2019 Bentley Continental GT first drive: Return of the King 2019 Bentley Continental GT first drive review: the stuff of dreams 2019 Bentley Continental GT First Drive Review: Grander touring Your video, "2019 Bentley Continental GT: Our first impressions" will start after this message from our sponsors. Continental GT deserves its wings

2019 Bentley Continental GT first drive: Return of the King

Faced with a cross-country jaunt, the super-rich - those for whom the 2019 Bentley Continental GT's six-figure price tag would not be a deal-breaker - have an enviable choice. Flying privately is, of course, the go-to for the 1-percent. Yet the allure of a super-luxe grand tourer, combined with the right road, could be

Faced with a cross-country jaunt, the super-rich – those for whom the 2019 Bentley Continental GT’s six-figure price tag would not be a deal-breaker – have an enviable choice. There’s technology woven throughout, however. They sound, you’ll be unsurprised to discover, incredible. The old car was never a slowpoke: bury the accelerator, and it would pause for a moment as if in consideration, then hurtle forward like a steam engine.

It's the sort of road that immediately comes to mind when you close your eyes and imagine a luxurious day of European grand touring in an exquisite machine like the new Bentley Continental GT. The fat contact patches of the GT's 275/35-series front and 315/30-series Z-rated Pirelli tires deserve a nod here, too. A sense of occasion All of this grandeur is befitting of a car that will cost $214,600 when it arrives Stateside in spring 2019.

Only the “faster“ bit would’ve presented much challenge. When you’re merely in a hurry, however, the front wheels tip into corners eagerly, faithfully leading the charge up to the 2,504-metre peak of the Grossglockner. Whether it’s the best grand tourer in the world, though, depends on you. The steering isn’t as communicative as in the Aston DB11, but the Bentley floats better over bad roads. I'm a print subscriber, link to my account Subscribe to comment Why do I need to subscribe?

Event of your 21st birthday or thereabouts, you would pack your things and head out to a conventional Grand Tour. Bentley Mode is your personal recommendation of the chassis engineers and is ideal for grand touring,” Teale said. Montreal’s Maluuba’s AI Beats Ms. Flying privately is, of course, the go-to for the 1-percent. Inside, I’d argue that Bentley’s ground-up redesign has been even more effective.

With the new Continental GT, that hurtle is even more aggressive, but the preliminary pause is much shorter, too. Available diamond-knurled dials serve as both a tactile treat for the fingers and a link to Bentley's past. That this road was used for testing during the new Continental GT's development is no mere coincidence. A big boon for handling comes via Bentley's 48-volt active antiroll bars -- first seen on the Bentayga SUV -- that adapt body motions based on road conditions and the selected driving mode.

2019 Bentley Continental GT first drive review: the stuff of dreams

The day begins in a Sequin Blue 2019 Bentley Continental GT at the exclusive Kitzbuhel Country Club in the Tyrolean region of Austria. Set against verdant rolling hills and tooling through storybook villages, it would be easy to think one is lost in a fairy tale. This car’s cabin is outfitted with two-tone Portland (cream) and Imperial Blue leather...

The old Continental was a porky thing that handled a lot like a bullet train, but it was fast. You don’t feel the need to carry major speed mid-corner anyway, not with 626 horsepower available to blast you to the next bend. If you want a more engaging experience, try the gorgeous Aston Martin DB11 but be warned the Bentley has a nicer interior with a superior infotainment system. Open this photo in gallery The Continental GT accelerates to 100 km/h in 3.7 seconds.

While the thin camouflage doesn't exactly reveal any new design details, it's quite obvious the GTC will be a fabric roofed version of the Continental GT coupe. Starting in the 1930s, automobile manufacturers began catering to this need to cross continents in design at good speed with cars like the Alfa Romeo 8C Berlinetta and Bugatti Type 57. For possibly the first time, it seems just like a true Bentley.

While its name may be too glottal to be entirely charming, the Grossglockner High Alpine Road is undoubtedly one such route. The technology – and the infotainment system in particular – of the old car had become its weakest feature, and has now thankfully been put out to pasture. The 6.0-liter W12 engine is a torque-rich masterpiece, twelve cylinders and twin-turbocharging combined with a new 8-speed ZF dual-clutch transmission.

By contrast, the modern three-position center display puts on a show as it switches from a wood face to a row of performance dials to a 12.3-inch touchscreen. Redesigning an icon The Continental GT was the first Bentley to launch under Volkswagen AG ownership, and since its introduction in 2003, some 70,000 have been sold worldwide. On top of that, brake-based torque vectoring can restrict power delivery to individual wheels to help with mid-corner precision.

