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The big adventure

New Triumph Tiger 900 arrives with more power and equipment

Triumph’s new Tiger 900 has been released with a bigger engine and more tech than before.

Driven by an 888cc engine with 94bhp, the Tiger 900 has more torque than before with power delivered lower down the rev range to aid with overtaking.

The suspension has been upgraded over the older bike too. GT models get Marzoochi units front and rear, while the Rally gets adjustable Showa suspension with 240mm of travel at the front and 230mm at the rear.

“The bike is now lighter than before too

The bike is now lighter than before too – up to 5kg, depending on the model – and is split into two distinct specifications. Namely, these are GT and Rally, with the former orientated more towards on-road driving and the latter off-road.

All versions get a larger 20-litre tank than their predecessor’s 19-litre version, while the handlebars have been brought 10mm closer to the rider to give a more upright riding position.

All bikes (apart from the base option) get a new seven-inch TFT display, LED lights and a bar-style daytime running light too.

Riding modes have been included too, with even stock bikes getting Rain and Road. Other models further up the line-up benefit from up to six different power and traction modes. Two additional kits are also available with Trekker adding a variety of touring-related features and Expedition, which brings ultra-tough additions such as strengthened panniers and headlight guards.

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Peak celebration

Bentley celebrates Pikes Peak record with limited-edition Continental GT

Bentley has revealed a special edition Continental GT built in commemoration of its Pike Peak record.

The Continental GT, limited to just 15 units, honours the Crewe-based firm’s success at the International Hill Climb Event which took place in the US in June.

A Continental GT shaved 8.4 seconds off the previous time set over the 12.42-mile course in Colorado, driven by three-time champion Rhys Millen. Despite having to drive through 5,000 metres of elevation, the Continental GT managed to finish the course in just ten minutes, 18.4 seconds.

The celebratory model, which is available to order now, receives a unique carbon fibre body kit and Radium by Mulliner paintwork. It has been designed to mirror the colour combination used on the record-beating car.

Photos: PA Media

The car also gets acid green brake calipers, Pirelli P Zero Colour Edition tyres and a Pikes Peak decal on the front bumper. An optional ‘100’ front grille can also be fitted, where it sits as a reminder that the challenge took place during Bentley’s centenary year.

“A Continental GT shaved 8.4 seconds off the previous time”

Chris Craft, member of the board for sales, marketing and aftersales at Bentley Motors, said: “The new Limited Edition Continental GT is distinguished by a number of carefully curated features to honour that outstanding record run. It reflects Bentley’s spirit of endeavour, one that has been a constant throughout the last 100 years and remains at the beating heart of the company.”

Inside, there’s Alcantara with contrasting thread, a steering wheel with honeycomb stitching and carbon fibre fascia. There’s even a graphic on the passenger side of the car which shows a section of the Pikes Peak track.

Video: YouTube

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Louder roar

The new Jaguar F-Type arrives with dramatic new look

Jaguar has revealed its new-look Jaguar F-Type.

Featuring a striking new appearance, the new car ditches the V6 engine available with its predecessor and is instead offered with just V8 and 2.0-litre, four-cylinder powertrain options.

The refreshed F-Type is still available in coupe and convertible forms, with all incorporating a heavily revised interior with more tech and driver-focused features than before.

The exterior changes are most noticeable at the front of the F-Type, with sleeker headlights giving the nose of the car a more aggressive appearance. The rear of the car gets a subtler update, though the ‘roundel’ lights which were such a signature of the F-Type have been ditched in favour of a single ‘blade’ style unit.

Inside, the cabin of the F-Type is dominated by a new 12.3-inch digital dashboard setup ahead of the driver, which is combined with a central infotainment screen incorporating Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The entire system also comes with over-the-air updates for the first time.

“Sleeker headlights giving the nose of the car a more aggressive appearance”

The entry-level engine is now the 296bhp 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol, with the V6 unit having been ditched. A less powerful version of the firm’s 5.0-litre supercharged V8 sits in the middle of the line-up with 444bhp and the choice of rear- or all-wheel-drive, while the tip-top unit remains the full-fat V8 engine in the F-Type R which now produces 566bhp and 700Nm of torque – up 24bhp and 20Nm on the older model. All cars get an eight-speed automatic gearbox.

The range-topping SVR has been cut too, though a lot of that car’s mechanical upgrades – such as adaptive dampers and stiffer rear knuckles and ball joints – have been carried over to the R.

