Words like sleek and gorgeous don’t even do the new 2019 justice. It is absolutely stunning.
The all-new third-generation model took its official bow this week at the Frankfurt Auto Show and not even previously released spy shots or concept photos could prepare us for the grand spectacle that it is. The new GT is sleeker, longer and lower to the ground with a more athletic stance, as well as 176 pounds lighter than the outgoing model.
There are so many interesting facets to this two-door Grand Tourer that first arrived in 2003, it’s hard to know where to start. One is how Bentley actually molded the exterior. Engineers used an aerospace “Super Formed” technique which requires heating aluminum to nearly 1,000 degrees and using air pressure to mold the sculpted body panels. Bentley engineers say it’s pricey and time-consuming, as we can well imagine.
The European model features the latest LED Matrix technology, which isn’t legal in the U.S. yet. So we’ll have to make do with just the new design of the headlights that were inspired by the “finest cut-crystal glasses” with edges designed that to catch the light like a diamond. The 21-inch wheels are a definite statement.
The cabin is filled with leather, chrome, and wood. (Bentley says 107 feet of wood will be used on each interior.) You’ll sit in luxurious 20-way power adjustable seats. The inside also features a new “diamond in diamond” quilt pattern that took 18 months alone to design. Each diamond shape has 712 stitches.
What’s perhaps the most unexpected cabin feature is a new rotating display on the dash. When you push the ignition, wood glides away to reveal Bentley’s largest ever 12.3-inch touchscreen housed in a three-sided unit, which revolves the veneer to reveal the touchscreen as well as three elegant analog dials.
Bentley also says the new GT is quieter thanks to the use of laminated acoustic glass. So it makes listening to either the 10-, 16-, or 18-speaker sound system more enjoyable. Oh, and while it offers Apple CarPlay there is no mention of Android Auto.
As for power, the new Continental GT delivers it and then some. It has Bentley’s famed 6.0-liter W12 under the hood. Borrowed from the Bentayga, it’s been enhanced to deliver 626 horses and 664 pound-feet of torque. Combine that with a new all-wheel drive system and it will hit zero to 62 mph in 3.6 seconds. It’s all mated to an 8-speed gearbox.
The Continental GT is available to order now in 17 standard colors with deliveries starting in the second quarter of next year. The outgoing model is priced around $200,000.
Bentley says it’s working on a future hybrid version.