The cabin is craftsmanship melded with the latest technology in a way only the British marque can execute. Before the Bentayga SUV came along, it was Bentley’s most popular model. Maximum torque from the revised 6.0-litre twin-turbo W-12 comes in earlier than before, 664 lb-ft at just 1,350 rpm. The Rolls-Royce Wraith and Ferrari GTC4Lusso are more expensive alternatives. Richard Pardon/Bentley Technology The infotainment system is Porsche-based and best in class.

2019 Bentley Continental GT First Drive Review: Grander touring

On winding Alpine pass or smooth Italian autostrada, there’s no better way to blast across Europe than in Bentley’s exquisite new Continental GT.

Cutting through the Austrian Alps, its epic scenery is only rivaled by the sinuous curves and frenetic switchbacks that make it one of the must-drive roads for the automotively eager. The four-door Porsche can’t hold a candle to the Continental GT’s cabin, mind. Despite being more powerful, though, it’s also more than 66 pounds lighter than the old engine, plus 16-percent more economical.

That screen, as well as the digital instrument panel display, come by way of Audi thanks to Bentley's Volkswagen Group ownership. That's a relatively small number in the grand scheme of things, but a huge amount for an ultra-premium, small-volume marque like Bentley. The GT can hit a top speed of 207 mph, so you'll appreciate those huge, powerful brakes when it's time to slow this two-and-a-half-ton coupe with a quickness.

The rotating 12.3-inch infotainment screen features 40 moving parts, while wood veneers fit seamlessly with the rest of the cabin. The GT is now in its third incarnation since 2003. The new dual-clutch eight-speed automatic almost seems superfluous. The former is even more aloof, while the latter is more exhilarating. Alas, it’ll likely cost you nearly $10,000 as an option. Thank you for your patience.

Quite just, this car was the most effective grand tourer on the planet,” explained Bob Teale, chief engineer of the Continental GT. If you’d like a more engaging experience, try out the stunning Aston Martin DB11 however be warned that the Bentley has a nicer inside having a superior infotainment system. Write CSS OR LESS and hit save. The original Continental GT changed the game back in 2003, both for Bentley and in the luxury grand tourer market more broadly.

It sits on a new air suspension system, featuring three chamber springs that can hold 60-percent more air volume in their softest settings. As Alex wrote last week of the McLaren 720S , there’s no definition of what makes a “grand tourer” in the exact sense. The two provide the functionality of today’s best infotainment systems, including such features as Apple CarPlay, Google point-of-interest search, and real-time-traffic information.

Your video, "2019 Bentley Continental GT: Our first impressions" will start after this message from our sponsors.

We spent some time in the Alps behind the wheel of the new Bentley Continental GT to see how much has changed for 2019.

The 2019 car is by far the biggest change in the model’s history. Any gear will do. Today, for many people, the Grand Tour has evolved into a more humble tradition, typically involving a gap year during university, a Eurail pass and nights in some questionable hostels. Shopping for a new car? If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to [email protected] . Overseas speculation suggests further powertrain options will be offered across the Continental and eventually Flying Spur ranges down the track, including V8 and plug-in hybrid variants.

Fear not, aristocrats, since this new creation of Grand-touring cars are maintaining the upper-crust tradition alive also. There's a good chance it's the identical unit already revealed for its hard top sibling, which means it will kick out an impressive 626 bhp and 664 lb.-ft. of torque. Still, even after the refreshed second-generation car in 2011, the Continental GT was clearly showing its age.

That means more range to soak up imperfections in the road. It’s a term applied to a wide range of cars as a result, encompassing extremes like the feisty McLaren at one end, to Mercedes’ yacht-like S-Class Coupe at the other. Enough appreciating this beautiful cabin. Just stop for a moment and take it all in -- the long dash-to-axle ratio, the prominent haunch over the rear wheel, the way the roofline dissolves into a fastback swoop down to the short rear deck.

Be respectful, keep it clean and stay on topic. The company is currently developing the model ahead of a reveal later in 2018 but here you can see our artist’s rendering of what the new GTC is likely to look like. It’s a little lighter, sure, but the big story is the chassis. On a long stretch of Autostrada, the GT’s air suspension demonstrates its wide breadth of ability. Fear not, aristocrats, because this new generation of grand-touring automobiles are keeping the upper-crust tradition alive and well.

