Ask anyone in Austria about the best road where you can put your driving skills on test and enjoy a breathtaking view at the same time and the answer would be the The Grossglockner High Alpine Road. It is the highest surfaced mountain pass road in Austria with an elevation of 2,504 m and provides a beautiful view of the Alpine divide. In the automotive business, if you are invited to test drive on this particular road and that too, the all-new Bentley Continental GT, you just can’t deny the offer. This first drive review highlights our road trip from Austria to Italy and finally reaching Germany with the all-new 2019 Bentley Continental GT.
It’s 9 am and we are starting our day in Austria. The plan is to have breakfast in Austria, then drive to Italy for lunch and then take a flight to Germany for dinner. Talking about the Bentley Continental GT, the grand tourer was first introduced in 2003 to appeal to the rich clientele. Fast-forward to 2017, the all-new 2019 Bentley Continental GT was revealed at the Frankfurt Motor Show and is definitely better and powerful than its predecessor.
We were fortunate to get the orange color, which looked awesome under the shiny sun. Moreover, the ample illumination from the skies allowed us to examine the smooth aerodynamic shape. We couldn’t help but notice that the sharp design of the new Bentley Continental GT is based on the EXP 10 Speed 6 and differs largely from its older sibling. The previous model had a box-like structure, which in no way was unbecoming, but the new simply looks a lot better. Since, it was early morning when we set out on or journey, we couldn’t test the potency of the Bentley headlights, which are a sight to behold.
After having a more than adequate fan-girl moment with the car, we head out on our way to a roadside café for breakfast. While we were absorbing the details of the opulent interior, quite a few heads were turning outside as people admired the car in all its glory. The interior is riddled with various types of leather, wood accents and sparkly chrome, giving a pleasant and sumptuous appeal.
After we were done with breakfast and had grabbed a few snacks for the road, we drove straight towards Italy.
The Continental GT is great for a long drive, since the seats are electronically adjustable, it makes finding the comfy position much easier and the quilt like feel is certainly a deal-maker.
Normally people get bored on a road trip, but not us, because we had a 12.3-inch infotainment screen to enjoy our favorite tunes. Helping the entertainment system were Naim 2200W 18-speaker system, which are the best out of the three options Bentley offers in the Continental GT. There were two more screens, seamlessly put together, which created an illusion that all three were joined together as one. The other two panels showed a compass, so we don’t get lost on our way, an outside temperature gauge and a clock to keep track of time.
Reaching Italy from Austria takes time, but even after accumulating for all the fuel stops and breaks along the way, we made it to Italy just in time for lunch! This could easily have been more if the Continental GT didn’t boast a highway fuel economy of 8.19 kmpl thanks to its cylinder deactivation technology, which transforms the 12-cylinder engine in to a 6-cylinders. When power was needed the engine responded equally well by activating all 12 of the available cylinders. We made lesser stops for fuel and that’s always a plus while on a road trip.
The engine kept on impressing and we could not stop singing praises for the engine. The 6.0-litre W12 gasoline engine makes 635 PS of power and 900Nm of torque, while being paired with an 8-speed dual-clutch transmission. It reacts in a blink of an eye, or more appropriately with a press on the throttle, taking the car from 0 -100 kmh in a paltry 3.7 seconds. We could have shortened the time further by accelerating the car to its top speed of 333 kmph, but that was neither safe nor possible due to the twists and turns of the road. Plus, it is much more enjoyable to delve in the magnificence of countryside Europe by driving at a moderate pace rather than rushing through the scenery experiencing only blurry lines outside.
Unfortunately, along our route, there was repair work being done, and we had to take a detour. The detour depicted a road well suited for an off-roader SUV, but since we only had the Continental GT, it had to suffice. And boy it did not disappoint. The folks at Bentley have fitted the new Continental GT with a brand-new suspension system, consisting of sophisticated air-suspension, better front and rear axle, adaptive dampers and anti-roll bars to ensure a comfortable experience even on the toughest surfaces. Furthermore, there is a new all-wheel driving system supporting the torque received from the huge engine. However, that is only when the situation become demanding, in normal cases all power goes straight to the rear wheels.
We made it to Italy had our lunch and said our goodbyes to the awesome car. After that we got on a plane for Munich where we had our dinner. While on the airplane, we were feeling really nostalgic and sad, since the Continental experience was over, but excited as we had had the experience of a lifetime. If you are thinking of a road trip in Europe or in fact anywhere, the Bentley Continental GT is your car. It has the best of both worlds with its sport and luxury features. The plane taking off reminded us of the demonic acceleration of the Bentley. There was literally no difference between how a plane accelerates and how the Continental shoots off towards is impressive top speed.
There is nothing to hate about the Grand Tourer except the fact that it costs a fortune. So, save up on your kidneys folks!