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MOTORING

2019 Bentley Continental GT review

Words by Nathan Irvine

Driving perfection?

"Don't worry, sir..." the valet at The Atlantis whispers "I will make sure your car is put in the special VIP area". Of all the times I've used valet parking in Dubai  - whether it's a ridiculously fast supercar or my own, erm, Ford EcoSport - I've never heard this uttered. But then the 2019 Bentley Continental GT isn't just any other car.

Hand-crafted under the perennially grey skies of Crewe in the north of England, each vehicle is built with the keen-eyed expertise that has elevated Bentley above its competition. And this, the third generation of the Continental GT - is no exception.

From VVIP parking spots to other vehicles giving you a wide-berth on Dubai's highways and byways, this is a car that demands respect.

Unlike the camels, you won't get the - ahem - hump driving this.

Specifications

Engine

6.0l twin-turbo W12 TSI

Power

626bhp at 6,000rpm

Torque

900Nm at 1,350-4,500rpm

Transmission

8-speed automatic

0-100 kmh

3.7 seconds

Top Speed

333kmh

Price

AED 1,650,000

Interior

Everything inside the spacious 2019 Bentley Continental GT oozes class, but thankfully not at the expense of comfort. Take the high-quality red leather that's stitched around everywhere. It's soft to the touch, looks great - especially in deep red - and provides supreme snugness.

Whenever I was behind the wheel I'd find something new to be in awe of with the interior. Bentley combines contemporary gadgets and looks with classic car dials and finishes and the results are amazing. The old-school steel knobs that control the AC air flow blend seamlessly with the Bentley's largest ever, cutting-edge touchscreen.

My favourite thing with in the 2019 Continental GT is the way the touchscreen rolls back and reveals three traditional dials such as a compass. It's got a spy car aesthetic, and it's guaranteed to be the first thing you show new passengers.

A special mention must be made to Bang & Olufsen. The integrated sound system it has created delivers exceptional sound quality, even over the growls of that 6.0l twin-turbocharged engine. Oh, and the interior mood lighting can be tinkered to your preference too. It's the little things, people.

In Pictures. 2019 Bentley Continental GT

Photos.

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The dials swivel to reveal a hi-tech screen.

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The dials swivel to reveal a hi-tech screen.

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From all angles, it's picture perfect.

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The luxury, hand-stitched leather is outstanding.

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The luxury, hand-stitched leather is outstanding.

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All in the details.

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Bentley has really gone all out with this Continental GT.

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Bentley has really gone all out with this Continental GT.

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flourishes are applied everywhere you look.

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It's one beast of a vehicle.

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It's one beast of a vehicle.

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Even creeping at slow speeds through traffic, it feels great.

Exterior

Bentley's unmistakable curves are in full effect here, which creates a jaw-dropping look. I came out of a coffee shop to find a group of grinning people taking their pictures next to it. Again, this isn't something I've experienced with a test drive vehicle before.

Although Bentley is known for its design elegance, it's the company's racing roots that show through here. It's those subtle lines that shoot from the front to back, wide wheel-arches and spoiler that lifts and drops on command that adds aggression to the 2019 Bentley Continental GT looks.

Drive

Bentley give you the full, unfiltered grand tourer treatment with the latest Continental. The ride is extremely responsive thanks to electric steering, which allows for feedback by the millisecond so you always feel in control.

You get four types of driving mode: Comfort, Sport, Custom, and Bentley. Consider the last one as how the engineers would prefer you to drive it, and who am I to argue with Bentley's experts.

It's the mode I spent the most time in as it feels completely balanced, but a little hairy if you still fancy going fast. Sport is meant for the track, and of the few times I dared to press it I was impressed by the growls and pops from the engine. But I really didn't need to hit warp speed on the way to the mall.

Another adjustment you can make is with ride height. Sure, it's supposed to be used to tweak the overall handling of the car, but I found it incredibly comforting to know I could lift it for more clearance over pesky speed bumps.

On red alert for this superb interior.

Overall

Here's the truth: I tried my hardest to find something I didn't like about the 2019 Bentley Continental GT. I was searching for something objective to put in here. Anything. But apart from the microscopic legroom for rear passengers - and let's be honest, you don't buy a car like this to become a taxi service - I couldn't find a thing I didn't like.

What constitutes perfection will always come down to personal preference, but for me this car is extremely close to it.

If you have the disposable income to afford a 2019 Bentley Continental GT then getting one is a no-brainer. The level of luxury and feeling of excitement when behind the wheel is almost unparalleled. And that VIP valet parking experience is almost worth the price tag alone.

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