If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to [email protected] . Also like the coupe, the GTC should be offered with the company's latest infotainment and driver-assistance systems, along with an Audi -style fully-digital instrument cluster. The older Continental was a porky item that managed much like a bullet train, but it was quickly. The Continental name could trace its origins all of the way back into the R-Type Continental coupe of their early 1950s.

Continental GT deserves its wings

Motor News travelled to Austria to experience the third generation Bentley Continental GT

Bentley’s challenge for this third-generation model was twofold. The steering wheel is thick-rimmed, with small but tactile metal paddle-shifters behind. There’s active torque vectoring and an electronic center differential, pushing power front and back and side to side as the drive mode and driving conditions demand it. Sadly, those among us in the US with the $214,600 to spend on a grand tourer will have to wait a while.

This coupe is stunning to behold. It's an un-Bentley-like experience in an otherwise phenomenal cabin. We delete comments that violate our policy , which we encourage you to read. According to Mark Scott, chassis and powertrain project leader for the model, customers demanded a more responsive driving disposition, particularly when overtaking or driving through a winding road. Where the old model shared an architecture with Volkswagen and Audi vehicles, the new Continental’s platform was co-developed with Porsche and also underpins the Panamera.

This is another grand-touring golden age. Click here to get your price. All rights reserved. Now, it's believed the drop-top Continental will be heading to Paris in October, but this is yet to be confirmed. The 2019 automobile is definitely the largest change in the model’s history. Today, mint cases go for approximately US$1.75-million. It had been envisioned that the V-8 would be added to the Continental lineup in time for the arrival of the convertible, but so far, no models equipped with the V-8 have been seen testing.

Bentley’s expertise at working leather is in fine display. Then there are the brakes, billed as the most powerful iron system the automaker has ever created. Having to pick just one car to occupy your dream garage may be the epitome of a first world problem, but that doesn’t make it any less fun a game to play. Among these rich green hills, baroque chalets, and the occasional gothic church, a slow pace suits the drive.

Review: 2019 Bentley Continental GT offers smooth, speedy grand touring

Updated model has drastically improved weight distribution and moves effortlessly around curves

Story continues below advertisement Story continues below advertisement The engineers in Crewe, England, were able to push the W-12 engine back toward the cabin while moving the front axle forward. In full Comfort mode, it was fluffy like a down-filled parka. Today, mint examples go for about US$1.75-million. Sign up for the weekly Drive newsletter , delivered to your inbox for free. Bentley is aiming to return to the Nurburgring 24 Hours in 2019 after sitting out this year's race.

The Engineers at Crewe, England, managed to push on the W-12 engine straight back toward the cottage whilst moving front axle forward. Alright, yes, the cottage is greatest in class. The new convertible, like the coupe, will be a little lighter than its predecessor. Bentley may have sold almost 70,000 of the last two generations of Continental GT, but its appetites stretch beyond that. The combinations of hide colors you can create is huge, changing the Continental GT’s cabin from dark, purposeful cocoon at one extreme, through to light and airy at the other.

There’s no dearth of powerful exotics out there for when you demand speed, but few are comfortable enough to consider making them a daily driver. The scenery provides the entertainment. The long travel of the gas pedal makes it easy to modulate the engine's thrust. Front and center in the dash, the mechanism is powered by two electric motors and has 40 moving parts. How to make satellite radio sound good.

It gives the car a more prestigious, imperial silhouette, and drastically improves weight distribution. And then there’s Bentley mode. The new car is the best looking of the modern Continentals, thanks to its longer wheelbase. Follow us on Instagram, @globedrive . Bentley opted to focus on the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup in the development year for the second-generation Continental GT3. Bentley ’s next Continental GT C will soon be arriving to join the GT coupe in Bentley’s all-new Continental range.

Bentley eyeing Nurburgring 24 return in 2019 after 2018 hiatus

Bentley is aiming to return to the Nurburgring 24 Hours in 2019 after sitting out this year's race

The result is a car that’s unmistakably a Continental GT, and yet fresh – along with being entirely new. Bentley is offering a new finish here, too, accompanying the diamond knurling of the knobs and stalks. It’s around 170 pounds lighter than the old car but, at 4,949 pounds, still hardly a featherweight. In short, there is no perfect car. Bentley outfits the car with adaptive cruise control, active lane control, traffic jam assist (a combination of those first two), blind-spot monitors, night vision, and forward-collision warnings.

