The 3rd Generation Bentley Continental GT is proof that the grad tourer is still at the forefront of the luxury automotive space. Even as brands like Lamborghini, Rolls Royce and even Bentley itself roll out SUVs, the Continental GT still retains the pure luxury you’d expect.
The Bentley Continental GT: A Brief History
The Continental GT has captivated the hearts (and pockets) of the world’s wealthiest car buyers for well over a decade. After first being unveiled in May earlier this year, models are finally available to order online, and deliveries are expected to arrive at the start of the New Year.
The Continental GT has been a steady source of revenue for Bentley over the years since the first model rolled out of production. The Drive reports that Bentley has shifted 70,000 units of the Continental GT since 2003, which equates to almost 5,000 units per year.
This prompted Mark Del Rosso, the CEO of Bentley North America, to refer to the Continental GT along with the SUV Bentayga as a representation of the “future of Bentley.”
With the newfound spike in interest of luxury SUV vehicles, the Bentayga will lead the way for the Bentley in coming years. As close second in Bentley’s fleet, the Continental GT plays a pivotal role for the British firm.
So, is the heightened price tag of the third generation Continental GT justified by a wealth of new features, or is this just a clever marketing gimmick from Bentley?
2nd vs. 3rd: Performance & Price
The second generation V8 version of the GT was first debuted in 2010 at the Paris Motor Show, the souped-up W12 variant’s first deliveries began in the latter half of 2011.
The 3rd generation model features an improved version of the Bentayga W12 6 litre TSI engine. This allows for a roaring 626 bhp, propelling the car to 207 mph, an improvement of the second generation’s 192 mph top speed.
The third generation model also features an 80kg reduction in weight, along with an extended wheelbase. The biggest overall design change comes from the rear taillights, which have gone from a square shape to more rounded and oval.
It may sound like a subtle change, but it applies a much-needed softness to the car, which is designed as much for aesthetics and comfort as it is for performance.
In terms of price, the 3rd generation model has a base price of £156,700, which is similar to the original starting price of the 2nd generation model. Now production of the 2nd generation model has been discontinued, pre-owned prices vary between £50,000-£100,000.
3rd vs 2nd: Interior
The interior has been vastly improved, and in typical Bentley fashion, its leather (which requires 310,675 stitches) is available in 15 customisable colour options. Its fair to say attention to detail has not been compromised.
Arguably the coolest feature of the 3rd generation interior is the world’s first rotating dashboard display that sees the 12-inch screen rotate when not in use, which you can watch here.
The plush, bespoke interior of the new generation Bentley remains classy and timeless whilst catering for a 21st century customer. It leaves the once ground breaking interior of the 2nd generation model looking out-dated and frankly sub par.
This is not a complete overhaul of the previous model. As expected, Bentley have made many subtle changes contributing to an overall improved design and engine performance, utilising state of the art features to compete with the other highest luxury coupe’s of today.
It certainly remains at the top of its game for those who haven’t been swept up in the SUV craze, while offering a refreshing upgrade on a classic. Whether it’s worth splashing the extra cash, well, that’s up to you.