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On Wednesday 5th November 2003, I was fortunate enough to be a guest at the 'Evening of speed, fashion and passion' - 'Soft launch' of the latest of Bentley Motors' babies ~ the Continental GT ~ at India of Inchinnan, Paisley, Glasgow.
India of Inchinnan was built in the 1920's and is one of Britains' finest examples of Art Deco architecture in the UK. Originally an airship factory, the site was bought by the India tyre company and went on to produce the tyres for the Bentley R-Type Continental in the 1950's.
The Continental GT has drawn upon the unmistakable DNA design of Bentley. It is of a 'predatory', muscular design filled with some of the most advanced technology to be found in a car today.
Craving to be unleashed is a 6 litre twin turbocharged, 12 cylinder engine in W formation. (Developed and tuned by Bentley).
The Continental GT is a 2 door, 4 seat, Grand Touring Coupe.
Performance: Acceleration ~ 0 - 60mph in 4.7 secs
Max Speed ~ over 190Mph (300km/h)
Suspension ~ Continuous, electronic variable damping control and self-levelling, air suspension with manual driver adjustment facility for ride height and damper settigs.
***Well, that's all the 'macho' stuff out of the way, lol, so how would this appeal to the ladies too?? THE LOOK, of course!***
The sleek design of the Continental GT, from first glance to my untrained eye, reminded me of a pouncing cat - long and stretched. Very eyecatching and will appeal to both the masculine and feminine ends of the market.
The traditional Bentley matrix grille is integrated into the bonnet and the famed black 'winged B' badge to the radiator shell, boot lid and wheel centres.
The headlamps are twin bi-xenon with integrated washer jets, and the automatic rear aerofoil is integrated into the lower rear screen and deployed for increased stability at higher speeds. ***(Sorry, no parachutes provided)!!***
Wheels ~ These are 19" five-spoke sports alloys
Mirrors ~ Colour keyed electronically adjustable door mirrors with heating, (For those cold mornings...Brrrrrr!), power folding (For those narrow spaces) and memory function - electrochromatic linked to the internal rear view mirror.
Keys ~ Keyless entry (USA only) and keyless ignition
Twin oval stainless steel tail pipes and a choice of 6 exterior paint colours. (Cypress - a kind of green/gold, Diamond Black, Moonbeam (silver), Neptune (a gorgeous blue/purple), Spruce (Kind of 'Olive' green) and Umbrian Red (a very warm, deep red)). All the paints are metallic.
The interior is of a full grade premium hide. The hide trimmed heated steering wheel is multi-functional (but doesn't make tea, as yet).
Gearshift paddles are steering column mounted and the gearstick itself is hide/chrome trimmed.
The fascia and front and rear consoles are of 'Burr Walnut'.
**** NOW COMES THE TECHIE BIT****
Infotainment system incorporates SATELLITE NAVIGATION and a premium 12-channel HI-FI System. 6x CD changer in the Glove Compartment and a Nokia 'docking' station for in-car phone system. Electronic climate control, electronic park brake with move off assist. Stainless steel surfaced foot pedals and drivers foot rest.
There is also a T.V. in the front dash (not available in the USA). Be warned though, for obvious reasons, the T.V automatically switches off once the car goes over a speed of 5mph.
When I first sat in the Continental GT, At only 5' 3", I was disappointed to find that I couldn't comfortably see over the dashboard. I had no need to worry though as, once I mentioned it to one of the Bentley Representitives, with the mere push of a button at the side of the seat, I found myself gently rising upwards. Oh yes, I was much happier being able to see where I was actually going - it does help, I suppose! There are actually 14 fully adjustable positions for the front seats (with memory) and, OH JOY ON EARTH ~ LUMBAR MASSAGE CONTROL!! Yes, you can be cruising along with your own personal masseuse gently caressing your back!!
There are a choice of premium veneers - Oak, Madrona (Reddy/brown), Birds Eye Maple (A warm yellow), Dark stained Walnut and Piano black.
****AND FOR YOUR CONVENIENCE****
A garage door opener and a Park heater (engine block and interior HVAC) with remote/telestart function.
There is a large boot capacity ~ 370L (enough for 4 sets of Golf clubs I have been reliably informed)!!
\*\*\*\ I CANNOT COMMENT ON THE WAY THE CONTINENTAL GT DRIVES, AS a) I CAN'T DRIVE b) THE CAR HAS NOT BEEN 'LAUNCHED' AS YET (Launch date due December 2003), I CAN ONLY PASS ON INFORMATION GLEENED FROM BENTLEY HEAD OFFICE AT CREWE. Once the car has been launched, I will obviously update this op. /*/*/*/
Having said that, this really is a dream of a car, but I don't like the fact that it does only about 10mpg. You will need to have the money to run this car, if it is going to be used on a daily basis.
The price tag for all of this luxury?? As yet it is to be confirmed (as the car has not been launched as yet) ~ approximately £110,000.
For more information on The Continental GT, you can visit the website at http://www.bentleymotors.com
I loved the look and feel of this car, and if you have the money, you can enjoy it too. (I shall keep doing the lottery)!!
Please feel free to comment/rate on my opinion, and if you need to know more, just leave a message in my Guest Book or visit the above website.
Oh, the reason I have rated the reliability only as 'good', is because, as yet the Continental GT has not been launched.