The 2019 Bentley Continental costs a packet, but it's worth every penny
Early morning up in Scotland and the new Bentley Continental GT.
It doesn't get much better than that, really.
I wanted to come up here because, well, these are my favorite roads in the whole of the UK, possibly even the world.
And I haven't been up here for ages.
But Carfection said if you're gonna bring it all this way, then there has to be a reason.
I said I'm sure I can find a connection between the new Conti and this beautiful country.
At least, I hope I can.
Now, obviously, I wanted to come up to Scotland for the wonderful driving range up here, but the journey up here also gave me a chance to really experience the Conti the habitat it was.
In its previous iteration, a long journey, and it was still very good.
It's maybe lost just a little bit of the I suppose detachment but you probably had to do that in order for it to be a better handling car.
Car other days or not, we'll get to in a moment.
One thing that was certainly very impressive on the way up was that for six liter W-12, this averaged over 31mpg, which is incredible really.
A lot of that's due to cylinder deactivation and the fact that it can, I think it's called sailing basically, where it just decuples the clutch And you see the rev needle drop to idle.
One of the things that really showed the old Continental GT's age was all the infotainment, I suppose, the graphics and everything.
It's been, as you would expect, a massively pawn on this.
There are certain elements you can recognize from the Porsche Panamera.
It's not just that chatty.
But, it's brilliant.
It's everything you now expect of a Bentley.
It's all up to date.
This retina display's huge and very, very beautiful.
Now, what about those links between car and country?
Of course, one of the obvious deep rooted connection between Scotland and Bently is that Scotland has lots of trees and Bentley has some wood on its interior.
Specifically in this new Continental you can expect an [INAUDIBLE] Juvenile whereby you have a contrasting piano black split up with a Chrome strip and then one of several beautiful veneers such as dark fiddle back or liquid amber.
And in this particular continental there is a new veneer called color.
This is a straight-grained mid-tone veneer, native to Hawaii, where they use it for surfboards and guitars.
Of course, in Scotland, people also surf and play the guitar.
So really there was no other choice but to come here.
This Fasu is, of course, really this new bendy part to piece the way it rotates here, when you press this button you get things like the compass, which I think it very fitting.
It means it is going to age much better than other cars, I think.
That means it's gonna last as long as your longevity, where you can see all the switch gears, Feels wonderful, as well.
That's down here, it's sort of turned aluminium and diamond, sort of quilting almost in the metal.
[UNKNOWN] backer things here, you're never gonna see it, but you can feel it every time you open the door.
All very lovely and luxurious.
In fact, it's so luxurious that despite prices starting at 157,000 pounds, You could probably, somehow, make a case for the Bentley being a quite good value for money.
Of course, this being a press car, it has all sorts of extra goodies on it, optional extras, and one of those is the top rated stereo, and this is the top of the range one so it's an extra six and a half thousand pounds.
[UNKNOWN] Is made by a company called Naim, and although I'm confessed to be an audiophile, it is the best one I have ever heard.
And of course one of the reasons again for coming here, is that the town, Nairn, if you just connect the r and the n, you get Naim.
(DOG BARKING) The big question though is when ou reach a road like this, is it actually any fun?
Because that was the job.
You can do Do huge long distances in the old car.
But although you can cover continents to get to a decent bit of road, once you were there, it was just frustrating because it didn't have the agility that you really wanted.
So have they solved that with this new car?
[INAUDIBLE] said yes, they have.
You've got much better turning in this car.
And you can now feel the angles The outside rear wheel.
You get a much better sense of exactly where it is.
It points into a corner.
The engine has been shifted further back.
And this is actually an engaging and enjoyable car, down a good piece of road.
This perhaps won't come as a great surprise once you realize that the new Continental GT shares a chasis with it's cousin, the Porcshe Panamera.
It also has the powerful 48 volt anti-roll system we first saw in the Bentayga.
Which is pretty necessary because while the Conti's curb weight has gone down by 76 kilos, you can still hear the weighbridge groan a little under its 2, 244 kilo curb weight.
[UNKNOWN] is a six litre w 12, putting it at 626 break horse power, and 664 pints [UNKNOWN] from a ridiculously low 1,350 RPM.
For reference, that's 44 break horse power and 133 pints more than the outgoing model.
Hybridization should be on the horizon for this generation of [UNKNOWN] Which might actually suit it rather well.
You've got various settings, you've got B where essentially the car makes its own mind up.
Then you've got sport which locks everything down.
Now this you obviously get the most amount of agility but there is just a sense perhaps on a smooth track I think it would be the one to go for.
