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Secunderabad India
Bentley Continental GT V8 supremely quiet cruiser
Jul 09, 2016 09:44 PM 7776 Views

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The Bentley Continental GT is a luxurious four-seater coupé and a great long-distance cruiser

The Continental GT was the first truly modern Bentley and is now the best-selling model in the company's history. Yet it remains a comparatively exclusive and hugely desirable car.

Convertible and saloon versions are available in addition to the GT coupé that we're testing here. Plus, Bentley offers V8 and W12 engines and an extensive personalisation programme.The first point to note is that this is a four-seater coupé, with the rear two seats as beautifully finished as those up front. And unlike the rear seats in an Aston Martin DB9, which are really only suitable for coats or small bags, the Bentley Continental GT’s are roomy enough to let adults travel in the back of the car for short journeys.

There’s also a decent, if not outstanding, amount of storage space up front, most notably a big tray in front of the gear lever. This is supplemented by a pair of cupholders, into which clips a suitably weighty sunglasses case.

The boot is big enough to take a weekend’s luggage or a couple of golf bags, although it does have a rather narrow opening, so it could be easier to load.It would be unfair to call any version of the Continental GT uncomfortable, but some models are better at soaking up bumps than others. Specifically, the cheapest one, powered by a V8 engine and without the sporty suspension upgrades found on S models.

Combined with minimal wind and road noise, a cultured engine note and wonderfully supportive seats, it makes the car a superb long-distance tourer.The way in which Bentley has taken switches and buttons from its owner Volkswagen and made them work aesthetically in a much posher car is impressive. And the quality on display is sensational, particularly when it comes to any surfaces trimmed in leather.

For the most part the controls are intuitive, too, although it’s worth noting that the Continental GT doesn’t have the latest version of VW’s touchscreen entertainment and navigation system, so in reality a Golf is significantly more advanced in this respect.

A smooth, eight-speed automatic gearbox is fitted as standard across the range, while the steering is usefully light at low speed and the brakes are both linear and powerful.

True, the Continental GT’s considerable width takes a bit of getting used to, and you sometimes have to crane your neck to see around the windscreen pillars at junctions. But over-the-shoulder visibility is excellent, and for the most part the car is both relaxing and easy to drive.

The fact that four-wheel drive is standard means the Continental GT is also a luxury coupé you can enjoy in all conditions, despite the vast power of its engines.The ‘basic’ V8 model goes from 0-62mph in 4.8 seconds, while the top-of-the-range W12 Speed achieves the same sprint in 4.2 seconds.

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Bentley Continental GT V8