Category Archives: Bentley

THE BENTLEY CONTINENTAL GT

                                   BENTLEY CONTINENTAL GT

                                     If a layman were to be asked to tell the difference between the 2010 Bentley Continental GT and the 2011 model, then he would definitely require a “spot the difference” book for a reference. However a trained eye would definitely recognize the 2011 model as having a new set of eyes and ones which are bejeweled. The circular lamps signal old world charm and are lined with LEDs. Some of the quirkiness from the old model also has been deleted and instead a monoform is the pervading theme inside the cabin. The twin creases on the bonnet converge onto the grille of the car which represents a jaw without the lower bone line. The air dam in the meanwhile is an eloquent affair and much deeper as also wider than the outgoing model. Unfortunately there are no fog lamps coming the car’s way but then I personally feel that it looks very good without the addition of fog lamps. The wing mirrors are a new design element while the coupe now gets a hemmed in look from the sides. Somehow the side look shows that the coupe’s beltline rises towards the rear instead of being settled. The 19 inch wheels are carried over from the old model. At the rear, the Bentley looks truly ancient. The ride height is amplified from the rear. Twin tail pipes look as if they would readily blast some one off. The fatter tyre section is similar to the one on the Audi R8, if a tad thinner.

Handling and ride quality

                The 2011 Bentley Continental GT has been billed as a driver’s car. This is something which its competitors in the name of Maybach or even Rolls don’t proclaim. As a change, Bentley have put in all wheel drive however it has been tuned to be on the better side of rear wheel drive. The emphasis is more on the rear wheel drive configuration. The split happens to be skewed to the rear. The new Bentley uses an independent air suspension which can level itself to about 100 time in a second. If the speeds are upped, the big Bentley automatically aligns itself closer to the ground and at low speeds and bad roads, it raises itself. If you don’t prefer the car to do everything, you can yourself alter the suspension settings via a switch near the transmission tunnel. The handling aspect is what Bentley promised and it definitely feels much on the sporty side of things with the engine playing a spoil sport here. It doesn’t grumble even at elevated speeds. Infact the minimal roar may be attributed to the twin laminated glass and also the heavy usage of sound deadening material under the hood. The car due to its all wheel drive is more at ease around corners and body roll has been kept to a minimum. As for the ride quality part, the Bentley is the most pliant car after the Mercedes S-class that I have ever sat in. The Bentley just muscles its way through pot holes and stuff. Not that I encountered too many during the course of the review but the few road imperfections that I came across were dispatched with a disdain. The steering wheel though is on the heavier sides and it becomes handful when one has to maneuver the car in tight parking spots. But then it delivers a good feedback to the driver.

Engine, performance and fuel efficiency

                            The 2011 Bentley Continental GT carries over the same engine from the 2010 model and this means the lovable W12 boasting of a 6 liters capacity. It is aligned with a ZF 6 speed auto transmission. Inspite of Bentley claiming it to be a sports car rival, the 2011 model doesn’t have paddle shifts behind the wheel. The engine however has been given some tweaking to enable it to develop more power. The increase in power  brings the power figures to 567 HP while the torque has also witnessed a major spike with the engine now producing 516 pound feet. The transmission is a fine unit with quick down shifts and also upshifts. This porky sedan tips the scales at nearly 5 thousand pounds and it still manages a 0-60 mph timing of 4.5 seconds. This coupe has lost some weight from its predecessor and this coupled with the increase in power has led to such performance figures. The Bentley pulls neatly till 188 mph after which its performance tapers a bit. The car is also highly responsive in its power delivery and a light foot on the accelerator saw the speedometer needle licking at 73 mph. Brakes are upgraded from the 2010 model to retard the extra power that this car makes now. It is ably assisted by ABS, EBD and traction control. Safety aspect has been taken care of with the GT acquiring a good from IIHS.

SPECIFICATIONS

Chassis
Brakes (Front) 420 mm diameter carbon/ceramic cross-drilled
Brakes (Rear) 356 mm diameter carbon/ceramic cross-drilled
Wheels 20″ x 9.5J 10-spoke – Black Chrome or Painted
Front Suspension Four-link double wishbones, computer-controlled self-levelling air suspension, anti-roll bar
Rear Suspension Trapezoidal multi-link, computer-controlled self-levelling air suspension, anti-roll bar
Drivetrain
Layout Front Engine, AWD
Transmission ZF 6-speed ‘Quickshift’ automatic
Differential Variable LSD
Final Drive Ratio 3.524:1 front 3.528:1 rear
Engine
Type: Twin-Turbocharged Bentley W12
Displacement 6.0 liters
Horsepower 621 bhp/463 kW @ 6000 rpm
Torque 800 Nm/590 lb ft @ 1700 rpm
Exterior
Tires F-R 275/35×20 Pirelli P-Zero UHP
Body Type 2 Door, 2 Seat GT Coupe
Length 4804 mm (189.1 inches)
Width 2194 mm (86.4 inches)
Height 1380 mm (54.3 inches)
Wheelbase 2745 mm (108.07 inches)
Performance
Top Speed 204 mph (329 km/h)
0-60 mph 3.7 seconds
0-100 mph 8.9 seconds