There was a bit of a stir at the recent Frankfurt Motor Show. A stir in the shape of the new Bentley Continental GT.
This is the third generation of the Continental and in true Bentley style this one sets the benchmark by which all luxury Grand Tourers will be judged - again.
So if you are looking to lease a new car and you like the idea of traveling around first class, read on.
The new Bentley Continental GT is designed, engineered, and handcrafted in Britain. The new model features a new chassis, an all-new engine, and a redesigned exterior.
The new adaptive chassis uses a 48v Dynamic Ride System to iron out the rough bits of the road and ensure you remain supremely comfortable at all times. It uses a series of electric actuators attached to the anti-roll bars on each axle to keep the car balanced at all times. The same system also has the added bonus of making the Bentley Continental GT feel lighter and more responsive when you push on a bit.
And you will push on thanks to the 6.0-litre W12 engine. That enormous lump of metal under the Continental’s immense bonnet produces a staggering 626bhp. That translates to a 0-60mph time of 3.6 seconds and a top speed of 207mph. All that power heads to the four corners of the Continental - the new model now features all wheel drive - via an eight-speed transmission.
Bentley claim this is the most advanced twelve cylinder engine in the world. That is probably true, but when you’re behind the wheel all you need to know is that you have the equivalent power of a minor military dictatorship under your right foot.
Somehow that engine manages to do all the above and still achieve around 23mpg and a much improved 278g/km. The Bentley Continental won’t be cheap to run but we presume this won’t be a major concern for anyone seriously considering one.
The new Continental GT retains the classic elegance that made its predecessor so popular but the new car is more sculptural and sharply defined. The profile is longer and lower which in turn allows the bonnet to be extended and the nose to be lowered.
The rear of the car has had a more radical makeover, with the tail lights now shaped into ellipses to reflect the silhouette of the exhaust tail pipes. The new Continental sits on 21-inch alloy wheels which are available in two different styles, with a 22-inch lightweight wheel is also available as an option.
Of course it’s the inside where the Bentley Continental GT really comes into its own.
The interior showcases Bentley’s attention to detail perfectly: new materials, highest quality natural leather, and sustainably sourced - and rather rare - woods for the veneer. Even the chrome details are hand polished before they leave the factory.
You also get to enjoy 20-way adjustable seats with cooling, heating, and massage functions. A new quilted leather finish, a choice of three audio systems, and acoustic glass to reduce road noise also feature as standard.
The best bit of the new Bentley Continental GT is by far the Bentley Rotating Display, which is quite frankly, brilliant.
At first glance there appears to be no screen in the centre of the dashboard, just the rare wood veneer flowing across the dashboard. Press the engine start button and the veneer in the middle of the dashboard glides silently forward and rotates to reveal a 12.3-inch digital MMI display with a configurable home screen to display navigation, media, telephone, and the like.
All very James Bond, and exactly what you would hope for from a Bentley.
Now, it goes without saying that all of this luxurious brilliance comes at a price. Which is why leasing is the way to go. Bentley haven’t actually said how much the new Continental GT will cost yet, but you can be absolutely certain it will be worth considering leasing rather than buying.
The new Continental is available to order now with the first models due for delivery around March next year. But be quick. The longer you leave it the longer the waiting list will become.
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