Reviews First Drive: 2019 Bentley Continental GT

22:51  14 may  2018
22:51  14 may  2018 Source:   driving.ca

Lincoln To Kill The Continental

  Lincoln To Kill The Continental Lincoln will discontinue the Continental once the current generation has run its course, a decision that comes not two years after the upscale automaker revived the storied nameplate. The revelation comes from Ford Authority, which cites "sources intricately familiar with Ford's future product plans for its Lincoln brand." That anonymous source was unable to say why the company plans to cut the 2018 Lincoln Continental, but it's not hard to draw yet another line between the falling sales of sedans and the ever-increasing popularity of crossovers and SUVs.

We all love the Mustang and Camaro. America’s finest sport coupes are raw and visceral, and they’ve become pure sports cars. But what if they were larger

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a green car parked on the side of a road© Provided by Driving.ca Kitzbühel, AUSTRIA – The Grossglockner High Alpine Road is one of God’s gifts to motoring enthusiasts. The highest paved mountain pass in Austria, the road – open only from May through September – twists and turns like a wandering snake, rising to 2,504 metres at Hochter Pass and dipping down and up (and down and up) again.

At a leisurely pace, one can take in the breathtaking mountain vistas, the steep, verdant valleys, the flowing streams and the picture postcard Tyrolean villages along the route. But, with the road clear, you want to ignore the scenery and attack the fast sweepers and sphincter-tightening hairpins, preferably in a sleek sports car – perhaps one of those Italian jobs with a name ending with the letter “i.” Something grandiose such as a Bentley? Well, no, that wouldn’t be appropriate sporting transportation at all, would it?

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The third-generation Continental GT changes the entire platform, with an all-new architecture, W12 engine, and the cabin technology the old car was crying

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Yet you would be so very wrong, especially if the Bentley is the new Continental GT, the über gran turismo. Imposing? Yes, there’s a confident muscularity to it, with styling both classic and contemporary. Stately? I prefer sumptuous; the handcrafted interior beckons one and all to taste (figuratively, not literally) the finest leathers, the exotic wood veneers, the hand-polished chrome bits and signature Bentley details. Fast? Oh my, yes.

Many still think of Bentleys as lower-priced Rolls-Royces, which, in truth, used to more or less be the case when R-R managed the marque. But Volkswagen Group has had the posh brand in its portfolio for the past 20 years and, from the outset, it had a very different vision. Which brings me to the new GT’s most defining feature, its hand-built (in Crewe, England) twin-turbocharged 6.0-litre W12 engine – a monster motor that’s mated to a new, dual-clutch eight-speed transmission. It pounds out an outlandish 626 horsepower, plus 664 lb.-ft. of torque starting at a subterranean 1,350 rpm and hanging on all the way to 4,500 rpm. It’s also positioned farther back to improve weight distribution (now 54 per cent front and 46 per cent rear).

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Now Playing:Watch this: 2019 Bentley Continental GT : Our first impressions. While the old Continental was locked into a permanent 40:60 front/rear torque split, the new GT primarily acts as a rear-wheel drive car, only sending minor amounts of power to the front wheels when slip is detected.

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Considering the two-door’s SUV-like 2,224 kilograms— despite an 80-kilogram savings due to the new aluminium-intensive body — the all-wheel-drive Continental digs in and blasts off when the Sport Launch mode is selected and gas pedal is pinned to the floor, zero to 100 km/h in just 3.7 seconds, plus a top speed of 333 km/h, should you find yourself alone on a military airstrip with nothing better to do. For my driving purposes, other than a healthy shove into the seat back when the car was exercised, there was remarkably little drama elsewhere, even when transitioning from straight-line acceleration to hooning the mountain passes on the way south into Italy.

In addition to the grippy Pirelli rubber (available in 21- and 22-inch tire sizes), the car’s new active AWD system — replacing the traditional 40/60 power delivery split between front and rear wheels — keeps the car pointed in the right direction by varying the front-to-rear torque split. The GT uses rear-wheel drive as much as possible during normal driving for greater efficiency and dynamic performance. Yet, depending on road conditions and the driver’s aggressiveness, the system will send power to the front axle as required, reducing the understeer effect that comes from a fixed all-wheel drivetrain. In Sport mode, up to 17 per cent of the power is shifted forward.

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  2019 Bentley Bentayga V-8 First Drive A Bentley for the 2 percentersStarting at just about $165,000 USD, it's the cheapest Bentley you can buy and undercuts the 12-cylinder model by a staggering $64,000 USD. Why expand your market from the global 1 percent to the 2 percent? Likely because their money is the same color, and there are more of them. Plus, you've got to figure if someone is willing to pony up 200,000 clams for a top-shelf Range Rover, they'd jump at the chance to buy a Bentley instead. The $35,000 USD of wiggle room between the two leaves budget for doing up the Bentley just the way you'd like.

