Relaxed yet very strong powertrains; smooth ride yet responsive handling; quiet, tight cabin; hand-crafter interior materials; coupe and sedan body styles available; more fuel-efficient V8 model
The Continental is now offered in two body styles, the GT coupe and the Flying Spur sedan. The coupe comes in two flavors: GT and GT V8. The GT V8 is new for 2013 and priced lower than the Continental GT; it comes with a 500-horsepower twin-turbo V8 engine and new 8-speed automatic. The regular GT and Flying Spur get a 567-hp W12 engine and a 6-speed automatic transmission.
In either of the models, all-wheel drive is standard, with a system that normally maintains a 60-percent bias to the rear wheels. A Continuous Damping Control system (CDC) can make lightning-quick changes in firmness for quick maneuvers or to damp out rough or coarse road surfaces and overall the suspension does a good job in controlling the Continental's 5,000-pound-plus curb weight. Available carbon-fiber brakes provide the high-speed stopping power of an exotic sports car.
The GT V8 is much more fuel-efficient than the 12-cylinder GT--and nearly as fast. GT V8 models achieve EPA ratings of 15 mpg city, 24 highway, while W12 models get 12/19 mpg. And no matter which of these models you get, seemingly effortless acceleration at legal speeds and well above.
At the top of the Continental lineup is the GT Speed, a model that ups the power output of the W12 engine to 616 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque--and makes it capable of hitting 60 mph in just 4.0 seconds and a top speed of about 205 mph (up from the W12 version's 198 mph).
As in Bentley's other models, the Continental is well-equipped with all the convenience items of a typical luxury car plus a 'bespoke' process of adding individual trims and appearance items. Upholsteries and trims are hand-sewn and grain-matched, while real wood, stainless steel and chrome trims are used. Even on the outside, small touches like the flared elliptical exhaust pipes establish the Continental as sporty and finely detailed.
Standard features on all Continentials include supportive, heated 'cobra'-design seats, plus an 8-inch touch-screen infotainment system with navigation, smartphone connectivity, and a backup camera. Bi-xenon headlamps with LED running lamps, rain-sensing wipers, keyless entry and a power trunk opener are all among the standard features. An excellent 11-speaker Naim audio system, with Dirac Dimensions sound processing, is optional and provides rich-sounding entertainment. Other standout options include ventilated, heated and cooled massage seats and adaptive cruise control, among many others.
The 12-cylinder Continental GT and Flying Spur models, completely redesigned last year, are carried over, but in addition to those Bentley is introducing a new twin-turbo V8 for the GT. At the other side of the lineup is the all-new GT Speed, which packs an even stronger version of the 12-cylinder engine, a new 8-speed automatic transmission, and a long list of additional 'Mulliner Driving Specification' equipment.
The Continental is one of the fastest and most lavish prestige-luxury coupes available. With more comfort and luxury than the Aston Martin DB9 and Maserati GranTurismo yet a more exclusive look and feel than the BMW M6 or Mercedes0Benz CL63 AMG, the Continental GT models are good choices for those who want to stand out, yet be cosseted in the way that few luxury cars allow.
While the Continental's form is distinctive in both coupe and sedan forms, this is a car that really shines inside, with excellent front seats, an array of luxury features that's up to snuff with any German technology flagship and the far more exclusive, individualized appointments of a high-prestige coupe--and a seemingly endless list of possible materials like hand-stitched seats, special embroidery, grain-matched real wood veneers, and custom colors. Inside or out, it's unlikely you'll see two exactly the same.
For those looking for top-down thrills in a prestige-luxury presentation, the Continental GTC provides all the features, performance and exclusive pedigree of the coupe but with a power-folding, multi-layered soft top that seals out the elements when the sun's not out.
Furthermore, the Continental, in in all of its variants, features surprising "normal" drivability characteristics--unlike some supercars or ultra-luxury models that may be cramped, lack visibility, be difficult to drive in traffic and park.
Vehicle Price: 189,925.00
*Estimated payments are for informational purposes only and don't account for acquisition fees, destination charges, tax, title, and other fees and incentives or represent a financing offer or guarantee of credit from the seller.
Equipment that may affect values (standard equipment is pre-selected):
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