous car. 

Speaking of diamonds, Bentley’s artisans reportedly spent more than a year developing the process to stitch its new double-diamond quilted door panels together, which if you to peel away from their fastenings would expose the signatures of those who did the needlework. The 20-way adjustable front seats can be diamond-quilted too, with each diamond similarly needing 712 stitches to complete. What’s more, the Conti’s vast options menu includes a Côtes de Genève (Geneva stripes) textured metal finishing for the centre console, which has its roots in the fine Swiss mechanical watchmaking industry. 

2019 Bentley Continental GT
The longer wheelbase should provide for even more rear passenger space. (Photo: Bentley)

More than 70,000 Continental GTs have been sold throughout the world over the past 15 years, and thanks to this impressive redesign we think Bentley may do even better over the next decade and a half. The new 2019 Continental GT will arrive next year with a suggested retail price of $285,681, at which point you’ll be able to decide for yourself if the designers, engineers and artisans at Bentley’s Crewe, England headquarters truly created “the finest Grand Tourer ever produced,” as they set out to do. 

Before you go, make sure to check out our massive photo gallery of the new 2019 Continental GT, as well as these awesome videos: 

 

New Continental GT – the Design | New Bentley Continental GT (3:03): 

The New Continental GT has arrived | New Bentley Continental GT (1:57): 

Ask those in the know to name the best of the best in the super-luxury SUV market segment, and the Bentley Bentayga will quickly rise to the top of the list.  When it arrived on the scene in 2016, nothing…

Bentley obliterates Pikes Peak Production SUV record with mostly stock Bentayga

2018 Bentley Pikes Peak Bentayga
A mostly stock Bentley Bentayga, pictured here crossing the 4,300-metre high Pikes Peak finish line, broke the Production SUV record with a time of just 10:49.9. (Photo: Bentley)

Ask those in the know to name the best of the best in the super-luxury SUV market segment, and the Bentley Bentayga will quickly rise to the top of the list. 

When it arrived on the scene in 2016, nothing could match it for premium accoutrements or performance, the former because it’s a Bentley, and the latter thanks to a 600 horsepower twin-turbocharged W12 engine featuring 663 lb-ft of torque, a quick-shifting eight-speed ZF-sourced automatic transmission with paddle-shifters, and performance-tuned full-time all-wheel drive, allowing it to catapult from zero to 100km/h in just 4.0 seconds flat, before topping out at a stratospheric 301 km/h (187 mph). 

Renowned drift champion, Global Rallycross racer, and U.S. rally driver Rhys Millen never attempted to achieve top-speed in his most recent Bentayga outing, but he nevertheless managed to smash the Production SUV record at the famed Pikes Peak hill climb. 

2018 Bentley Pikes Peak Bentayga
The Pikes Peak course scales 1,440 metres of paved mountainside roadway, with more than 156 turns on grades averaging 7.2 percent. (Photo: Bentley)

Millen completed the 19.99-km (12.42-mile) course in just 10:49.9, chopping nearly two minutes off the previous record by averaging 107 km/h (66.5 mph). 

“What an incredible machine,” said Millen immediately after his run. “To take a luxury SUV with minimal modifications and be able to drive up this course in under 11 minutes is a huge testament to the performance and level of engineering in the Bentayga. I had a great run – the car was planted all the way up and gave me the confidence I needed to push hard. I’m delighted to take the SUV record for Bentley and for everyone that’s been involved in this project.” 

2018 Bentley Pikes Peak Bentayga
Rhys Millen after breaking the Production SUV record in a Bentley Bentayga at the 2018 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. (Photo: James Lipman, Bentley)

The Pikes Peak track, in Colorado, USA, scales 1,440 metres (4,720 feet) of paved mountainside roadway (prior to August 2011 gravel sections were also included), from its starting point at Mile 7 on Pikes Peak Highway, to the finish line at 4,300 metres (14,110 feet). The course includes more than 156 turns on grades averaging 7.2 percent, and has hosted sanctioned racing events since 1916. 

