Just when we thought that grand touring had reached its height, Bentley brought us a new Continental GT in 2011. Astonishing us once again, this year the leading luxury brand has released yet another statement in the world of motoring. Designed, engineered, and handcrafted in Crewe, UK, the third-generation Continental GT is the epitome of spirited, focused performance, cutting-edge technology, and handcrafted luxury, making it a fine example of opulent mobility.
A bold and sculpted exterior offers a classic touch to an otherwise modern look. Inside is an immaculate coalescence of natural materials and the latest technological advancements. The spacious interior unequivocally meets the best standards in comfort, function, quality and aesthetic. The new Continental GT boasts the option of the new “diamond in diamond” leather design, 15 different colors of hides and carpets for the interiors, and three variations of audio systems.
Each of the four seats in the roomy coup is equipped with 20 options for adjustments, with cooling, heating, and massage functions, too. The Continental GT provides plenty of legroom and space for luggage, making it the perfect vehicle for a road trip—and, well, what better way to test a car than a long, scenic drive?
For the first leg of the journey, we began at the Kitzbühel Country Club in Kitzbühel, Austria, where the Continental GT took us through the winding roads of the Grossglockner Pass, the highest surfaced mountain road pass in the country. The car’s new adaptive chassis, paired with Bentley’s 48-volt Dynamic Ride System, created excellent handling and refinement through each twist and turn of the unpredictable terrain ahead, making the ride smooth enough for napping and sight-seeing alike.
In the front center console sits the Bentley Rotating Display and digital instrument panel—a three-sided swivel unit complete with a 12.3-inch touch screen and three elegant analogue dials. There, you’ll also find features such as an emergency eCall capability and Apple CarPlay—essentials for any contemporary Grand Tour.
After a short stop in Northern Italy for lunch, it was time to put the newly enhanced 6.0-liter twin-turbo charged W12 engine to the test. Positioned further back in the lightweight body for improved weight distribution, the engine, complemented by an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission, allows for fluid and efficient gear changes. The result—a swift and agreeable acceleration from 0 to 60 mph in 3.6 seconds.
Our five-and-a-half-hour dream ride came to its conclusion at Klagenfurt Airport in Austria, after we were able to enjoy the dynamic, driver-focused performance of Bentley’s latest Continental GT in a number of landscapes—leaving us to wonder whether grand touring might never be the same.