Video: YouTube

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Packed with performance

The Audi SQ8 is a leviathan of the road with imposing looks and huge performance. Jack Evans has been out to see what it’s like to drive

Take a look at a car manufacturer’s line-up, and it’s clear that, nowadays, there’s never a niche too far. Whereas in previous years it may have been a hatchback, an estate and an off-roader, there are now compact crossovers and coupe-styled SUVs like this – Audi’s SQ8.

Based on the same platform as the Q7 but with a more dynamic, angled appearance, the SQ8 offers up an even more imposing look than you get from Audi’s usual line-up of SUVs. But do the looks take anything away from Audi’s new range-topper? Let’s find out.

The biggest change here are those looks. Sharp, angular and just a little aggressive, the SQ8 is a car which is extremely hard to miss. Our test car, in Vorsprung Edition trim level with its black trim pieces and black metallic paint, looked particularly evil.

But because of that sloping roofline you only get five seats – whereas in the SQ7 there are seven. So already, because of styling, practicality has taken a hit.

Inside, there’s Audi’s latest fleet of in-car tech too – but we’ll look at that in a little more depth later on.

What’s under the bonnet? The SQ8’s engine is a thing of wonder. It’s a 4.0-litre V8 diesel with 429bhp and an incredible 900Nm of torque. It’s fitted with a pair of traditional turbochargers and a third electric-powered compressor, which is driven by a 48-volt system.

It also has a small lithium-ion battery and belt-alternator starter, which turns the SQ8 into a mild hybrid. It’ll automatically cut off the engine when coasting at speeds of between 34 and 99mph, while also helping when pulling away from a dead start.

Audi claims the SQ8 will return 30.7mpg while emitting 205g/km CO2, with both figures being pretty much par for the course for the segment. Power is sent to all four wheels via Audi’s quattro system and an eight-speed automatic transmission.

The first thing you notice when you get behind the wheel of the SQ8 is the sheer size of the thing. It’s almost as imposing to drive as it is to look at, in fact, with quite a narrow windscreen meaning it’s not the easiest of things to see out of. That said, you get acclimatised to the car’s proportions quickly enough.

That 4.0-litre V8 is a wonder, though. Strong and torquey, it’s remarkably refined at a cruise and brutishly powerful when accelerating. That it manages to heft the SQ8’s more-than-two-tonne body from 0-60mph in 4.6 seconds is scarcely believable, and the fact that it can return up to 30mpg even more so.

“Engine dominates proceedings with its punchy performance and elegant refinement”

The well-weighted steering means that you have a relatively good idea of what the front wheels are doing – even if there’s barely any feel – but the car isn’t all that dynamic in the bends. Certainly, it feels like more of a point-and-squirt performance SUV than one destined to monster corners.

The SQ8’s looks are likely to divide opinion. Some may enjoy how angry it looks, and the way that the huge front grille appears to want to swallow up all other cars in its way. Of course, others may think that the Audi looks far too aggressive – but then looks are down to the opinion of the individual, of course.

The SQ8 links up well with other coupe-styled cars in the range, such as the Q3 Sportback. There’s a distinct look to all of the firm’s cars, and though they may not be to everyone’s tastes, it’s hard to fault the way Audi has managed to design a distinct ‘family’ face for its cars.

Given the price tag, there is a fair amount of expectation levelled at the SQ8’s cabin. Fortunately, it’s a very well made place to be with plenty of high-end materials and a solid level of fit-and-finish. The new twin-screen setup dominates the centre of the cockpit, and it does help to give the SQ8’s cabin a particularly futuristic feel.

There’s acres of space for those sitting in the back too while that sloping roof doesn’t impede on headroom too much.

Though it can’t quite offer as much boot space as the Q7, there’s still 605 litres of boot space to play with in the SQ8. Fold the rear seats down and this rises to 1,755 litres – more than enough for most occasions, then.

Being one of Audi’s most premium models means that the SQ8 is laden down with equipment. As we’ve mentioned, the infotainment system with its pair of screens is one of the highlights and it’s as easy to operate as it is impressive to look at. The large ‘virtual cockpit’ display in the main instrument binnacle ahead of the driver is another system we’ve come to take for granted in Audi models and it is, yet again, very good to use in the SQ8.

Our Vorsprung Edition car added a high-quality Bang and Olufsen stereo, panoramic sunroof and heads-up display, which only helped to bolster the impressive level of standard equipment. In all, there’s more than enough equipment to keep most people happy and it goes towards justifying the car’s hefty price tag, too.