The record-setting Bentayga featured Bentley’s top-line W12 engine (a 542 horsepower V8 with 569 foot-pounds of torque is also available), plus an adaptive air suspension, active electric 48-volt anti-roll control, and carbon ceramic brakes, all of which are available on the stock Bentayga, and each contributing to the SUV’s shockingly fast record pace. 

2018 Bentley Pikes Peak Bentayga
Rhys Millen showing the look of total concentration that’s needed to take on one of the world’s most renowned hill climbs in the world’s most prestigious SUV. (Photo: Bentley)

“This record proves the outstanding dynamic ability of the Bentayga – demonstrating again how Bentley Motors is the only automotive company in the world that can combine pinnacle luxury and breath-taking performance,” said Chris Craft, Bentley’s Member of the Board for Sales and Marketing. “Congratulations to all at Bentley Motorsport and to Rhys Millen and his team.” 

2018 Bentley Pikes Peak Bentayga
Congratulations at the top, the Production SUV record crushed by nearly two minutes. (Photo: Bentley)

Due to Pikes Peak International Hill Climb rules compliance, Bentley modified the standard production Bentayga with front racing seats featuring four-point harnesses, while the rear seats were removed to make way for a roll cage. A fire suppression system was also installed, while Bentley Motorsport chose a set of Pirelli DOT-marked performance tires for extra grip, plus a production-specification Akrapovic sports exhaust system. Other than these small changes, the Bentayga that conquered Pikes Peak was standard from the factory, including its stunning Radium Satin paintwork, all-black chrome exterior accenting, and carbon fibre body kit that came as part of its Bentley Black Specification. 

Knowing that its ardent racing enthusiast clientele would want to own a commemorative example of this record-breaking Bentayga, Bentley has created a Limited Edition model handcrafted by its in-house Mulliner bespoke and coachbuilding division. The Pikes Peak Bentayga is now available as “an homage to the achievements of the Bentayga W12 on the mountain,” said Bentley in a press release. 

2018 Bentley Pikes Peak Bentayga
The special paint job given to the one-off Bentayga used for the hill climb event. (Photo: James Lipman, Bentley)

Of course, the same Radium Satin paint is available, but Beluga black can also be had as an alternative for those wanting a darker, more menacing look. Additionally, an eye-catching set of totally unique 22-inch alloys feature two-tone Beluga coated spokes with Radium painted pockets, while Bentley’s Black Specification is once again part of the package, with all components normally finished in chrome done out in gloss black, plus the splitter, side skirts, diffuser and rear spoiler made from visible carbon fibre weave. The exterior is capped off by a tastefully penned Pikes Peak nomenclature below a subtle mountain outline on the front fenders. 

2018 Bentley Pikes Peak Bentayga
Bentley’s Mulliner Division has created a Limited Edition Pikes Peak Bentayga featuring the same stunning Radium Satin paintwork as the record-setting model. (Photo: Bentley)

Inside, the Pikes Peak Bentayga features a Mulliner Design Colour Split that combines Beluga black leather with Key Lime accents, while the seat and door inserts are covered in grippy suede-like Alcantara for a rich look and feel. The headliner is made from a “technical Eliade cloth,” says Bentley, while a lime green outline of the Pikes Peak track, along with elevation increments and the specific example’s number plaque, gets applied to the carbon fibre dash inlay ahead of the front passenger. Lastly, Mulliner adds a set of numbered Pikes Peak treadplates to the doorsills, reminding the special SUV’s owner of the celebratory event each time they cross the threshold. 

2018 Bentley Pikes Peak Bentayga
Beluga black leather with Key Lime accents make the Special Edition really stand out. (Photo: Bentley)

Just like the Pikes Peak Bentayga that took to the track, the production version includes Bentley’s 6.0-litre twin-turbo W12 under the hood, while the adaptive air suspension and 48-volt electric active anti-roll control system, a world’s first that gets named Bentley Dynamic Ride, comes as part of the package too. Finally, Mulliner adds a Bentayga Sports Exhaust system and a Touring Specification pack, making this special edition almost as formidable as the record-winning race-spec version. 

