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PULSERACER

Published: Thursday, November 02, 2017   English | العربية  



By Irwin B Fletcher

LIFE IS A HIGHWAY SO THEY SAY – AND IF YOU MUST DRIVE IT ALL NIGHT LONG, YOU MIGHT AS WELL DO IT IN THE FASTEST BENTLEY EVER BUILT

I f you’re behind the wheel of a Bentley, then you are probably a person who doesn’t wait in line outside of a busy restaurant or a red carpet event. You are used to the best and want nothing less. Bentley is truly in the elite category of the best of the best, and for those regularly needing a thrill in their life, the Continental GT Speed is the Bentley for you.

The GT Speed is unlike the Flying Spur or Mulsanne as it comes in a sporty 2-door Coupe rather than a 4-door Saloon. The small but sporty difference will appeal to the younger generation who haven’t conceded to the chauffeured lifestyle as of yet. The contours are smooth and sporty. The front grill is unmistakably Bentley. And with the integrated rear spoiler, sub-carriage diffuser, and model designation of ‘Speed’, you can be sure that it’s just as fast as it looks.

THE INSIDE STORY

Inside the cabin you will instantly feel that this is a Bentley made for the driver. Luxury and dynamism exist side by side to lure you into a car that is simply amazing to sit in. The leather side panels and diamond quilted seats is where the leather aspects only begin. The astonishing 45 square metres of leather is wrapped across nearly every surface and with such a handcrafted feel and seemingly endless bespoke colour choices, it’s diffcult to ever contemplate any other interior option.

Not a leather person and want something earthier? Not a problem. Ethically chosen veneers can literally encircle you. The visible grains of the wood are mirror-matched and placed on opposite sides of the cabin to ensure the entire space remains symmetrical.

However, if you like something more edgy, there is an option beyond handcrafted wood or leather. “Engine Spin’ aluminium can be selected or even carbon fbre to let the life of a ‘track car’ slip into the mix.

The steering wheel has a sport feel to it with larger than normal paddle shifters for more control when in manual mode and the seat fluting is thinner than it once was, which kind of streamlines everything before you ever set off on the highway.

PERFORMANCE PROWESS The GT Speed has the largest engine in the Bentley arsenal. The 6.0 litre, twin turbocharged W12 brings with it 635 horse-power and torque climbs to 820 Newton metres, which is 100 more than you get in the regular W12. With those kinds of numbers rolling about, the results are some pretty crazy fgures.

The GT Speed will propel you from zero to 100kph in an astonishing 4.2 seconds – put another 5 seconds on top of that and you’re reaching 160kph without breaking any kind of sweat. But here’s the impressive bit, top speed is a mouth-gaping 331 kilometres per hour. While you’re on everyday roads,

those numbers are simply diffcult to appreciate or even comprehend; who really thinks that 331 kilometres per hour is necessary if you’re not in an airplane? When you get behind the wheel of the GT Speed you will be surprised to hear yourself thinking: “I do.”

From one moment of peace and tranquility, the simple action of planting your right foot to the floor nearly instantaneously pins you to the back of your seat as the speedometer slowly passes one triple digit number after the next. Which means that you’ll be hardpressed to be trapped behind anybody moving slower than you ever again. The reason behind this thrilling sensation lies in the variable displacement system that is able to cut the number of cylinders from 12 to six when the full power of the engine is not needed. However, the moment that the throttle is opened again, they reactivate automatically with a fury.

The need to pay attention in the GT Speed is instantly apparent. Should you fall into the thrill of exhilaration you’ll forget that you have moved into some very illegal speed and the speed cameras around the UAE will remind you of that.

You could also have a false sense of security and come hurdling into a curve slightly faster than what you have intended, but with the power split 40:60 front to rear of the all-wheel drive system, you’ll maintain control via the throttle when it comes to the car’s balance and handling in the curves.

MAKE YOUR ESCAPE So with all this in mind, does it mean that you should just grab the keys and set out on the open road? Absolutely. Spontaneity is a luxury that most of us do not have access to on a regular basis, or only to some degree. But if you have the means to escape at a moment’s notice there is no better grand tourer than the Continental GT. With the new updates to the sleek styling and unprecedented amount of bespoke new interior options that will allow you the pleasure of coddling comfort, reaching for the keys for a weekend drive has never been easier
 
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