The SQ8 may fill a niche that we didn’t know needed filling, but it’s a genuine contender in the performance SUV segment. That engine dominates proceedings with its punchy performance and elegant refinement giving the SQ8 a luxurious yet no less exciting edge over its rivals. Outright practicality may be down on other models, but elsewhere the SQ8 triumphs as a truly impressive product and one which we’re sure will be popular with buyers.

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Easy rider

Honda introduces the lighter, more powerful Africa Twin

Honda has revealed a newly updated version of its popular Africa Twin adventure bike, promising a bike which is easier to ride while being no less capable.

Initially offered in one of two layouts – standard Africa Twin and Africa Twin Adventure Sports. Both share the same 1084cc engine, which now has a revised cylinder head and a larger throttle body.

Peak power is boosted from 94bhp up to 100bhp, while a lighter clutch should make forward progress even easier.

The bike’s chassis has been overhauled, with the steering head lightened and the front cross pipe removed – the combination of both helping to save 1.8kg. In addition, the subframe is now an all-aluminium bolt-on unit which is 40mm slimmer helping to save another 500g.

Now included is lean-sensitive traction control, cornering ABS and wheelie control

A new electronics suite has been introduced too. Now included is lean-sensitive traction control, cornering ABS and wheelie control as well. Four riding modes have been incorporated also, with Tour, Urban, Gravel and Off-road all tailoring the bike’s settings to different riding scenarios. A lower screen has been fitted to help with visibility when trail riding, while the forks come with new damping settings too. No prices have been released as yet, though these are likely to be revealed closer to the bike’s full introduction in Europe ‘within 2019’, according to Honda.

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History has a bright future

Silverstone-based Lunaz promises it will make the most beautiful and celebrated cars in history ready for the future

A new electric vehicle firm has set up shop in Silverstone, where it will build all-electric conversions of some of history’s most iconic classic cars.

Headed up by former Renault Formula 1 boss Jon Hilton, Lunaz says it “will make the most beautiful and celebrated cars in history ready for the future” by fitting a completely unique electric powertrain that’s designed and built in-house.

The firm says its staff have experience with Aston Martin, Ferrari, Ford, Formula 1, Jaguar, Volkswagen, McLaren and Rolls-Royce. It is currently preparing a 1961 Rolls-Royce Phantom V, 1953 Jaguar XK120 and 1956 Rolls-Royce Cloud for production.

Lunaz says each model will receive a unique powertrain set-up based on what’s appropriate for the vehicle. For example, the Jaguar will use an 80kWh battery pack that feeds a twin-motor propulsion system making 375bhp and 700Nm of torque.

Photos: PA Media

Each vehicle has been re-engineered from the ground up using accurate 3D scans and traditional coachbuilding skills are then used to build it. The interiors will retain the look of the originals, but with modern amenities such as WiFi, satellite navigation and infotainment screens.

David Lorenz, founder of Lunaz, said the idea for the company came to him while waiting for a recovery truck at the side of the road. He said: “I wanted a car like a 1953 Jaguar to be my daily driver, Lunaz takes a history we all love and gives it a bright future.

“We are innovating to create cars that are usable, dynamic, and stand as the ultimate drivers’ classics. “For Luna, my daughter, not to have access to a car like the Mercedes-Benz 190SL when she is of driving age would be a tragedy. Without building Lunaz, this is the reality she faces.”

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Drop-top thriller

The BMW M8 Competition Convertible may look the part, but does it deliver an exciting drive? Ryan Hirons finds out

Wind back to the 1990s, and the original BMW 8 Series. That sleek flagship was crying out for a proper M treatment to make it a true high-performance coupe.

Many thought it would happen, with rumours running rampant and BMW actually beginning a project to develop such a car, though ultimately canning the M8 as a result of global financial difficulties. It would seem the BMW M8 would never happen.

Until now, that is. The German firm had no hesitation in producing a monstrous version of its new flagship 8 Series – even unveiling the car’s original concept in M form. Can the long-awaited machine establish itself as a true M legend?

Based on the new 8 Series, we’re driving the M8 here in Competition form in its convertible bodystyle.

Its engine is an advancement of the 4.4-litre V8 unit found in the M850i – ramped up to produce 617bhp – while a number of adjustments have been made to the chassis to cope with the high levels of power.

Alterations have been made to the car’s xDrive all-wheel-drive system for a more rear-biased approach too, while a small change comes in the form of the centre console-mounted M Mode button.

