The Bentley Continental GT coupe debuted at the 2003 Geneva Motor Show, and sales began in the U.S. in 2004. The four-wheel-drive, full four-seater boasts a striking new design and racetrack-worthy performance. The Continental name hearkens all the way back to the 1952 R Type Continental. For 2005, Bentley introduces two offshoot models: the Mulliner Driving Specification Edition and the four-door Flying Spur. The Continental already boasts a more overtly sporty appearance than some of its predecessors, but the Mulliner goes even further, with 20-inch alloy sport wheels, bold two-tone leather and veneer combinations in the interior, drilled alloy foot pedals, and a gear level finished in knurled chrome and leather. The four-door Flying Spur adds extra passenger space while preserving the GT’s performance capabilities.
Body styles: two-door coupe
Engine: 6.0-liter W-12
Transmission: six-speed automatic with manual-shift capability
Model: Bentley Continental GT, Bentley Continental GT Flying Spur, Bentley Continental Mulliner Driving Specification Edition
2005 marks the end of Bentley’s affiliation with Rolls-Royce and beginning of its ownership by Volkswagen. The 2005 Bentley Continental preserves traditional Bentley highlights and hand craftsmanship, but combines it with a contemporary profile and more aggressive emphasis on performance potential. A Mulliner Driving Specification edition of the Continental GT joins the lineup, adding performance tires on two-piece, seven-spoke, alloy wheels, drilled alloy sport pedals and a chrome and leather gear lever. A four-door Continental GT Flying Spur also joins the lineup for 2005. New options on the 2005 Continental GT include a two-tone, hide-trimmed steering wheel, cross-stitching on the seats and door panels, and Vavona and Olive Ash wood veneers. An in-car phone with voice activation that works in six languages comes standard.
The 2005 Bentley Continental is more aggressive than the relatively sedate Bentley sport sedans of years past. The Continental’s aerodynamic body features pillarless hardtop construction, a short front overhang, and jutting haunches over the wheels. Large headlights flank a simple yet assertive mesh grille. A flush-mounted rear spoiler rises automatically at highway speeds to enhance stability. Built on a 108.1-inch wheelbase, the Continental GT measures 189.1 inches in overall length and stands 57.7 inches tall. Standard features include 19-inch alloy wheels, speed sensitive and rain-sensing wipers, Xenon high intensity discharge headlamps, remote power door locks, and power heated mirrors.
Designed in consultation with New York basketball players, the 2005 Bentley Continental interior can fit four adults, even six-footers, comfortably. Thirty-seven inches of headroom in front are nearly equaled by the 36.5 inches in back. Occupants are surrounded by double-stitched leather, aluminum, and book-matched burled-wood trim. The center control panel rises up from a symmetrical fascia and curves out to the sides to resemble the design of the Bentley wing insignia. Most controls are built into the steering wheel. Fourteen-way power adjustable passenger and driver’s seats with multi-level heating, transmission, cruise and audio controls on the steering wheel, four-zone climate control, and a 12-speaker, 300-watt stereo are standard features. Also standard are a voice-activated, in-car phone and a DVD-based navigation system with voice commands. The front console and door pockets provide storage space, and a 12-volt power outlet is included.
Performance & Handling
The 2005 Bentley Continental's 6.0-liter, W-12 engine with twin turbochargers powers the Bentley Continental, generating 552 horsepower and 479 lb-ft of torque. The Continental is Bentley’s first all-wheel drive vehicle, and a six-speed automatic transmission with manual-shift provision is standard. The GT accelerates from zero to 60 mph in 4.7 seconds. Beyond that, it can reach a top speed of almost 200 mph, all with an almost supernatural smoothness. At a curb weight of 5258 pounds, the GT is massive, but electronic stability control and balanced, speed-sensitive steering allows it to handle like a smaller car. A-arm suspension in front and multi-link suspension in back provide a somewhat firm but still comfortable ride. It's extremely stiff steel chassis allows the air suspension to regulate balance and handling.
The 2005 Bentley Continental GT features four-wheel ventilated disc brakes with Bosch anti-lock technology, brake assist and electronic brake force distribution. Side-impact and side curtain airbags are standard, and all four seats have pretensioners. Turn signals installed on the side mirrors provide extra visibility.
EPA Fuel Economy
Bentley Continental GT: 10/16 mpg city/highway
- Stunning performance
- Hand crafted interior
- All-wheel drive
You Won't Like
- No manual transmission available
- Low fuel economy
- Less roomy behind the driver
Effortless performance, a sumptuous interior, and commanding road presence combine.
If You Like This Vehicle
- Aston Martin DB9
- Mercedes-Benz CL-Class
- Ferrari 612
- Porsche 911