Prestige has forever been Bentley’s well-deserved reputation for building automobiles with unmatched creature comforts and incomparable style. Even with a change of ownership and remarkable design changes, Bentley’s style and comfort departments remain steadfast. But you may need slow-mo to see those attributes found in Bentley’s Continental GT. This sports coupe-with its W 12, 6-liter turbocharged, 500 horsepower engine-is no mere GT poser. It’s the real deal.
Bentley’s four-door sedans seemingly have enough cabin space to comfortably accommodate a classical quartet; but this two-door sports coupe, by comparison, is sleek and trim. The GT’s creature comforts are nonetheless bountiful as the Continental’s interior comes in nine, exotic, natural-wood trims. Although you’ll need to leave the quartet at home, the robust entertainment center comes standard with a six-disc CD changer, GPS navigational aid, telephone pre-wiring, and voice-activated controls for the telephone. The seats are sumptuous with supple leather, offering 14 separate adjustments, including lumbar support and power memory.
In balancing its swiftness, the Continental GT rides on five-spoke, 19-inch, painted alloy wheels. The glide in the ride stems from an adaptive-variable suspension with automatic load leveling, a front independent, double-wishbone suspension with air springs and a rear stabilizer bar.
Yes, the Continental GT is definitely a ramped-up rider compared to Bentley’s revered, classic four-door sedans. Distinctively it retains the lavish qualities expected of a Bentley, but you will have to focus faster to take it all in.
The British aren’t coming! They are already back and riding high with the Aston Martin DB9 in its royal fleet. The DB9 is a lightweight only on the scale, weighing in nearly 1,500 pounds lighter than the formidable Bentley Continental GT. However, when it comes to the momentous performance/decadence ratio demands of drivers in this GT fraternity, the DB9 metes out numbers that merit its champion-level status. The overseer of the 911 Turbo, Dr. Ulhrich Bev, Aston Martin’s CEO, delivers terrifically with a bevy of amenities that make the DB9 menacingly mouthwatering.
The DB9′s frame is a revolutionary VH(vertical/horizontal) aluminum-bonded platform, which provides maximum rigidity, minimal weight and a perfect 50/50 weight balance. Combine that with a double-wishbone suspension and a 450 horsepower,6.0-liter V 12 engine, it is no problem with the DB9 going from zero to 60 mph in less than five seconds. This roadster ramps out at top speed of 186 mph shortly thereafter. The six-speed, auto-manual transmission operates smoothly with magnesium paddle shifters that infuse the fluid feel of a true manual transmission. And the low-RPM responsiveness is nothing short of magnificent.
Amenities come in droves on this tabula rasa, as customers are encouraged to take full advantage ofAston Martin’s personalization program. Exterior paint options are limitless. The interior consists of handcrafted, stitched leather seats, and the door and interior trim come in exotic walnut, mahogany or bamboo. There is also a Linn 950-watt, Dolby Pro Logic II audio-system option to boot.
What is even better is that Dr. Bev promises that this is only the beginning of what promises to be the new British invasion!