The sport-utility vehicle has rumbled its way into every segment on voracious demand for this high-riding and spaciously comfy body style. Car buyers can’t seem to get enough of everything from compact crossovers to premium softroaders.
The trend may have decimated the saloon market in many places but that doesn’t mean other body styles are any less viable. One particularly profitable segment is the luxury coupe.
The premium two-door model, namely the super sports car, has remained relatively stable, and one make seems to be zipping by a bit quicker than the competition – Bentley.
In recent years, Bentley has led the super sports car and ultra-luxury limousine market in Singapore in terms of new car registrations.
It is priced slightly below its super-luxury rivals, while remaining distinctly above high-end but more mass luxury makes.
One key reason is price positioning, and the brand with the Winged B badge has slotted itself into a strategic niche. It is priced slightly below its super-luxury rivals, while remaining distinctly above high-end but more mass luxury makes.
Most importantly, at about S$900,000 on the road, the Bentley Continental GT is just below the psychological S$1 million mark, where anything above that becomes a tougher sell.
Not that it would be difficult to convince any prospect. The third-generation CGT has sharper styling with an even more upscale interior.
Authorised Bentley distributor Wearnes Automotive flew in the new grand tourer for 2017’s Singapore Grand Prix Formula One race and suffice it to say, they were very pleased with the response.
The car has a superformed aluminium body that is lighter and longer. It also has a new 6.0-litre W12 engine featuring a pair of twin-scroll turbochargers, pushing out 25 per cent more torque and 7.5 per cent more power.
As a result, it is 0.8 of a second faster from zero to 100 kph, with a top speed that is 14 kph higher, at 333 kph.
When cruising, half of the 12-cylinder engine is shut down by the Variable Displacement system to improve fuel consumption, meaning it operates as a six-cylinder unit.
The Continental GT is a car that combines performance with a generous measure of comfort.
The W12 is now mated to an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission, which replaces the previous automatic, and continues to deliver power to all four wheels.
But where once there was a fixed 40:60 front/rear split, a new Active All-Wheel-Drive System varies the torque between the front and rear axles, depending on the driving situation. Still, the system is rear-biased in keeping with the Bentley’s sporty performance.
Dynamic though it may be, the Continental GT is a car that combines performance with a generous measure of comfort, and it is this luxury performance profile which is becoming increasingly attractive for more mature buyers.