As mentioned, powering the M8 Competition is a twin-turbocharged 4.4-litre V8 – producing 617bhp and 750Nm of torque to make it the most powerful engine BMW has produced for its own cars. That power is delivered to all four wheels via an eight-speed gearbox.

“The most powerful engine BMW has produced for its own cars”

For the convertible, the result is a stated 0-60mph time of 3.1 seconds while its top speed is capped at 155mph – though that can be increased to 189mph with the optional M Driver Package. BMW says the drop-top will return 25-25.2mpg while emitting 256-254g/km of CO2 as well.

Though power delivery is nothing short of brutal in the car, it’s more commercial plane fast than bike engine strapped to a shopping trolley. Even at higher speeds, the M8 will slice through the air like it’s nobody’s business and before you know it, you’re at licence-losing velocity.

Refinement across the car is so good though, you barely notice how fast you’re going. Great for those wanting a comfortable performance car, perhaps not so much if your preferences lean towards a more engaging drive.

That brutal cruiser-like performance translates much into the way the M8 drives, too. Though far form boring, it’s very clinical in the way it undertakes more spirited driving.

Monumental grip is offered by its all-wheel-drive system, with the car very difficult to unsettle through corners. A more ham-fisted approach tends to encourage understeer more than oversteer, so don’t expect extreme levels of tail-out action here.

Its more grand tourer rather than outright sports car approach does result in a car that’s remarkably comfortable at a cruise though, although it does leave a question as to why buyers looking for something to chew miles up wouldn’t consider the cheaper M850i or even 840d – both of which offer decent performance and equal long-distance ability.

BMW M cars do tend to be more subtly aggressive, though there is definitely head-turning ability here. Changes from the regular 8 Series design aren’t major, though there is a more aggressive aerodynamic package. The front bumper sports larger intakes, while opting for the M Carbon option puts plenty of carbon-fibre bits around the outside of the car.

At the back, a quad-exit exhaust is more than a slight nod to the car’s performance – with M8 Competition badging and model-specific 20-inch alloy wheels rounding out the package.

There’s no major move away from the plush cabin found in the regular 8 Series for the M model, meaning there is still a plethora of high-quality materials and front passengers have plenty of space around them.

Some subtle tweaks are present though. Gone is the crystalised shifter from the regular car and in its place is a leather-wrapped unit with M embossed on. There’s also a host of carbon fibre interior bits, along with M logos emblazoned throughout.

It still retains the four-seat layout too – though the rear bench is best reserved for toddlers or used as extra cargo space at best. Boot space totals 420 litres – more than enough for daily use.

With the M8 Competition now sitting at the top of the 8 Series range, the list of equipment on offer is expectedly comprehensive.

Exterior equipment includes 20-inch alloy wheels, adaptive LED headlights and a gloss black rear spoiler (coupe models also benefit from a carbon roof), with interior goodies namely heated sports seats, full leather upholstery and M-related visual items.

Placing the BMW M8 between high-end sports car and grand tourer is something of a blurred line. On one hand, it delivers its performance in a brutal way – but doesn’t quite offer the delicacy and poise of say, a Porsche 911.

Though as a grand tourer, it’s impressively refined and exceptionally comfortable. However, those wanting this over an 8 Series may be better off saving some cash and opting for an M850i. It has carved itself a bit of a niche between the two though. If the idea of a cruiser with the ability to flip a switch to turn on near-supercar performance appeals, the BMW M8 ticks that box.

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Hurrah for hybrid

The Volvo XC90 has been updated with a new mild-hybrid powertrain. Jack Evans gets behind the wheel of the B5 to see what it’s like

The Volvo XC90 has been a car that we’ve frequently regarded as one of the big-hitters in the large SUV segment. It’s a well-regarded seven-seater, and one we’ve often found topping lists despite numerous rivals appearing against it. Others have thought the same and, when you add this to healthy sales figures, you can understand why the Swedish firm has updated it in such a subtle, downplayed way.

But a slight adjustment to Volvo’s naming structure has been introduced as part of the firm’s big push towards electrification. It’s why we’ve got the new B5 here – replacing the older D5 – which incorporates a mild hybrid system to help with emissions.

The biggest update here is that previously mentioned mild hybrid system, but we’ll look at that in a little more depth when we go under the bonnet later. The exterior has been given a light nip and tuck, but it’s by and large the same old XC90 – and we’ve got absolutely no complaints about that.

Volvo has expanded the number of possible seating configurations inside, too. It means that now, should you want to, you can opt for a six-seater layout rather than the traditional seven, while a new range of cabin materials are there to choose from. It’s a minor update, for sure, but it helps to sharpen up the appeal of the biggest Volvo.

