2018 Bentley Continental GT
After essentially reinventing Bentley when it was introduced in 2002, the Continental GT has become something of an icon among high-end super luxury coupes. New for the latest model year, the second-generation model is lighter, more powerful, and more stylish than its predecessor without giving up an ounce of the opulence that made it famous worldwide.
Something old, something new
The coupe's overall silhouette doesn't drastically change. It's still recognizable as a Continental GT, and, importantly, as a Bentley. Key styling cues like the proportions and the pronounced rear haunches remain, but designers have given the GT a longer, lower stance, a more confident-looking front end with crystal-effect LED headlights, and oval taillights that echo the exhaust outlets. Elegant chrome accents add a final touch to the design.
This potent luxury coupe boasts a hand-crafted cabin made with high-grade materials. Examples of this exquisite opulence include soft-touch leather hides, an extensive range of available wood veneers, knurled metal and deep-pile carpets. Buyers can work with Bentley to customize nearly every part of the interior, from the color of the carpet and the contrast stitching to the type of trim on the dashboard. The brand offers 15 different hide colors for the leather upholstery, eight veneer options, and 15 paint colors.
Bentley added a 12.3-inch touch screen for the infotainment system. It's compatible with Apple CarPlay, but users waiting for Android Auto will need to be more patient. If you don't need the screen, it rotates out of the way at the push of a button to make space for standard analog gauges. Alternatively, a third push replaces the instrumentation with a panel of wood veneer. It's one of the coolest parts of the Continental GT, if you ask us.
The Continental GT's only available engine is a twin-turbocharged, 6.0-liter W12 engine shared with the Bentayga. In this application, it makes 626 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and a prodigious 664 pound-feet of torque between 1,350 and 4,500 rpm. It spins the four wheels through a dual-clutch eight-speed automatic transmission and an all-wheel drive system that sends up to 38 percent of the engine's torque to the front wheels. Bentley quotes a zero to 60 mph time of 3.6 seconds and a top speed of 207 mph. Alternatively, a cylinder deactivation system keeps fuel economy in check.
It's safe to assume Bentley will expand again the Continental GT range with a V8-powered model sooner or later.
Make it yours
In addition to the customization options mentioned above, buyers have several ways to upgrade the Continental GT for more comfort, more speed, or both. The list of options includes the Mulliner Driving Specification, which bundles 22-inch alloy wheels, jewel-finished oil and gas filler caps, sport seats for the front passengers, darker veneers on the dashboard, and special quilting all around. Buyers can also order a head-up display and a 2,200-watt, 18-speaker sound system made by British hi-fi manufacturer Naim.
In terms of price, image, and sheer luxury, the Continental GT is a little bit of a unique proposition on the market. Don't be surprised to see the big Bentley compared with the Aston Martin DB11 and one of the many Porsche 911 variants. Price-wise, buyers can also look at big-name supercars like the McLaren 720S, the Ferrari 488 GTB, and the Lamborghini Huracan.