2012 Bentley Continental GT Review

Extensive customization possibilities; sumptuous cabin; standard four-wheel drive system; potent engine.


Expensive; cramped back seats; heavy and most rivals handle better.


2012 Bentley Continental GT is an opportunity to set an exciting and bold direction for one of the most revered names of Bentley. This four-seater coupe builds on the success of its iconic predecessor, capturing that Grand Touring spirit but with even higher standards of engineering, design, craftsmanship, luxury, everyday practicality, refinement and dynamic performance. The marvelously sculptured new body provides the new Bentley Continental GT coupe a more defined, crisper appearance. The modern cabin provides new levels of hand-crafted luxury and cabin design, comfort. For example, the seats offer greater rear legroom and support, a sweeping dashboard even more style and modernity. The new touchscreen infotainment system gets Google Maps, entertainment and high-tech navigation, whereas the advanced Dirac Dimensions digital sound processing and Balanced Mode Radiator speaker technology deliver enhanced audio quality.
Although the company considers its 2012 Bentley Continental GT a new car, this year’s change is more of heavy update instead of full redesign. The strengths of this grand touring machine remain intact, as do some of its weaknesses. From the earliest days of Bentley, their vehicles have set new standards or benchmarks in automotive engineering and design. These vehicles took the GT rulebook and rewrote it. Now, at the start of a new decade, it has revealed their newest masterpiece, the new Continental GT, a striking coupe, which combines Bentley DNA with modern technology and contemporary design. The perfect fusion of handcrafted luxury and supercar performance ensures a remarkable, new Continental GT creates a revolution of its own. With Continental GT, the company was not prepared to make that compromise.  They knew it was just as significant to have somewhere to instantly stow your mobile phone, sunglasses, keys or other items, so you can remain relaxed, enjoy its sumptuous interior and comfortable.

The well-known haunch line, a crisp modern echo of the original 1950s R-Type Continental now has even sharper for creating unique surfaces providing a longer, more sporting and wider feel. These contemporary, sharp lines are only attainable as a result of new manufacturing technologies and design. It is only thanks to state-of-the-art facilities of Bentley’s and also its life-long commitment to producing coach built vehicles, which these exquisite details can be achieved. The new GT profile is as characteristic as ever. The imposing, classic matrix radiator grille has been provided a stronger feel, while the headlamps have been designed for incorporating beautiful jewellery effect. And at the back, unique wraparound lamps flawlessly incorporated into haunches of the car are distinguished by their signature floating LED lamps.

Reengineered for 2012, the styling updates of four-wheel drive Bentley Continental GT coupe includes double horseshoe rear profile, more upright matrix radiator grille, 20 inch aluminum wheels, all-new handcrafted interior and unique jeweled headlamps with LED daytime running lamps. Its redesigned, 6.0 liter flexible-fuel W12 engine is quite powerful and sends power through strengthened ZF six-speed automatic transmission with Quickshift steering wheel mounted gearshift paddles. The standard four-wheel-drive system’s power split now has 40:60 rear bias for a considerably more sporting feel in terms of mid-corner acceleration and handling. Continuous Damping Control constantly monitors its poise and attitude, adjusting the suspension settings hundreds of times a second for providing an increased control as speeds climb and extraordinarily supple ride at low speeds. The lightweight carbon ceramic brakes reduce brake fade and provide superior durability, while the brakes become less effective because of overheating in extremely demanding situations.

The Bentley Continental GT is basically a 2+2 two-door grand touring coupe introduced in the year 2003, replacing previous Rolls Royce based Continental T and R. The re-bodied Volkswagen Phaeton comes equipped with twin turbocharged 6.0 liter W12 engine that generates DIN-rated motive power output of 552 horsepower at 6,100 rpm with 650 newton meters of torque at 1,600-6,100 rpm. The Torsen-based full-time all-wheel drive is standard. It accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in 4.8 seconds, and go on to reach a top speed of 197.6 mph.

Like aging Hollywood star, the 2012 Bentley Continental GT has had slightly work done. Outside changes are subtle with most prominent upgrades being LED running lamps, which surround the headlamps and more pronounced trunk bustle. In addition to cosmetic work, the GT has also hit the gym for shedding 143 pounds and get slightly more athleticism. The latter comes from lighter suspension components, little increase in power from W12 turbocharged engine and widened rear and front tracks. The cabin inside features cool-touch metal switches and double-stitched leather along with redesigned design with combination of contemporary LCD readouts and conventional instruments. The eight-inch central touchscreen display is a welcome feature and shoppers can opt for classy Naim premium surround sound stereo system with 30GB of internal storage for digital music.

Many of drawbacks of 2012 Bentley Continental GT remain, which include portly 5115 pounds of curb weight and less than accommodating back seats. There are quite a lot of other models in the market, which offer more driving excitement at similar price, may feel slightly less special than Bentley and are arguably one of the most attractive vehicles amongst the bunch – Aston Martin DB9, Maserati GranTurismo, hopped-up AMG and Mercedes Benz CL600.

