Seat Time: 2014 Bentley Continental GT V8 S

July 11th, 2014 at 5:11pm

2014 Bentley Continental GT V8 S

Seat Time is a chance for us to share our impressions of vehicles being tested in the Autoline Garage and at media previews from around the globe.

Reviewer: John McElroy
Manufacturer: Volkswagen AG
Make: Bentley
Model: Continental GT V8 S
Type: 2-door coupe
Competitors: Rolls-Royce Wraith Coupe, Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG
Price: $233,325
Made in: Crewe, England
Drivetrain: 4.0 twin turbo V-8; 521 hp, 502 lb.-ft.; 8-speed automatic
EPA Ratings: 15 city, 20 highway, 18 combined

Final Impression:

2014 Bentley Continental GT V8 SWhen the delivery crew pulled into our parking lot at work someone looked out the window and said, “Hey, they’re dropping off a Bentley.” I quickly corrected him. “No,” I said matter of factly, “They’re dropping off my Bentley.”

I really wanted to get in this car, and for one very simle reason. This is a stunningly beautiful machine. Despite having a 10-year-old body style, everywhere I went people stopped dead in their tracks and pointed. That’s because this was what Bentley calls the Continental GT V8 S “in Beluga.” And “in Beluga” proves the critical importance of having the proper color and trim in a motorcar. I mean, how else can you explain people fawning over a 10 year old design?

2014 Bentley Continental GT V8 S

I think it starts with the wheels. The 21″, 7-spoke, Black Limited Edition wheels that is. They draw your eyes right to this car because they stand in stark contrast to the deep black of the body which itself is accented ever so tastefully with sparing chrome strips. And the interior is enough to take your breath away, a beautiful combination of hand-crafted red and black leather seats and trim panels offset by carbon fiber pieces.

2014 Bentley Continental GT V8 SThe car drives well, too. It’s truly a grand touring machine as the name suggests, well suited to hauling ass on long hauls. If you want to know anything about the kind of punch that is packaged under the hood, just check out the engine specs listed above. This car has gobs of go power.

But in other ways the Continental GT is showing its age. The electronics in this car were developed over a decade ago and are hopelessly out of date. One small example: it wasn’t until day 5 of my test drive that I discovered that this car has a back-up camera! It takes the screen and camera system so long to warm up in the morning that I was usually well down the street before it was ready to come on. Imagine my surprise the one morning it took me longer to get going (fiddling around with the outdated nav system) before putting it in Reverse and having the back-up camera pop to life in glorious full-color resolution. I actually laughed out loud.

2014 Bentley Continental GT V8 S

But maybe I’m being too picky. I don’t think that outdated electronics will deter anyone who wants this car. That would be like turning down a date with supermodel Cindy Crawford because she’s, well, older. In a world where good looks count for so much, this car kills.

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