Bentley Motors stands bestride the outdated world and the fashionable period. For over a century, the automaker has been on the forefront of automotive luxurious and efficiency, and whereas it has continuously tailored to vary in the course of the years, basic, tactile coachbuilding has at all times remained as its ethos.
This romantic view of automotive manufacturing appears virtually at odds with our present stage of technological development and the calls for of the fashionable luxurious client.
If Bentley has mastered something, it’s rolling with the instances whereas sticking to the basic hits. The very best instance of that is the 2022 Bentley Continental GT Velocity, a robust two-door grand tourer that’s merely in contrast to another automobile on the street at the moment.
Nuts and bolts
The Bentley Continental GT is the two-door sibling to the four-door Bentley Continental Flying Spur sedan. Although they share many components, the GT is way more than a halved model of the bigger automobile, and distinguishes itself in design and efficiency, amongst different components.
The centerpiece of the GT is a 6.0-liter twin-turbo W12 engine, a large energy unit that could be a distinctive outlier on this period of shrinking (or certainly vanishing) engines. This signature system produces 650 horsepower for the Velocity, a 24 hp bump from the usual Conti GT W12. It doles out a powerful 664 pound-feet of torque and is shipped via a dual-clutch eight-speed computerized gearbox.
Energy is shipped via all 4 wheels whereas an enhanced chassis system places all of it to make use of.
“Our chassis engineers have an unbelievable array of know-how at their disposal, to offer the automobile real duality in journey and dealing with, and managed by the driving force utilizing Drive Dynamics Management,” Mike Sayer, Head of Product Communications for Bentley Motors Ltd. advised TechCrunch. “To allow the chassis to be diversified, we make the most of three-chamber air springs, which permit three distinct spring stiffnesses. In Sport mode, a single chamber in every air spring is utilized, offering a excessive spring stiffness. In Consolation, solenoid valves convey all three chambers into play, at a low strain, offering a softer spring. To this we then add Bentley Dynamic Journey — our 48V electrical anti-roll management.”
This iteration of the Velocity brings some new tech to the GT for the primary time, particularly an digital rear differential and rear-wheel steering.
For the E-diff, this distributes torque throughout the rear angle to offer it stability and management throughout turn-in when driving in a sporty method. Rear-wheel steering was first utilized to the Flying Spur to offer the full-sized luxurious four-door a tighter turning radius in addition to enhanced stability at pace. On the GT Velocity, it’s meant to offer the two-door sharper turning and is much extra energetic on this automobile than on the sedan.
All advised, the over-5,000-pound GT can sail at as much as 208 mph, rocketing off the road in simply 3.5 seconds, one thing vehicles with no cruise ship’s value of luxurious accouterments wrestle to realize.
Bentley sprinkles in tech
Throughout the Continental GT Velocity is a fastidiously crafted inside that has been a signature aspect of Bentley autos.
A considerable sum of the automobile’s meeting is by hand, and whereas there are some automated duties, there are only a few components that don’t obtain consideration from a grasp craftsperson. The inside is replete with premium leather-based and actual wooden surfaces that vary from burr walnut to uncommon, naturally-felled redwood.
Seat components and the steering wheel are all hand-stitched, and the hefty metallic switches are scored with diamond-pattern knurling.
“The knurling that’s used on the principle rotary controls took 18 months to develop, and concerned the creation of an algorithm to precisely describe the best way the sides of the knurling are angled,’” added Sayer, highlighting the diploma of focus given to each element. This ornate, meticulously-built inside is the setting for a excessive diploma of contemporary know-how, and but it’s all very properly built-in.
A 12.3-inch touchscreen might be discovered within the middle of the dashboard, as a contemporary luxurious automobile purchaser would anticipate, and it performs the standard capabilities. It’s the supply for navigation and leisure, in addition to the interface for a number of automobile capabilities. Drivers can customise their most well-liked throttle and steering settings, elevate the suspension for a couple of inches of additional clearance and entry the total driver’s guide if want be.
That is paired with an all-digital gauge cluster that may also be custom-made to reflect a lot of the identical info displayed on the touchscreen. There’s even a heat-based evening imaginative and prescient possibility that highlights the realm in entrance of the automobile for enhanced evening driving. This technique additionally has built-in pedestrian recognition, so any individuals encountered within the evening are highlighted by a crimson field.
