The new football season is upon us, which means one thing – boom time for Bentley dealers, says Richard Aucock
THERE’S a new rumble starting to bellow through Hull, West Brom and Stoke. That of, ooh, 16 W12 engines being given their head. Why’s that? Well isn’t that obvious? Their respective football teams were all promoted to the Premiership and part of their footballers’ kit is this – the Bentley Continental GT.
It’s a staple – like Mottie, like six-pointer games, like votes of confidence in soon-to-be-sacked managers. Indeed, it’s hard to imagine exactly what populated club car parks before Bentley launched the mighty Conti back in 2003. It’s even harder to remember the state of the Crewe-based maker before its beefy four-seat coupe came to market.
Virtually overnight, it went from a quaint British maker of leftfield anachronisms, into producer of one of the world’s best luxury GTs. Just look at it. Is there an upscale machine more in keeping with the times? Massive panels ooze premium muscularity.
Truly impeccable paint covers proper British beef. It starts with an imposing front with a trad Bentley grille, flows back via huge biceps, to a swooping, bug-like rear. There, poke out oval exhausts that small children can (probably) poke their heads in. And it’s from these that the noise bellows, of a truly mighty engine – 6.0-litres, twin turbos, 552bhp. It’s colossally fast. At 4.7secs to 60mph, it’s got the pace of an Agbonlahor, yet 195mph all-out gives it the stamina of Ferdinand.
Inside, it’s sumptuous – like, you’d imagine, the boardroom was at Highbury. Wood, chrome, leather and Wilton abound, the dials are like watchfaces, there’s more glinting here than a footballer’s wife and details such as organ-stop air vent controls show the finesse of touch that new Brazilian striker boasts in abundance.
Behind the brilliant front seats are two more. Not that they’ll be occupied much. This is a machine for getting to training, getting to the ground. And how does it do it? In total silence, with simply amazing comfort. Footballers drive these because they’re sportsman, who need to be cosseted after 90 minutes of English warfare.
And because it’s more than quiet enough to Bluetooth the orders across for the 3.30 at Epsom. Premiership standards are another league: that’s why the £125k list price isn’t an issue for them, either. A Cult Car in every sense of the word…
Engine: 6.0-litre, W12
Power: 552bhp, 650Nm
Now finance one with Bridford:
Option 1: £24,995 deposit, 24 x £629 plus final payment
Option 2: £12,995 deposit, 48 x £1,440 and final payment