Hand-built in the Crewe Bentley factory, the new Continental GT exudes lavishness everywhere you look, but it’s not just the look, it has speed, style, and is functional, not one to hide away and only use on sunny days.
The particular vehicle we had the privilege of reviewing had a few extras up its sleeve just to make it stand out…not that it needs any help with that. There are too many features to list, you really need to see it to appreciate all that this car is. Two rather large stand-outs is the First Edition spec and 100 years of Bentley Centenary Spec.
First Edition rarity
First Edition cars are a rare breed and showcase the finest features to set the benchmark of the car you choose, and this one certainly did that and more. Built in limited numbers, the Continental GTC is adorned in Union Flag badges baring the number one inside the car and out. Many of the most desirable Bentley options and packages are also included as standard, including the stunning Bentley Rotating Display, your choice of wheels, interior contrasts and dual veneers. The Front Seat Comfort Specification, meanwhile, ensures you can take advantage of the new Continental GT Convertible’s all-weather features, including a heated armrest, neck warmers and heated, ventilated front seats- which have a lovely massage function by the way. LED “B” welcome lamps light your way when getting in and out of the car at night, as does the welcome home function of the crystal whisky tumbler modelled headlights.
In 1919 Mr W.A Bentley built his first car and as a tribute to successful 100 years, Bentley created a fitting tribute to the legacy of its founder: an exquisite package of handcrafted features for cars built at the factory in Crewe in 2019. Only cars built in the factory in 2019 could be fitted in this spec and so makes these ones extremely rare and destined to become highly collectable.
I appreciated the amazing attention to detail, the ‘Cricket Ball’ interior colour (created especially for the GTC) and contrasting stitching, small diamond-patterned stitching in the leather and knurling on the switchgear. The infotainment system sound experience was like no other- and I mean experience! Sound vibration incorporated into the seats to allow you to feel the bass at any volume as part of the 1,600 watt Naim speaker system that really made you feel like you were front row at a live concert. The convertible roof operated very fast and allowed you to still drive slowly while in operation to avoid that hard-to-predict rain shower.
The drive mode settings allow for more of a normal, quiet, plush driving style, through to the sports setting that unleashes a lovely exhaust note from the powerful 6.0 litre 12 cylinder engine. The 8-speed dual-clutch transmission changed smooth and quick and the Active AWD system kept all four wheels firmly gripped to the road.
Driving in traffic on my way home I observed quizzical looks from all manner of people. A man called out next to me in a queue of traffic asking what the car was, how much and congratulating me (I didn’t have time to tell him it wasn’t mine before the lights changed), a lady snapped a photo of the car from behind as we sat at an intersection, I saw a few school kids waiting at a bus stop appreciating the luxury as I drove past. This got me thinking, I was once one of those school kids excited about flash cars, taking photos and dreaming about if I would even get to sit in one or one day when I’m rich and famous I might be able to buy one. Nothing has changed really, I still take photos and dream about one day owning flash cars, but now I get to drive them and tell everyone about how great they are and what amazing technology they have on board.