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Bentley Continental GT: First drive report

Bentley Continental GT

Interesting first drive report here with the Bentley Continental GT.

Despite boasting all-new sheetmetal thanks in part to its “Superformed” aluminum fenders, hood and trunk lid, the 2011 Continental GT is clearly a measured update of the outgoing car. This has been done on purpose, as the exit car’s fluid styling was arguably the single attribute that owners most wanted to protect. To that end, Bentley’s designers have done a bang-up job subtly but completely reworking the coupe’s shape without corrupting the original’s design’s ethos.

Admittedly, much of the GT’s predecessor’s organic Rubenesque form has given way to crisper edges, and with a 41 mm wider track at the front and 48 mm wider rump, the car definitely looks broader and a bit flatter – especially with its more vertical grille. We have to admit that the GT’s changes didn’t strike us as terribly attractive when we first saw early photos of the car, but upon viewing it in the metal under Oman’s harshly omnipresent sun, it’s quite handsome and markedly more aggressive than its predecessor. We’re still not quite sold on the ‘bigs and littles’ headlight treatment – particularly when viewed from certain off-center angles – but it’s still a good-looking piece, and with a smoother underbelly, it looks better to the wind, too, registering a cD of .33. Overall, despite a wholesale change in sheetmetal, there’s no mistaking this for anything but a Continental.