On the road I think you're better off going for Custom where you can have the weightier steering the sporty engine that you just knock the chassis back, back to it's just slightly more comfortable setting.
The reason for doing that is that this car well it still weighs the better part of 2 and a quarter tons.
Whilst you can disguise that sort of mass eventually you are always going to To **** up against it.
Of course, the car, it sort of needs that heft, really, to be the [UNKNOWN] constant cover that it is.
But dynamically, something like a DB11 will always feel lighter a foot because its just not carrying as much weight around.
So the reason for keeping this and its softer damper Setting is because the car, it just doesn't feel like it's trying to fight itself.
You can still really enjoy that turning but you just, it feels more at ease.
You find the car's natural, it's natural gait, I suppose, through a corner.
It's worth mentioning that while resolutely and pleasingly rear biased all the time, the torque split changes depending on the mode With 38% going to the front axle in comfort mode, and just 17% in the sport mode.
It's not just the torque split and the weight distribution that make this a better driver's car.
The steering weighting itself feels much better now.
And the fact that its switched to a PDK Gearbox and dual clutch system.
Also it just helps you feel that much more connect to the drive train.
One thing that's perhaps a disappointment is that you just sit a little bit high.
It's slightly odd, you get into it, and it's not terrible, but you Just find yourself instinctively trying to put the seat a bit lower.
The seats are lovely, though.
Very good massage function.
I thought I'd pull up here because we're surrounded by valleys and the Scottish name for a valley is glen.
Glen is also a mans name.
And Glen Kidston was one of the Bentley boys, tenuous enough for you.
Glen Kidston is actually worth talking about because he was a fascinating character.
In 1929, November of 1929, he was involved in a plane crashed, 20 mins in a flight to Amsterdam.
He realized that the plane was in trouble, assuming the [UNKNOWN] position and then survived [UNKNOWN] accident.
Whilst on flight, he [UNKNOWN] dash himself in the [UNKNOWN] to put the flames out.
And then went back in again to help one of the other passengers [UNKNOWN] pretty sadly died
He then fought his way through woodland in the middle of the night and flanked down motorists to get help whilst still smoking.
He was then hospitalized with his burns.
I mention this because only two months later, he lined up for the start of the Monte Carlo Rally.
He thought he'd have a crack in a new six and a half litre saloon.
He started [UNKNOWN] as they did in those days.
And at 2 in the morning he set off.
They crashed not far from here actually near Dingell on the ice.
They got a new front axle, arrived Glasgow at 11am with no front breaks and decided to push on to Monte Carlo anyway.
He was an extraordinary person and honestly connects this car to Scotland.
Glen's Extraordinary in all their forms.
Absolutely love it up here.
Somehow the scenery seems to fit the stature of this car and the big, wide open roads.
This sort of car can just get into a flow you can enjoy.
You have time approaching.
You want to just be able to manage the weight a little bit.
It's still a car that just a bit of managing the weight distribution, perhaps just breaking a little bit on the way into the corner, just to get the weight onto the nose, and then being able to drive through that Enjoyable torque distribution.
One of the things about the old Continental GT as I said, you should never underestimate its ability to sprint away from the line.
Pull up next to one at the traffic light, it's like the imaginary ones here.
Total grip, no need to juggle clutches or balance it on the brakes, just takes off.
So if you ever pull up next to a Continental GT, no matter what you're in, be it a McLaren or an Ariel Atom, be very, very wary before you try and race it away from the lights.
That nought to 60 time, by the way, is a mere 3.6 seconds.
And the Conti will go on to 207 miles an hour flat out.
But it is the new Continental GT's behavior in the corners that is the real [UNKNOWN].
Gone is the sensation, particularly in the old W12, of a heavy nose powering on.
Now, thanks to that big engine set 150 millimeters further back in the chassis, You have a much more balanced and enjoyable car.
The old car was very one dimensional whilst this isn't hugely expressive.
But it just lets you play with the balance so much more than the old car.
An Aston Martin DB11 is more agile, 911 Turbo is quicker.
And [UNKNOWN] avoid is more luxurious.
With the Bentley Continental GT combines speed, sumptiniousness and dynamism in package that [UNKNOWN] very cleverly not to feel like a million jack of all trades.
This new version has addressed the short comings of the old car with unailing accuracy.
While maintaining the qualities but indited to so many.
And now at the end of the day to cement the clear and no way spirual links between the continental GT and Scotland, I've bought us here Why?
Well, because the wonderful headlights that have come from GT took clear inspiration from a whisky tumbler, such as this one that I just happen to have brought with me.
And at the end of our journey, I could actually have a drink.
How are you getting home?
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