Bentley Continental GTC V8 put to the test: Driving pleasure at 301 km/h
500 HP a top speed of 301 km/h – and yet so relaxed. The classy Brit fascinates more with its laid-back attitude than with brutal forward thrust.
There are cars that seem so aloof and arrogant that passers-by have difficulty openly expressing their interest. And there are cars that provide a sense of relaxed wonder, without any sense of envy – even if they are among some of the world's most expensive convertibles.
Bentley Continental GTC V8 with 500 HP
The open-top version of the Bentley Continental is one such car. Whether it is down to the Monaco-yellow paint or the so slimline yet opulent design, that even the heavily lined top cannot detract from? No idea. And there is no time to ask. The wasted minutes would be too much of a shame. For every metre driven in the Bentley is a pleasure. The 500 HP V8 gurgles quietly, the eight-speed transmission shifts through the gears with such consideration and the passengers snuggle into the leather that feels as though the cows that produced it were fed by hand.
And if it is ever required to go faster, the biturbo raises its threatening voice and thrusts the 2.5-tonne Bentley forwards with a force with which a 911 can barely keep up.
At first. Then oh dear, for up next comes a fast corner with a poor road surface. Then the entire front of the car trembles, the Bentley Continental requires a great deal of steering and understeers considerably – whether with all-wheel drive or not. A weight of 1.37 tonnes on the front axle alone cannot be disguised. After the second attempt to take corners at all sportily, you realise that you would be better off focussing on laid-back cruising, enjoying the gently tuned chassis.Criticism of minor details
The cockpit of the Bentley Continental also earns criticism: both the slightly cheap-looking plastic rocker switches on the steering wheel and the grainy sat nav display are not worthy of a convertible that costs almost 190,000 Euros. We request an upgrade. For Bentley drivers ought always to meet their cheerful fans with a cheerful expression.
AuthorMichael von Maydell
Date19 March 2015