Large disc brakes all round, equipped
with anti-lock sensors and ventilated at the front, give it immense stopping
power: as for
motive force, it shares the redesigned V8 engine of the
Brooklands, now boasting a noticeable increase in performance
and coupled to afour-speed automatic transmissionwhose control software has been further refined by Bentley's engineers.
Combine these with the automatic ride control that makes
cornering seem almost roll-free, and you have a motor car
with cornering, acceleration and braking performance that belie
its accommodation and comfort.
The Continental is that most rare
four-seat open tourer. The latest refinement to passenger
comfort comes in the form of the new front seat, which tilts
and motors forward automatically for ease and access to the
Hood up, the Continental sacrifices nothing to its saloon
counterparts in comfort; the construction and trimming of
the power-assisted hood, with its patented tensioning method,
take a team of craftsmen almost ten days, the entire assembly
being hand-built on a master jig. The end result justifies the care:
from inside the cockpit, you would find it hard to credit that the
car is a soft-top, such as its solidity and luxury.
Even at rest, there's something about the Continental that draws admiring glances. Like its four-door and coupe siblings, it undeniably has the Bentley presence: it is a design of stature and elegance, an acknowledged classic.
Driving the Continental is a seductive
experience. You sit,
surrounded by the fragrance and feel of the finest quality
Connolly hide. Ahead of you, the rich burr walnut veneer of the
dash sparkles in the sunlight. The open road beckons: with a
subdued growl, he Continental accelerates toward the horizon.
On the right sort of day, with the
right sort of companions, there
is nothing to compare with the pleasure of driving a fast. open
tourer. And on any kind of day, there is no fast, open tourer
that stands comparison with the Bentley Continental.