Ultimate GT? 820 miles in 12 hours with the Bentley Continental

It’s not an easy balance to strike, but get it right and what the driver receives is a heady blend of restorative comfort and energising involvement. It’s like listening to Dark Side of the Moon on a £20k hi-fi.

Not everyone perfects this, or even attempts to. Front-engined Ferraris are too…competizione. Modern Aston Martins get closer to the sweet spot, but their aluminium construction makes them a tad boomy.

A Rolls-Royce Wraith is sublime. But like a £280k Faraday cage, it suppresses the sense of travel altogether. All are dream-level continent-crushers, of course, but for the blast down to Cannes, foot planted between the Armco, none deliver quite like the Bentley.

Even the steady-state behaviour of the GT’s driveline is dreamy. At 80mph, the car wants to creep faster still, but not in an irritating way.

Inclines don’t register. Diesel autoroute driftwood eats the Conti’s wash. A familiar set of goofy headlights appears on the horizon, closing in at pace. It’s a Spur, Brit plates, homeward bound, correctly going full Barnato.

bentley continental gt air con vent

Unsurprisingly it’s quiet in the double-glazed cabin, but not eerily so. The ergonomics capture that arse-over-axle pedigree but stop short of any claustrophobic pillbox charade. The rotating display, which gives you roundels, a touchscreen or nothing, is hideously expensive, but it’d be the first box I ticked. Banishing pixels is cathartic.

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