Saturday, September 10, 2011
First Impression: Bentley Continental GT
Bentely has been making cars since 1919. The Continental name was first used as the high performing version of the Bentley Mark VI. The Continental was also the high-performing versions of the Bentley R Type S Type. From 1977 to 1995, the Continental was a Rolls-Royce Corniche with a Bentley badge on it. There were also the Continental R (1991-2002), Continental S (1994-1995), and Continental T (1996-2002). In 1998, Volkswagen bought Bentely from Vickers, who also owned Rolls-Royce until selling that brand to BMW in 1998. Volkswagen used its D1 Platform from the Volkswagen Phaeton for the Bentley Continental Flying Spur and Bentley Continental GT. The Continental GT is the first Bentely to use the Volkswagen D1 Platform. The Continental is available as a two-door 2+2 coupe or 2+2 convertible GTC grand tourer. The Continental GT is also the fastest and most powerful car to ever wear the Bentley badge. In 2007, Juha Kankkunen drove a Continental GT Speed on ice at an average speed of 199.83 mph, reaching a maximum speed of 205.67 mph, setting a new world speed record of ice.
I see the Bentley Continental GT about once a week on the Houston roads. I saw a few at the October 2010 edition of Houston Cars and Coffee. The Continental GT has lost its appeal with me. It is popular among both male and female drivers. I see more Continental GTs on the roads than Ferrari and Lamborghinis. The Continental GT is a stylish car, but not as stylish as a Rolls-Royce, Aston Martin, or Ferrari. But, the Continental GT combines high-end luxury with high performance.
The Continental GT is powered by a twin-turbocharged 6.0L W12, paired with a six-speed automatic transmission with paddleshifts, that produces 567 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque. It goes from 0 to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds and reaches a top speed of 198 mph. Prices start at $189,900. It also weighs 5115 lbs. It is very heavy, but it is has very good performance and a price that is less than a Ferrari California or an Aston-Martin DBS. The Aston-Martin DB9 is cheaper and better looking, but the Continental GT is faster.
The Bentley Continental GT has been reviewed by Motorweek. Top Gear reviewed the Continental GT during Series 3, Episode 3. West Coast Customs has customized a few of these on Street Customs. The Continental GT is playable in Project Gotham Racing 2, Project Gotham Racing 3, Midtown Madness 3, Drift City, RayCity, Car Town, Forza Motorsport 2, Forza Motorsport 3, Project Gotham Racing 4, and Pursuit Force: Extreme Justice.
Final Thoughts: The Continental GT is a good car, but I see too many of these on the Houston roads. Supercars are suppose to exclusive and I have seen too many on the Houston roads. What really turns me away from this car is that Paris Hilton has a pink Continental GT (I know she has not been relevant since 2009, but still). I see a lot of women drive Continental GTs. I would rather have a Ferrari California or an Aston-Martin DB9 over the Continental GT because I see less of them on the road and supercars are meant to be exclusive. I also think the style of the Continental GT is overrated. It is a nice looking car, but I would not call it beautiful. However, Bentley has improved the styling of the next generation Continental GT, and I would have to say it looks beautiful.
Photos taken from a camera phone
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