Variants, Body Types and Features

The 2012 Bentley Continental GT is a four-passenger premium luxury car, which is available in one very well-appointed trim level. Standard features include automatic xenon headlamps, 20-inch alloy wheels, heated outside mirrors, LED running lamps, a power trunk lid, front and rear parking sensors, a power tilt and telescoping steering column, power front heated 10-way seats with 4-way lumbar adjustment and memory functions, premium leather upholstery, dual-zone automatic climate control, Bluetooth and wood veneer trim. The standard 8-speaker stereo system includes satellite radio, a CD player, an iPod interface and 15GB of music storage. A navigation system with real time traffic and Google Map compatibility is also included.

Optional features on 2012 Bentley Continental GT include a Convenience Specification package, which offers a rearview camera, adaptive cruise control, a privacy phone handset in center armrest and a valet key. These items are also offered as standalone options, as are carbon ceramic brake rotors, 21-inch wheels, ventilated front seats with massage functions, a jewel fuel filler cap, a wood trimmed steering wheel, a veneer-matched removable case to hold personal effects, an Naim 11-speaker premium surround sound audio system, a six-CD/DVD changer and alloy pedals. The Mulliner Driving Specification package gains unique leather and interior trim and special 21-inch wheels.

Like all Bentleys, shoppers can choose from dizzying array of interior and exterior colors, stitching, embroidery, wood or metallic trim and piping. For extra particular, custom colors might also be specified – for a price of course.

What’s Beneath The Hood Of 2012 Bentley Continental GT?

Motivation for the redesigned 2012 Bentley Continental GT comes from a massive, brawny 6.0 liter W12 twin turbocharged engine, which is good for pulsating 567 horsepower with 516 pound feet of torque. The engine is mated to six-speed automatic transmission and the company claims it cuts shift times by 50% unlike last unit, allowing for dual downshifts. Its upgraded four-wheel drive system gets 40:60 rear torque bias to rear wheels for performance minded drivers. In performance testing, it accelerated from 0 to 60 miles per hour in the time range of 4.4 seconds with the top speed of 198mph. The rated fuel economy for GT is 19 mpg highway, 12 mpg city and 14 mpg in combined driving.

Safety and Reliability

Standard safety features on 2012 Bentley Continental GT include traction control, stability control, side airbags for all seats, driver knee airbags and antilock brakes with brake assist.

Special Features and Cockpit Design

Much like its exterior, the 2012 Bentley Continental GT’s interior changes might not be readily apparent from the previous model. The interior designers of the company have skillfully evolved its interior for producing an elegant yet cocooning space. Incredible attention to detail has gone into making the interior as refined and quiet as possible. The dashboard and instrument panel subtly echo the flying wings of Bentley motif. It also offers stunning new analogue dials, which flood at night with blood orange illumination and soft touch highest quality leathers. Chrome bezelled dials, ground-breaking removable storage case crafted from matching veneer and new touchscreen technology are housed within this dynamic cockpit area that rises from the centre console in the form of dramatically surfaced wings.

The unique cobra design seats launch the most recent body-supporting materials, for superior comfort. With state-of-the-art massage system and front seat ventilation, their improved ergonomics also means more legroom for rearseat occupants and their slim-line design offers easy access to the rear cabin. With host of beautiful secondary and main leather hide options, engine spun metal fascias, exterior paint colors including remarkable new Liquid Mercury finishes and Extreme Silver and veneers, the world of choice when it comes to creating your new Continental GT is magnificent.

Driving Impressions

With increases in torque, fuel efficiency and power, the engine of 2012 Bentley Continental GT is well-known as one of the most technically advanced of its kind. Engineered in a distinctive ‘W’ configuration, it is one of the most compact 12-cylinder engines in the world, which is capable of running on latest environmentally sustainable bio-fuels with its advanced Flexfuel technology, enabling it to run flawlessly on bioethanol (E85), gasoline or any combination of the two.

With 40:60 split power ratio, the Continental GT feels even more controllable cornering and more poised for action. It is even faster as compared to previous model with power output raised to an immense 567 horsepower and 516 pound feet of torque. In tandem with new six-speed Quickshift transmission, gear change times are reduced by 50%.

The 2012 Bentley Continental GT is a fine example of the company’s engineers’ determination for creating an ultimate Grand Tourer. Its low-sprung, wide appearance is more than just for looks, while its width means it sits aggressively low to the road. State-of-the-art suspension with Intelligent Continuous Damping Control constantly monitors its poise and attitude. Adjusting the suspension settings hundreds of times a second for increased control as your speed climbs and delivering supple ride at low speeds.

Four-wheel drive system isn’t simply about providing superb traction for higher performance; but also for ensuring greater safety in all weather situations. The advanced system can instantly adjust the power split between rear and front wheels depending on the available grip. Besides, the uprated Electronic Stability Control system operates alongside the four-wheel drive system for delivering superb reassurance whatever your driving style.

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