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2017 Bentley Continental

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2017 Bentley Continental Expert Review

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An all-wheel-drive supercar that seats four, the 2017 Bentley Continental GT, which is available as a Coupe or Convertible, offers world-class performance, handcrafted luxury and timeless style. Either body style is available with a twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 or a boosted 12-cylinder producing up to 700 horsepower in the Supersports model. In that trim, the coupe can accelerate from 0-60 mph in just 3.4 seconds and blast to an incredible 209-mph top speed. That makes it the world’s fastest 4-seater, outrunning its many rivals including the Aston Martin DB9/Vanquish, Ferrari F12berlinetta and Rolls-Royce Wraith. Four other trim levels are available, V8, V8 S and the 12-cylinder GT and GT Speed with prices starting around $200,000 for a V8 Coupe with 500 horsepower.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you’re looking for a very comfortable, very luxurious grand tourer with massive amounts of horsepower, all-wheel-drive wet-weather traction, a back seat for the kids, a 200-mph top speed, on-board Wi-Fi, a jeweled fuel-filler cap, and a sublime silhouette, you’ll like the 2017 Bentley Continental.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If green is your thing, Elon Musk is your God and you’ve had it with constant trips to the gas station, you may not like the new Continental GT. No hybrid or electric variant is offered, and with EPA ratings as low as 12-mpg city it defines "gas guzzler."

How It Ranks
What's New for 2017

The 700-horsepower Continental Supersports is a new trim level for 2017. Available on both the Coupe and Convertible, it’s a high-performance W12-powered variant that slots above the Speed models in the lineup. It’s also the world’s fastest 4-seater with a 209-mph top speed. Prices start about $300,000.

Driving the Continental
Driving Impressions

Despite curb weights running from 5,060 to 5,501 pounds, the entire 2017 Continental GT lineup merits dynamic kudos thanks to a superb balance of power, comfort and control. Potent turbocharged...

... V8 and W12 engines packing 500 to 700 horsepower make these Bentleys exhilaratingly quick, while a well-sorted all-wheel-drive system that’s fitted across the range imparts a confident feel even when you’re pressing through challenging twisty bits or running hard on the highway in the rain. Standard air suspension with continuous damper control allows the four discrete levels of chassis tuning, although the lower-riding GT V8 S, GT Speed and Supersports set themselves apart with tauter Sport programming in place of the baseline Touring spec to deliver a more enthusiast-grade feel. Regardless of model, spending time in the stylish, finely finished and superbly isolated interior of any Continental GT can make even the most mundane errand-running mission a memorable experience.

TWIN-TURBOCHARGED V8 ENGINE
The Continental’s delicious twin-turbocharged 12-cylinder makes more power and grabs all the headlines, but its twin-turbo V8 is just as sweet. In the V8 S, the smooth 4.0-liter makes 521 horsepower, over 500 lb-ft of torque and delivers a savory and succulent V8 rumble the 12-cylinder cannot compete with.

FRONT SEATS WITH MASSAGE AND NECK WARMERS
Continental Convertible buyers should enjoy the optional seat-massage system which will vigorously walk on your back after a long day at the office. A vent in the seat also allows a neck-warmer to blow warm air right where you need it during those cool evenings with the top down.

2017 Bentley Continental Details
Interior

Like all Bentley vehicles, the handcrafted cabin of the new Continental GT family is a strikingly sensual environment that deftly melds rich leather with a variety of fine wood and alloy accent elements, whether in Coupe form or Convertible crowned with a one-touch fully-lined power soft-top. Updated instrument graphics and more user-friendly controls add new charm to the realm from a driver’s standpoint, and revised model-specific upholstery patterns bring greater visual distinction. Extremely supportive full-power front buckets are matched with individual rear seats that while comfortable in their own right, are better suited to carrying kids than full-size adults.