And electric steering improves feedback to the driver so that it always feels right for the driving conditions. To create your new Continental GT First Edition on the Bentley Configurator, click here.

The original press drive for the all-new, 2019 Bentley Continental GT was slated for November 2017, in Barcelona, Spain. Watch more videos. Your hub for horsepower Get first access to hit shows like Roadkill and Dirt Every Day.

The same engineering that accentuates the third-generation Continental GT’s genteel nature at normal speeds also allows it to tackle the twisty bits like a demon sports car. That would be the Dynamic Ride system — a 48-volt roll control system that controls and adjusts the front and rear anti-roll bars’ electronic actuators to improve handling and ride comfort. In addition, the revised air suspension uses three-chamber air springs that give the car 60 per cent more air volume in the softest setting than the previous model.

Not that fuel economy is a priority in a high-performance luxury car, but the new W12 utilizes start/stop technology and, in this advanced application, the engine rests not only when the GT is stationary, but also at near-to-stop speeds. Thanks to its variable displacement system, it also shuts down half of the engine under specific conditions. Bentley claims improved combined fuel economy, as a result — 12.2 L/100 kilometres combined, versus the previous model’s 14.2. After more than 400 kilometres of not-so-gentle driving, we managed 13.7 L/100 kilometres, as indicated by the digital readout.

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Faced with a cross-country jaunt, the super-rich – those for whom the 2019 Bentley Continental GT ’s six-figure price tag would not be a deal-breaker – have an enviable choice. Flying privately is, of course, the go-to for the 1 -percent.

Maybe the rich are different, as novelist F. Scott Fitzgerald once observed, and used to the finer things in life. For those of lesser means, the GT’s handcrafted cabin is, as Bentley cheekily suggests, a world of hidden delights — which is as it should be, considering the Bentley’s suggested retail price of $285,681. Luxury touches large and small abound. Of the former, it’s not just that the wood veneers are sustainably sourced, but learning that more than 10 square metres of wood are used in each car, and it takes nine hours to create and fit the inlays by hand. Of the latter, it’s that the centre console can be specified in a new aluminum finish inspired by the delicate mechanical surfacing inside the finer Swiss watches. Or that there are precisely 712 stitches that make up each diamond in the available leather quilting for the 20-way adjustable front seats.

The absolute coolest feature, though, is the car’s “rotating display.” At first glance there appears to be no screen, the wood veneer flowing across the dashboard. When the engine is started, however, the middle section rotates to reveal Bentley’s largest-ever touchscreen – a 12.3-inch digital MMI display, with a customer-configurable home screen with three windows able to present the driver’s preferred functions (navigation, media and telephone, for example). At a touch of a button, a third side then reveals three elegant analogue dials displaying outside temperature, a compass and a chronometer.

First Drive: 2019 Bentley Continental GT

  First Drive: 2019 Bentley Continental GT Signature grand tourer gets ever more grandioseThe new, third-generation Continental GT finds its voice from the hand-built masterpiece that is its 6.0-liter twin-turbocharged W-12 engine, which is rated at 626 horsepower and 664 lb-ft of torque—numbers that would have blown everyone away a decade ago but now almost seem commonplace. There is nothing common about this super coupe, however. This is a member of the House of Lords—a proper British motorcar that does its touring in grand style, one that nods to Bentley's past all while embracing the brave new automotive world.

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The resulting car, third in a line of Continental GTs, is lighter, quicker (thanks to a 626 hp, 664 lb-ft twin-turbocharged 6.0-liter W12) and comes packing all the on-road presence you'd expect from a British ultra-luxury coupe. 2019 Bentley Continental GT first drive review Photo 10.

Audiophiles will not be disappointed, either. The standard 650-watt system features 10 speakers, while a 1,500-watt Bang & Olufsen, 16-speaker system with illuminated speaker grilles is available. For the true metalheads, though, only the 2,200-watt Naim setup will do, the 18-speaker system with Active Bass Transducers built into the front seats blasting out concert-quality sound. And, in order to ensure optimal audio enjoyment, laminated acoustic glass is used for the windshield and side windows, resulting in a nine-decibel reduction in exterior noise ingress versus the outgoing GT.

The Continental GT is still a year away from arriving at dealerships. Though I, like most, will never be able to afford such a car, it leaves me not envious, but filled with wonder at such a seemingly textbook blend of automotive technology, style, performance and luxury. Bentley’s stated goal was to create “the finest Grand Tourer ever produced.” Those who can afford such pleasures should prepare to be delighted.

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<p>As expected from this upper echelon of über-luxe-bargery, closing the doors seals the Bentayga’s fortunately blessed occupants from any distasteful reminders of the outside world.</p>PORTLAND, Oregon – No sooner had we merged on the I-84 E out of Portland, did we come perilously close to being crushed between an oversize load and the concrete centre median. Thanks to a combination of good brakes and dumb luck, we came to a quick stop while the oblivious transport driver continued on – in our lane.

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