The Bentley Gran Tourismo (GT), truly one of its kind to hit the Bahrain roads. An egg white GT is what the GAZ test drove for a peek into what makes it really the talked about.
At the outset, the mostly aluminum skin with high-strength steel sets the tone for the conversation. Down to the tyres, this car is original production – nothing borrowed.
The third generation GT is truly and fully British. Interior comfort is what drives the sale of a car just as much as the power inside the hood. Open the front door in the evening and what we saw amazed us, the Bentley insignia in full with the lumination coming from under the door. The gracious curves, a part of the Continental GT give it the aura of a high-end versatile car for the discerning. Even through the passage of time, Bentley maintains some of its unique features – here the lights.
Inside the door, starting from front door panel, the GT spells class. It is soft hide in walnut colour that runs through the car.
The plastic one sees in most cars is replaced with wood – all of 107 square feet – and the soft and silky hide.
Quite soothing to the eyes, indeed to see white exterior and deep beige inside – a truly travelling man’s delight.
The driver’s seat, has the Bentley touch, taking the posterior’s contours and making one feel relaxed to start the tour. Once at the steering, the eyes surely float to the instrument cluster – classic contours set in digital tone announcing modern intent.
The GT is a two plus one at the rear – not the family tourer, although most would like to say so. The two door GT can take one adult in the rear middle or young children.
The seat positioning was very impressive with touch buttons guiding the movement. The result, after three hours of driving, there still was no fatigue – truly the feel of a Gran Tourismo.
Open the bonnet, and one is greeted by a six-litre twin-turbocharged W12 TSI engine, mated for the first time with a dual-clutch eight-speed transmission.
The power in the engine translates onto the road with economic or normal and sport options. While the normal gives the feel of Bentley, the Sport sees the car’s gravitational pull enhanced and the lurch of a big cat ready to pounce.
The GT sprints to 100 km/h in only about 3.7 seconds (0-60 mph in 3.6 seconds). In Bahrain, where the top speed permitted is 120 kmph, it would be less complimentary to notch up the sprint figures. According to the agency, the top speed reachable is 333 km/h (207 mph). The new Continental GT also has a Grand Touring range of 740 km (460 miles).
A new technically advanced, adaptive chassis uses Bentley’s intelligent 48-volt Dynamic Ride System to ensure a responsive ride and exceptional handling and refinement in all road conditions. The new system controls ride comfort and lateral roll, cushioning passengers from excessive movement as well as making the car feel effortlessly precise.
Should the driver decide to utilize all the horses, Bentley then promotes a more sophisticated suspension control system for a soft ride.
The sound of the engine, normally transfers into the cabin, but with the Bentley GT, we found it was only a hush. From further study, we understand that the hush is made possible with the use of acoustic-laminated glass in all but the rear window. Underbody acoustical panels have been added to silence road noise.
In its bid to keep the tourismo handling to be sportier and more responsive, experts aver that the company adopts similar chassis technology to the Panamera — with control arms at the front and a multilink setup at the rear. It also has four-corner, triple-chamber air springs, adaptive dampers and active anti-roll bars at the front and rear. In short it is the dynamic ride.