Exterior
2017 Bentley Continental photo

Bentley Continentals have defined stately elegance with attitude since the name was introduced in 1952. And today’s Continental continues the bloodline with muscular shapes and beautifully bold contours that reach back to that original model from 65 years ago. It’s undeniably Bentley with undeniable presence, managing to be dignified, sophisticated and swank all at the same time. Last year’s mild redesign added a smaller grille, edgier front fenders and an aggressive front spoiler. Convertibles manage to look great top up or down, and the Supersports coupe wears carbon-fiber trim and an oversized rear spoiler for additional high-speed stability.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The Continental GT family complements its model-range-specific premium leather/wood/aluminum cabin trim elements with a full array of comfort/convenience touches and power assists -- including a rearview camera and hands-free trunk activation. Even the base GT V8 models feature an 8-speaker premium sound system, an 8.0-inch touch screen with navigation, Bluetooth phone/streaming audio, 20-inch wheels and LED-infused bi-xenon headlights. Moving up to the W12 GT, Speed and Supersports variants adds the more potent 12-cylinder engine and 21-inch alloy wheels while the latter models also come with Mulliner Driving Specification quilted-leather upholstery. Convertibles get a power-operated top and standard heated seats.

Optional Equipment

In addition to the near-endless selection of unique touches available through Bentley’s Mulliner operation and the Naim premium audio system, Bentley offers upgrades like ventilated front seats with massage, deep-pile carpets and mats, a sport steering wheel, adaptive cruise control, massive carbon-ceramic brakes and 21-inch alloy wheels. On-board Wi-Fi is also available. Convertible buyers should enjoy the optional heated steering wheel, wind deflector and integrated neck warmers, which blow warm air through a vent in the seat to fight off chill on those top-down evenings. And don’t forget to spec out your jewel gas- and oil-filler caps.

Under the Hood

The Continental GT family offers sophisticated direct-injected V8 and W12 engines in several flavors, both featuring twin turbocharging that helps keep 0-60-mph times at or below six seconds across the entire lineup. The base 4.0-liter in the Continental GT V8 makes a solid 500 horsepower while the GT V8 S-spec engine cranks out 521 ponies. Now making 582 horses the 6.0-liter 12-cylinder in the W12 GT also gets a new cylinder-deactivation system that improves its combined fuel economy. The W12 in the Continental GT Speed cranks out an exhilarating 633 horses, while the W12 in the range-topping Supersports makes 700 horsepower and 750 lb-ft of torque. All engines are backed by a paddle-shiftable 8-speed automatic transmission and grip the road with all-wheel drive.

4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8
500 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
487 lb-ft of torque @ 1,700 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 14/24 mpg (Convertible), 15/25 mpg (Coupe)

4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8
521 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
502 lb-ft of torque @ 1,700 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 14/24 mpg (Convertible), 15/25 mpg (Coupe)

6.0-liter twin-turbocharged W12
582 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
531 lb-ft of torque @ 1,700 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 12/20 mpg (Convertible), 12/21 mpg (Coupe)

6.0-liter twin-turbocharged W12
633 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
620 lb-ft of torque @ 2,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 12/20 mpg (Convertible), 12/21 mpg (Coupe)

6.0-liter twin-turbocharged W12
700 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
750 lb-ft of torque @ 2,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: N/A

Note: Due to changes in EPA testing to more effectively reflect real-world conditions, some 2017 models show slightly lower fuel-economy scores than their 2016 versions.

The 2017 Continental GT V8 Coupe has a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) around $200,000, with the Convertible about $20K more. A GT V8 S Coupe and Convertible begin around $215,000 and $235,500, respectively, while the GT W12 is a bit over $216,000, and the GT Speed Coupe and Convertible commence around $241,000 and $266,000. The 700-horsepower Supersports model is about $300,000 for the coupe and $333,000 for the convertible. Bentley’s extensive personalization programs can add considerably to those numbers, and while KBB hasn’t set fair purchase prices for any Continental variant, full retail represents a good starting point. By comparison, an Aston Martin DB9 opens just over $202,000, the Vanquish Coupe commands nearly $290,000 and the Volante Convertible about $307,000 while the coupe-only V12-powered Ferrari F12berlinetta and Rolls-Royce Wraith begin around $327,500 and $298,000, respectively. Although less exclusive, the Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupe starts around $113,000.

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