The high-resolution screens function graphics styled to mitigate their juxtaposition towards all the tangible craftsmanship.
“The design of the graphics of these gauges was topic to the identical consideration to element as bodily parts,”mentioned Sayer. “Past that, our ethos contains retaining bodily, haptic buttons and rotary controls in lieu of a number of touchscreens.”
In case it’s nonetheless an excessive amount of tech to tolerate, the display screen tumbles away into the panel and is changed with three analog gauges; a clock, compass and air temp monitor. A contact of in-car gadgetry theater? Maybe, however one other means of taking a look at it’s future-proofing the inside of a automobile in a means. Aesthetically talking, the remainder of the cabin will age much better than the show will, and having a way to tuck it out of sight matches the accommodating nature of this luxurious grand tourer.
Seated on the wheel of the GT Velocity is usually a little dazzling at first as a result of glitzy chrome and polished veneer, however it’s fast to exhibit how driver targeted it’s from the second of ignition.
Assists similar to a head-up show and site visitors signal recognition are available to enhance situational consciousness, and on lengthy journeys, lane preserve help and adaptive cruise management relieve a few of the burden. Handy, although the GT Velocity is most rewarding when totally engaged.
The W12 engine is blustery and sonorous when its observe rumbles out the again of the exhaust. Stepping on the throttle feels and seems like accelerating within the single-engined fighter planes that the GT Velocity shares a lineage with. That’s so far as the similarities go as a result of every little thing else past is much from antiquated. Energy supply is easy but forceful, and there’s fairly a methods to go earlier than experiencing any drop-off, although reaching that time requires a size of unrestricted freeway.
In that regard, the GT Velocity mirrors the Flying Spur in that it feels heavy and grounded like a steam locomotive, and when it’s time to take a pointy nook, this results in an amazing diploma of hesitation. Muster up some belief and bravado, although, and the GT Velocity is surprisingly dynamic.
The automobile is at its finest in these moments when a windy again street presents itself. Its measurement and weight are nonetheless palpable, however the energetic tech in play permit the Bentley to spherical corners with confidence. The enjoyment diminishes when issues get more and more difficult, nevertheless, and all of the physics-warping engineering can’t disguise the automobile’s heft. It’s in these moments the place you make a psychological observe to return with one thing smaller and extra spry.
Regardless if it’s in sport or consolation, the pace at which the GT’s dual-clutch transmission fires via gears is close to seamless, giving spirited drivers the ability they want and cruising ones a contact extra serenity. On the freeway or as a each day driver, the GT Velocity doesn’t put one foot incorrect, making the over $274,000 price ticket really feel value it. One would hope, not less than.
From a competitor standpoint, the GT Velocity does stand largely by itself, not due to an absence of sporty luxurious coupes, however because of how uniquely it executes the identical mission. Section stalwarts BMW and Mercedes-Benz can’t rightly match the extent of lavishness and exclusivity that the Bentley supplies, so something equally dynamic would nonetheless be lesser. By way of dealing with and energy, the AMG S63 Coupe comes shut and at a comparatively decrease beginning worth ($173,100), however although it’s in the identical weight class, the Continental GT Velocity merely does it higher.
For a real contender, its not-too-distant cousin, the Rolls Royce Wraith is the closest match. Past its equally stacked luxurious pedigree and exclusivity, the Wraith sports activities its personal whopper of an influence unit, a 624-horsepower 6.6-liter V12. This two-door grand tourer has an equally staggering $300,000 price ticket and might pull off related methods that the GT Velocity can when it comes to acceleration and cruising smoothness.
As with something, the long run is unsure for a way Bentley plans to proceed this union of outdated and new. Because the previous has confirmed, it’s planning forward.
“Firstly, the product vary will probably be hybridized — we’ve already launched hybrid variations of the Bentayga and Flying Spur, and the Continental household will comply with. We’ll then launch the primary Bentley BEV in 2025, forward of Bentley being an electric-only model by 2030,” Sayer said.
For now, we nonetheless have the Bentley Continental GT Velocity, a near-anachronistic luxurious powerhouse that units the usual in its phase whereas marching to the beat of its personal thumping 12 cylinder engine. Its the end result of Bentley’s dogged adherence to sticking to what they do finest whereas nonetheless being versatile sufficient to bend with the winds of change.