Bentley Continental

Limited-run Continental GT with carbon-ceramic brakes

Evo rating
Price
from £132,500
  • The biggest brakes in the business...
  • ...add little to the driving experience

Combine a kerb weight of nearly 2.5 tons with a top speed that some tests have suggested is over 200mph, and it's no wonder that the Continental GT has the largest diameter brake discs ever seen on a production car. What's more, Bentley is now offering an upgraded braking system on what it is calling the Continental GT Diamond Series. The Diamond Series is being built as a celebration of 60 years of Bentley production at Crewe, costs an extra £15,000 over the standard car, and features a number of interior and exterior trim enhancements to give the GT a more sporting appearance. But of far greater interest are the addition of carbon-ceramic brakes - a first for a road-going Bentley. Hiding inside new, 14-spoke, 20in wheels, and clamped by eight-piston callipers, the cross-drilled carbon-silicon-carbide discs have an increased diameter of 420mm at the front (15mm larger than the standard steel items) and 356mm at the rear (up 19mm) and reduce unsprung weight by a total of some 23kg - although whether you'll notice this on such a heavy car is open to question. To see how well they work, Bentley has let me loose around Bruntingthorpe Proving Ground in an engineering car fitted with the new brakes. There's a second car equipped with standard steel discs waiting in the wings for comparison purposes. To start with, the ceramic brakes feel no different. There's no extra noise, while pedal-feel seems very similar to that of the standard car, with a relatively soft initial travel before the real braking force comes on-stream. As you'd expect, it's only after repeated high-speed stops that any differences begin to show, but even then it's only during violent lane-change manoeuvres, where the ESP program starts to struggle to control the back end of the steel-disc car as the rear brakes get beyond their normal operating temperature. Whether an average Conti owner would ever get to this point on the road is debatable, so the best reason I can see for specifying ceramic discs is that they should last the lifetime of the car. No, actually there's another reason: after a particularly hard driving stint at night you should be able to get them hot enough to see them glowing cherry-red, just like a race-car's do. Now that's seriously cool.

Specifications

EngineW12, 5998cc, twin-turbo
Max power552bhp @ 6100rpm
Max torque479lb ft @ 1600rpm
0-605.0sec (claimed)
Top speed198mph (claimed)
On salenow

Most Popular

Visit/bmw/m3-saloon/20529/all-new-bmw-m3-competition-revealed-an-icon-reborn
BMW M3 saloon

All-new BMW M3 Competition revealed – an icon reborn

This is the all-new BMW M3 Competition saloon which will join the M4 Competition coupe in BMW M’s new M3/4 family
23 Sep 2020
Visit/hyundai/202950/updated-hyundai-i30-n-revealed-with-optional-dual-clutch-box
Hyundai i30 N

Updated Hyundai i30 N revealed with optional dual-clutch ‘box

It was the hot hatch that upset the status quo, and now the i30 N is back with more power and tech
24 Sep 2020
Visit/ferrari/203127/ferrari-omologata-revealed-latest-bespoke-commission-a-v12-super-coupe
Ferrari

Ferrari Omologata revealed – latest bespoke commission a V12 super coupe

One-off Ferrari Omologata revealed with bespoke body 789bhp V12 engine
25 Sep 2020
Visit/peugeot/508/22305/2020-peugeot-508-sport-engineered-unveiled-bmw-3-series-rival-turned-to-355bhp
Peugeot 508

2020 Peugeot 508 Sport Engineered unveiled – BMW 3-series rival turned to 355bhp

Peugeot’s first Sport Engineering model has finally been uncovered, the hot 508 featuring a range-topping hybrid powertrain
24 Sep 2020