First introduced to the world in 2003, the Bentley Continental GT was a ground-breaking design. Departing from the rather stodgy cars of the past, this new coupe model appealed to a younger crowd. Thanks to its athletic, crouched-back stance, the car looked poised to leap at any second. And in this case, the car’s performance backed up its appearance. This concoction dreamt up by Bentley’s new VW overlords turned out to be a winner, bringing unprecedented fortune to the British marque.
Bentley Continental GT Specifications
While the Continental GT’s styling may have gained it a great deal of attention, its performance kept everyone’s focus. Part of its mystique had to do with what lies under its hood – a 6.0 litre W12 engine. As if that was not enough, Bentley strapped this massive powerplant with twin turbochargers to the tune of 552bhp and 650Nm of torque. Because of this overabundance of power, the GT received a four-wheel drive system to help drivers stay on the road.
That added traction helped the big coupe achieve a 0 to 62mph time of just 4.8 seconds. Not bad for a 2350kg car. The top speed was listed at a highly-impressive 198mph. In 2008, the Bentley Continental GT received a makeover to bring the car in line with its modern competition. While these updates were not enough to warrant calling this a new generation, the 2008 and newer cars did receive copious improvements. From the suspension to the interior trim, this update touched on nearly everything except the engine.
Reception and Production
It’s hard to say who fell in love with the Bentley Continental GT the hardest: the automotive journalists or the public. Perhaps it was because of the favourable reviews that the public quickly made this the best-selling Bentley model ever. Or it could just be that VW’s stewardship of Bentley made the GT a highly-appealing car sold at a reasonable price (for its class). Being owned by one of the largest automakers in the world can do that for a brand. At just over £100,000, the new Continental sold for less than half of what the previous Continental V8 did.