When the car is off, its flat surface matches the design of the rest of the dash, for a continuous, flush-mounted appearance. CBS Interactive Inc. Richard Pardon/Bentley As an idle young British nobleman in the 18th century, on the occasion of your 21st birthday or thereabouts, you’d pack your things and head out on a traditional Grand Tour. Open this photo in gallery Richard Pardon/Bentley Open this photo in gallery The engine was pushed back toward the cabin while the front axle was brought forward.

But we can’t help but wish it looked a little more like Bentley’s EXP Speed 6 concept from Geneva a few years ago. Follow us on Twitter @globedrive Opens in a new window Report an error Editorial code of conduct Comments Show comments Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. The Continental GTE first raced in the 24 Hours at the Nurburgring in 2015 in a joint campaign between M-Sport and the German HTP Motorsport squad under the Bentley Motors banner.

From the Alps, the Continental defies its substantial girth, scything along winding streets but not getting caught out with a fast change of direction. Bentley Succeeded in creating the new car quicker. There's no date for when the convertible will arrive in showrooms, but the smart money is on early in 2019 with prices slightly increased over the levels of the present model. Bentley’s designers lengthened the hood and pushed the cabin back, trimming the front overhang but slightly enlarging it at the rear.

Nonetheless the weight distribution is better, and that pays dividends in the corners. No perfect combination of strengths and compromises. The systems work as advertised. The 2019 Continental GT rides on Volkswagen Group's MSB architecture, found elsewhere underneath the new Porsche Panamera. Turn the car on, and the whole piece silently rotates to reveal a 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment display.

2019 Bentley Continental GTC spied again

The next-generation Bentley Continental GTC has been spied undertaking performance testing at the Nurburgring.While the thin camouflage doesn't exactly reveal any new design details, it's quite obvio...

Richard Pardon/Bentley Triple-chamber air suspension and a 48-volt active anti-roll system aim to mask the car’s 2,244-kilogram girth. Richard Pardon/Bentley “Bentley mode is the personal recommendation of our chassis engineers and is perfect for grand touring,” Teale said. Interior Okay, yes, the cabin is best in class. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

The car is due to be revealed later this year and after being impressed by the coupe, our expectations are high, but the GTC will not have the luxury four-seat convertible market to itself. It seems natural, effortless in which the older version could have had to work hard. The Infotainment process is Porsche-based and greatest in class. But if you can't wait for the brand new Continental GT and you're prepared to forgo open-top motoring, the GT Coupe will be on sale in the summer.

The driver’s gages have gone all-digital, capable of showing a mixture of engine information, multimedia, and navigation updates across a variety of layouts. Indeed, I soon realized that the best way of driving the new Continental GT is to capitalize upon its various excesses. The day begins in a Sequin Blue 2019 Bentley Continental GT at the exclusive Kitzbuhel Country Club in the Tyrolean region of Austria.

So while the new Bentley is only 1.7 inches longer than its predecessor, there's a 4.1-inch increase in wheelbase. If that 12.3-inch infotainment display looks familiar, it's because it's a Bentley-skinned version of what Porsche uses in the Panamera, with high-resolution graphics and quick response to inputs. The rear has a more fastback look as well as taillights that echo the design of the oval tailpipes.

A rear-biased all-wheel-drive system with torque vectoring by braking completes the chassis package. Since you’re paying the equivalent of the deposit on a house for this car, the least the engineers could do was set it up for you. If you’re wondering where your money’s gone, it takes 40 moving parts with whisker-thin tolerances to make the infotainment screen spin and disappear behind a wood panel.

Bentley Continental GT C getting ready to fend off DB11 Volante

Bentley’s Continental GT Convertible will need to be good to out-class its clutch of impressive rivals

Bentley, though, wants you to be able to hide at least some of them if you prefer. Brake hard as you enter the corner, taking advantage of the prodigious, body-squeezing grip from those huge discs and their 28 pistons to shed speed. It’s hand-crafted and beautiful, and the front seats coddle occupants with 20-way adjustments in pod-like alcoves akin to first-class airline seats on overseas flights.

And speaking of weight, thanks to a greater use of aluminum throughout the body, the new Continental sheds some 170 pounds of mass in this new generation, despite its larger footprint. Of course, that also means Android Auto isn't part of the equation, though Apple CarPlay comes standard. The 1952 model also had one of the most elegant body designs, built by the then coachbuilder, HJ Mulliner and Co, an outfit that is still affiliated with the British car maker.

Our test route takes us 400 kilometres up over the Grossglockner High Alpine Road in Austria, dipping south into Italy, and east along the Autostrada before re-entering Austria. Smoothness is the overriding sensation in the new Continental GT: smoothness of power delivery, of handling and of the way it floats over the road. It takes nine hours and 10 square metres of wood veneer to adorn the cabin.

