I drive tentatively up to the front door of Dalhousie Castle, the last castle in Scotland to be besieged by an English King in person – Henry IV to be precise.....read more
My caution is explained by the car I am driving – that quintessentially English icon, the New Bentley Continental GT.
Maggie Barry flys the flag across Scotland for the New 2019 Bentley Continental GT
This is in fact the new Bentley Continental GT a much-awaited car from the Crewe company in First Edition specification looking gloriously Bentley-esque in Tungsten paint with the coupé finish and deep and elegant front grille.
Dalhousie Castle, now a hotel, is just outside Edinburgh having undergone various incarnations in the last 850 or so years including one as a private prep boarding school and its noble family, the Ramsays, have since decamped further north to Brechin.
But as the 21ins wheels of the Bentley GT crunch on the red chipped driveway, it still stands magnificently burnished in the autumn sunshine making it easy to understand why anyone would choose to stand and fight here.
The castle was my destination after a journey across Scotland’s central belt and the Continental GT this time was a much more welcome visitor to the castle walls. There were no arrows nor burning oil flung at it, instead exclamations of admiration and remarks that this new iteration is far more classic than the previous.
“Less footballer’s wife,” said one smitten critic.
Inside, it is utterly luxurious with a two-tone beige and black leather, quilted on the doors, to echo what Bentley call the diamonds knurling specification on this car. This means that the bulls-eye vents, the organ stop controls and the clock bezels are finished in not just chrome but a diamond etched chrome.
The seat belts are beige (Portland in Bentley terms) and the steering wheel has touches of black leather (Beluga). The polished wood veneer that stretches across the dash is Liquid Amber over Grand Black.
Our journey was a dream from start to finish ensconced in some of the most comfortable seats I have ever experienced. The lumbar support was excellent.
The drive was smooth, powerful and delightful aided by the fantastic 6.0-litre twin-turbocharged W12 petrol engine whose gurgling and popping sound made the hairs on your neck stand on end just when you switched on.
Taking it around the country roads to get to Dalhousie was a joy as it finessed the corners and eased up and sprang forward in immediate response to my bidding. The suspension on the Continental GT is so good it has the feel of gliding.
It has a top speed of 207mph, completes the 0-62 sprint in just 3.7 seconds and will give you an average 23.2mpg with 278g/km of CO2.
There are four driving modes, Bentley – the default which gives you intelligent coasting and helps with the efficiency – Sport – for fun – Comfort and Individual.
The First Edition spec (identified by a discreet Union Jack with the number 1 on it on the dash) does add £34,800 to the £159,100 price of the car but provides generous touches to the exclusivity of it like the rotating 12.3ins central colour display. Switch off the car and it flips over to blend perfectly with the wood of the dash.
It also adds a mood lighting package, added seat comfort, Mulliner driving spec to the interior and embroidered Bentley emblems, a touring spec with a head-up display, night vision and Bentley safeguard plus, city spec with a top view camera, traffic sign recognition, reverse traffic warning and a hands free boot as well as special badging and logos throughout.
There is always something special about driving a Bentley - the sheer luxury combined with the power at your disposal and the quite superb engineering. It is very easy to feel Queen of the Castle.
Car reviewed: The 2019 Bentley Continental GT First Edition - Price of car with options as tested £208,060 0-62mph 3.7 secs Top speed 207mph Fuel Economy combined 23.2mpg CO2 emissions 278g/km Engine 6.0-litre 12W TSI premium unleaded EU6 Max Power Engine 635PS@5000rpm Engine Torque 900Nm@1350rpm Transmission 8-speed dual clutch man sequential auto mode 4x4
Always something special
The most comfortable seats I have ever experienced
The Queen of the castle can't keep it
What the others say about the 2019 Bentley Continental GT on YouTube...
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