At Foreign Affairs Motorsport we are proud to have specialized in maintaining and tuning your exotic foreign sports car for over thirty years. No job is too large or small for our competent ASE team and we will always advise you out of our experience. We’d like to take this opportunity to thank you for your dedicated support of our Pompano Beach shop and at the same time share something new that we are pretty excited about.
The Bentley Continental GT
The Bentley Continental First Edition is finally available stateside after being announced on the other side of the pond earlier this year. We are proud to add the marque to the list of cars we maintain, modify and love at Foreign Affairs Motorsport. The Continental comes from a long lineage based on Bentley’s experience with auto enthusiasts bent on finding that sweet spot between the ultimate luxury of a Rolls Royce coupled with the performance of more sporty marques.
We believe that with this auto they have truly managed to achieve an extraordinary combination of luxury and performance and we’re going to tell you why.
W-12 Compact Engine
Bentley is owned by the Volkswagen Group, and as such comes from the same stable as Porsche and Audi, but with a few key differences. Each car is handmade starting from the same platform as the Porsche Panamera. Bentley has always been known for it’s large innovative power plants (they were one of the first companies to start using aluminum pistons,) and the Continental is no exception. Under the hood is a twin-turbocharged 6-liter W-12 engine (basically two blocks of three pistons offset by a narrow-angle). This combines to give 626 horsepower with 664 lb-ft of torque. While being more powerful, the new motor also manages to be lighter than its predecessor. I know what you are thinking, huge engine, lots of cylinders, thirsty for gas.
Surprisingly not. This is possibly one of the most advanced large engines available on the market. It has both high-pressure direct injection and port injections systems. Depending on the driving conditions, the engine management computer chooses the most efficient form of injection and it automatically disables banks of cylinders when they are not needed. All this amounts to a combined cycle efficiency of 23.2 miles per gallon while producing some of the lowest carbon dioxide figures for its class. Rest assured though, the moment you want it, the full power of the beast is available on tap. I could discuss the technical ramifications of the engine all day, but we haven’t even gotten to the rest of the car yet.
Transmission, Suspension, and Braking
This beautiful motor would be hampered if it weren’t connected to anything less than the superb eight-speed DSG/PDK derivative dual-clutch transmission. This ensures a lightning-fast gear change in sport mode, or if you’d rather take control yourself, you can use the paddle shifters on the perfectly proportioned steering wheel. All this adds up to a 0 to 60 time of 3.6 seconds. For a vehicle weighing over 5,000 pounds, this is beyond quick.
Serious performance requires serious stopping power and the Bentley is equipped with huge 10-piston calipers in front and 4-piston calipers in the rear actuating on massive ventilated discs. Understated rotors and black painted calipers illustrate Bentley’s quintessential condescension to the boy racer.
The air suspension comes directly from the Bentayga, using a 48-volt control system and comprising of active anti-roll bars and three-chambered air springs, the ride is silky smooth. Hit sport mode though, and the suspension immediately firms up and the steering becomes more responsive, while the transmission keeps you in a lower ratio for longer so that maximum power is always available.
Interior and Entertainment
The first noticeable thing about the new Continental is the all-electronic gauge cluster. Beautiful analog dials are now represented on screen and a dearth of modern navigation and infotainment systems are available. The highest spec includes a Naim sound system which we feel is worth the extra cost. The seats are extremely comfortable and include a massage function. Don’t expect them to hold you in position during heavy cornering though; this a car primarily aimed at luxury not speed. Interior accents are chrome, wood grain and leather all seamlessly combined to make your journey comfortable while cocooning you in luxury. Using the car configurator, there is almost no limit to how close to your own specifications you can tailor the interior. If you dislike wood grain, there is also a minimalist grand black finish available.
There isn’t much to dislike about the new Continental. Bear in mind that this car is ultimately a grand tourer and remains true to its roots. It’s happiest gliding along in stately majesty (the cabin is silent at highway speeds). When pushed it will show competitors their place, but not without its stance being a little ruffled.