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Continental GT - owner's first impressions

04-12-2004, 07:34 AM
If you're inclined to read another "wow" story and "many thumbs up", don't bother yourself to read. I use a bit softer tone here.
I ordered one a year ago, not even seeing it in flesh. And now, after a series of production delays, DVD teasers and promo previews heating up the public awaiting its birth, it finally came to me. It is too premature to judge its horses and handling, as there's quite an extensive run-in period (1500 km) for which I was told to specifically carress the engine. And while I still do it, I can already sum up my thoughts about the rest. I am still hesitating to put it in a few words to be more descriptive, because it is neither an automotive pinnacle, nor it is its opposite. It is just...uncertain. Have you seen the British Top Gear TV series for their own opinion on the GT ? I would tend to agree with them - the car's good - no, not just plain good! But in the state of the good that verges on being brilliant. But... it's still not there. It delivers everything in sufficient quantities - power, electronins, workmanship, amenities... But the thing is - it does not deliver a thrill. It is just sufficient, not excessive by any means. Which is rather putting me at a loss. I expected it to be an ultimate standard in everything. No, even setting new standards! Now I would abstain from assuming it actually does, and I'll try to explain my reasons.
1. Power. Recall the old Conties, especially R. How many competitors in its class did it have per its horses AT THE TIME of its introduction? Bentley's always been a badge truly in a fit sporty shape, well above the peers. To retain this, could they really afford to shug off the technicals of the current Mercs cl/sl65s?
2. Options / amenities. Just a few. Would a steering wheel heater, and the brake pads painted in the "British racing green" make up to everything you might expect from a master of the luxury world ? They say its pretty much packed as a standard, but would a voice acivated phone or vented seats spoil the luxury taste had they been added to options available? There's not ever a fridge. Excuse me, but if they offer a ski sack to be fit in between the rear seats, why would there not be a place for a goddamn fridge instead? Just very few exterior/interior colors. One leather quality, which is, in fact, similar to the Merc's basic leather. They say a smoother leather would undermine its durability, but who cares?! There's a rather "helpful" parking assistant, which, in absence of the visual indicators, just irritates hearing and does not give a precise position towards a double obstacle and you have to wonder where it is coming the nearest from - the side or the front. What is it? Best regards to the new breed from its parent? And why would they have to fit an absolutely stunning handle on the inside of the trunk lid the sole purpose of which would be to let somebody locked up in the trunk out at his/her discretion? Ha, if they would happen to be there at all, they might have a good reason (which needs to be respected)! That would be a mere joke, but given that the trunk lid does not have ANY other handle or a pull-down mechanism enabling the owner to merely close it, which happens to be more often than carrying a passenger in a trunk, it does look a bad joke from Bentley.
3. Extra tuning.
Not available. Mulliner's keeping dead silence.
4. Quality
So far, given it's been in possession a few weeks now, only electronics is a bit obsessed by delusions, randomly switching off aircond or "electric consumers" at its choice. The factory's also calling the first vehicles back for a replacement of electronic brakes.
Hm... Doesn't it feel they've been too much in a rush to put this otherwise nice baby on the road? To me, it definitely does.
Someone might say that I haven't become a Bentley guy so far and I should have driven my cl600 till I came to becoming one in my mind some day.. But..since it nevertheless happened my only hope would now be to give it a full go when the engine run-in is over somewhere on the German roads and finally decide if the badge alone could be worth it... We'll see.

P.S. Can anyone share his/her own first experiences please?

06-28-2004, 04:12 PM
I've been testdriving one in Germany and it just doesn't feel like a Bentley, there are too many bits from other cars like Audi & VW. The fake Breitling is a big turn off, since when did Breitling make electrical clocks? What I understand the clock comes from Germany.
The Arnage is what a Bentley should be like.
I assume you bought your car at Hessing? How did you find the service there?

06-29-2004, 06:23 AM
How'd you know the Hessings? So you're my neighbor, aren't you? Well, the service's fairly good. Its not the pinnacle of what you may get, but they're trying to be helpful, that's for sure. It's quite a coincidence that you mentioned the clock. Did you know that it's not just an electric clock, but it is a GPS-adjusted one. Well, it also failed and the guys at Hessing tried hard to get it back to life. So they did on the audio amplifier. And when you don't have an audio working, you don't have a parking assistance too, 'cause its hazard alerts are coming from the same audio speakers. By the way I've recently been to a London's Bentley showroom - dropped by just to see how its going there with the Conties. No different. Same flaws but the cars are selling like crazy. Also, to my blunt inquiry if the extras would be coming from Mulliner soon the salesperson had that rather sad looks and suggested that if I'm looking for a longer options list I'd better go for Arnage then. Blunt, isn't it? It's quite contradictory to what's been a promise message in their launch manifesto. No. I'd better stop complaining. No good. If we conclude that it's NOT a traditional Bentley breed, we won't have to match it to the former Bentley standards then. Which makes life easier. Somewhat. It's just a different car. Drives terrific (although I still like the CL's suspention much better!) and looks great. We could be more forgiving. Sigh.

06-30-2004, 04:40 PM
I actually live in The Netherlands. I've had only bad experiences with Hessing. I tried to get some info for the Conti GT and the Gallardo, by email and in person, but they don't seem to be willing to sell cars, rude salesmen, overall the worst company I've been to for a long time.
Thanks to Bentley and a German dealer, I was able to do a test drive in Germany last October, as one of the first customers. Bentley sent me an English folder a couple of weeks afterwards, at the time of the test drive only a German version was available. That's the service you might expect. If I ever want to order the Conti GT it would be in Germany.
Recently I did a test drive in an Aston Martin DB9, IMHO I think it's a better car, there's more driver interaction. But I thought the Bentley's build quality was better, but after reading your experience apparently not. The Aston had some minor things that didn't work as they should.
I guess it's better to wait a while until the cars are more 'developed'.

02-25-2005, 10:17 PM
Its an awesome car if you ask me. Being the fastest four seater (mabey apart from the Ferrari 612 Scagiletti) in the world, its cool, luxurious, powerful, (reletivly) inexpensive, and fast. Post some pics of yours Alexssssss (if you even are checking this thread anymore...).

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