To find out more about the Pikes Peak Bentayga, or a more readily available Bentayga SUV, contact your local Bentley retailer.

If you could choose one sport luxury coupe, Bentley’s Continental GT would be high on many peoples’ list. Of course its considerable price of entry limits its clientele, but that doesn’t mean the…

2017 Bentley Continental GT V8 Road Test

Go ahead. Don't be shy. Nobody's watching. Indulge yourself, even for a moment. After all, it's just a car. But what a car! Feast your eyes upon one of the most beautiful luxury sporty coupes to come along this millennium.

I know. Bentley's Continental GT is nothing new. In my part of the country you're bound to see one drive by daily, yet I never tire of its lines. Its 2011 redesign refined the curvaceous theme, and the 2016 update added fresh new elements, although in both cases Crewe made sure not to mess with the formula that's allowed this car unprecedented success.

Personal time well spent with two-door Bentley hardtops began before the modern-day Continental GT transformed the entire ultra-luxury sector in 2004, yet the thought of getting behind the wheel of yet another reignites the senses. Bentley calls the bronzy grey-brown metallic coating this particular Continental GT V8, Spectre. It's stunning. The closer you get the more dazzling it becomes. There's a three-dimensional Read Full Story
In case you thought Bentley already produced the ultimate luxury SUV, not so confirmed the revered British ultra-luxury marque when it coined its Bentayga Mulliner “The Ultimate Luxury SUV”, a “flagship…

Bentayga Mulliner pushes world’s most luxurious SUV further upmarket

In case you thought Bentley already produced the ultimate luxury SUV, not so confirmed the revered British ultra-luxury marque when it coined its Bentayga Mulliner "The Ultimate Luxury SUV", a "flagship model" that sets "new standards in automotive luxury" at its Geneva auto show introduction.

OK, Mulliner is merely a top-line trim level of the already ultimate Bentayga and not an entirely new SUV, but it should nevertheless be noted that improvements must be plentiful in order to warrant the highly respected Mulliner name.

On that note, dubbing Mulliner a trim level doesn't do the name, or rather the British firm's personal commissioning division justice. Mulliner is Bentley's exclusive in-house bespoke customizing shop, which has long made the brand's hedonistically accoutered coupes, convertibles and luxury sedans even more hedonistically accoutered, and therefore is now doing the same for Crewe's first-ever SUV.

The new Bentayga Mulliner will likely become Read Full Story
New for 2017, Bentley filled the gap between its most basic Flying Spur V8 and W12-powered model with a 521-hp V8 version that’s capable of blisteringly quick 4.9-second blasts to 100km/h and enhanced…

2017 Bentley Flying Spur V8 S Road Test Review

To call the new V8 S the "sport sedan" of Bentley's 2017 Flying Spur range somehow doesn't seem right.

After all, the "base" Flying Spur boasts a twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 outputting 500 horsepower and 487 lb-ft of torque through an eight-speed Quickshift automatic with manual mode and paddle shifters plus standard 40:60 rear-biased all-wheel drive that grips tarmac via sizeable 19-inch alloys wrapped in 275/45ZR19s, the result being a 5.2-second charge to 100km/h, a 295 km/h (183 mph) top speed, and plenty of capability through the corners. Even better, the 6.0-litre W12-powered version, simply called Flying Spur without any engine reference, hits 100km/h in 4.6 seconds before attaining a 320-km/h (199-mph) terminal velocity thanks to 616 horsepower and 590 lb-ft of torque. In other words, Bentley doesn't make a Flying Spur that wouldn't qualify as a sport sedan, other than simultaneously being hedonistically plush and therefore normally classified as a luxury sedan. That's Read Full Story