Technical insight. What a beautiful cab. You do not feel the necessity to carry important speed mid-corner anyhow, maybe not with 626 horsepower accessible to burst you to another bend. Previous article Klim Helmets – Choose the Best Klim Helmet for You! To that richness of form, then, the designers bring some restraint. Luxury, the automaker argues, is the option of not having a big display blaring information at you, and so it created a rotating display on which the central touchscreen is mounted.

The two back-seat positions can be used, even by adults, but that will require intense negotiations with front seat occupants over leg room, and nobody will be happy with the settlement. GO I agree to receive emails from the site. A maximum of 38 percent of the available torque can be moved forward at any time; in Sport mode, that number decreases to just 17 percent. More borrowed tech is found in front of the driver, where the Continental's standard digital instrument panel is pretty much a Bentley-fied version of Audi 's Virtual Cockpit.

2019 Bentley Continental GT Complete Review

Open this photo in gallery Ten square metres of wood veneer adorn the cabin. If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to [email protected] . Unbeatable analysis. The metal/glass ratios are reaching ridiculous proportions... Maximum torque in the revised 6.0-litre twin-turbo W-12 comes in sooner than previously, 664 lb-ft at only 1,350 rpm. Next article Xiaomi MI 7 to provide Advance Facial recognition similar to iPhone X Nicolas Blanc Nicola has over six years experience as a educator, ecologist, zoologist and botanist.

While you’re on the move, however, pressing the screen button shows the third side of the triangular panel. You should absolutely be in Sport mode while you do it. While this cabin is brilliant, Bentley offers more adventurous trim and upholstery options for its third-generation Continental GT, like the new diamond-in-diamond quilted leather. I agree to receive emails from the site. It only takes a few sharp turns up the Grossglockner to notice this improved balance.

The interior is pure craftsmanship but now features more technology too. It was an era before radar traps and traffic jams. In the Alps, the Continental defies its considerable girth, scything along twisting roads but never getting caught out by a quick change of direction. But a case could be made that is exactly what a grand tourer should do. Richard Pardon/Bentley Performance Bentley succeeded in making the new car faster.

Autosport Media UK . Besides that, it's much better looking that a DB11. The brand new dual-clutch eight-speed automatic nearly seems superfluous. He has a B.S. from Cornell University, and a Ph.D. in biology from Mcmaster University in Hamilton. The headlamps, for example, feature a beautiful cut-crystal pattern inspired by fine glassware. That has a trio of analog gages: the outside temperature, a compass, and a chronometer.

2019 Continental GT Convertible promises to be brand's sportiest version to date

The 2019 Bentley Continental GT Convertible is now being seen out and about undergoing testing, both on the roads around the UK and predictably, undergoing dynamic assessment at the Nurburgring in Germany. Autocar is reporting that a 2019 GT Convertible test mule has been spotted at a service station

It's starting to drizzle as I pull through the toll booth and begin my ascent up Austria's Grossglockner High Alpine Road. The front end is lighter, eager to dive into a turn and much more willing to rotate around tight bends. Not that you'll need to crank your tunes, considering how quiet the cabin is. At the touch of a button, 40 parts work together to rotate the infotainment screen away to show three elegant dials.

It feels natural, effortless where the old model would have had to work hard. The Continental GT, which will arrive in Canada next spring, is undeniably excellent. It tops out at 333 km/h, which is admittedly useless unless you live near an Autobahn. Log in Subscribe to comment Why do I need to subscribe? Upgrade your experience. To manage an existing subscription, please visit Manage My Mags or visit our subscription FAQ page .

Notify me of follow-up comments by email. It’s the rear, though, where arguably the most cleaning has taken place. The rest is familiar Bentley: the eyeball-like metal air vents, for instance, and their tactile organ stop controls. Straight line pace is, frankly, dangerous. The Liquid Amber wood looks wonderful. The Grossglockner's 36 turns will take me 8,200 feet above sea level and back down again, each hairpin apex offering a vista somehow more breathtaking than the last.

With new laminated glass that reduces exterior noise by 9 decibels, the Continental GT is library quiet at all times. The traditional 6.0l W12 engine. The brief was to make it sharper, lighter and faster than before. It’s no sports car, and the weight begins to make itself known if you drive flat out. For perhaps the first time, it feels like a real Bentley. Acceleration to 100 km/h takes 3.7 seconds.