The XC90 B5’s powertrain uses a 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesel engine primarily, which here produces 232bhp and a healthy 480Nm of torque. It sends power to all four wheels through an eight-speed automatic gearbox, and performance figures are decent enough for a car of this type. Going from 0 to 60mph takes 7.4 seconds while Volvo says it’ll reach a top speed of 137mph.

“It utilises power generated through braking to improve fuel consumption while driving down emissions”

And there’s that new mild-hybrid system to remember, too. It utilises power generated through braking to improve fuel consumption while driving down emissions. Volvo claims that the B5 will return up to 37.7mpg combined (around 5mpg better than the older D5), while CO2 emissions sit at 154g/km. The electric power also helps to boost acceleration and can drive the car when it’s coasting or coming to a stop.

It’s fair to say that it’s hard to tell the B5 apart from the D5 during everyday driving. It’s still effortlessly hushed and smooth, with a nice linear throttle response making for a quiet and composed drive. It even feels punchy too, and this helps with overtaking or motorway merging.

The ride is particularly good. Our test car was fitted with relatively small wheels, and this added a creamy quality to the ride, helping to iron out the worst of the bumps that the already well-sorted suspension couldn’t quite dissolve.

The steering is lifeless, we’ll admit, but this isn’t the kind of car you look to when trying to exploit a twisty section of road. It’ll manage a faster pace of life, but a reasonable amount of body roll means you have something to contend with if you decide to whisk the XC90 along at an increased speed.

Despite the refresh, you’d be hard-pressed to notice the latest XC90 as anything different over the older version. As we mentioned, this isn’t a bad thing; Volvo’s big seven-seater is a handsome thing, with angles and cuts in all the right places.

It may not be as out-there as other SUVs in the segment, but the subtle nature of the XC90’s styling will likely appeal to those who would rather their four-wheel-drive didn’t shout for them. As we’ve already said, our test car rode on quite small wheels and this only helped to downplay the car’s looks – not something we’re against.

The interior of the B5 is just as well-appointed and well-finished as it has always been. It’s a generously spaced place to sit, with good legroom for those sitting in the bag – in either the second or third rows. The seats are excellent too, with plenty of cushioning helping to take the sting out of longer journeys.

Up front, there are plenty of cubbies and storage options along with a good amount of cupholders too. High-quality materials are used in the forward section of the cabin too, and the aluminium elements help to keep things bright.

And when it comes to boot space, few are as good. There are 451 litres of space with all seven seats in place, rising to 1,102 litres with the third row folded. Flatten all seats, and you’ve got an impressive 1,951 litres to play with.

Our car came in Momentum Pro trim, which comes as the entry-level specification under Inscription and R-Design specs. Included as standard are 19-inch alloy wheels (far smaller than the 20- and 21-inch units on high-spec cars) along with full leather upholstery and those previously mentioned aluminium trim inserts. ‘Pro’ adds a heated steering wheel, as well as active ‘bending’ headlights and upgraded nappa leather seating.

The main infotainment system is still the same as it always was, occupying a portrait tablet-style screen in the centre of the dashboard. When it was launched it felt pretty cutting-edge, but it’s now starting to tail off; it doesn’t offer quite as much functionality as rival offerings. That said, it’s still easy to use and superbly responsive, while smartphone integration systems such as Apple CarPlay are dovetailed well into the car’s standard tech.

The XC90 has undoubtedly been given a boost with its new B5 powertrain. It’s more efficient – no bad thing in the SUV game – and there’s still loads of tech onboard. Most of all, it’s still effortlessly practical, and easily one of the most comfortable steers in the market. It’s not vastly different to its predecessor, but as we’ve mentioned that’s something we’re not against. It still remains an excellent seven-seater and has now been bolstered just a little further.

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Classy performer

The W12-engined Bentley Continental GT promises stunning performance and extreme comfort. Darren Cassey finds out if it delivers

The Bentley Continental GT is a huge car – and not just in its proportions. It’s also one of the best-selling and most highly sought-after luxury cars in the market, and if it wasn’t for the model’s success, the British firm might not even be here today. Its importance can’t be underplayed.

Back in 2003 the original Continental was released, five years into Volkswagen’s ownership of Bentley. It brought sleek styling, a luxury cabin and became the ultimate waft-mobile. In 2019, the big coupe is well into its second generation, offering a couple of engine options.

When this model replaced the original Continental, the changes were extensive – at launch, Bentley claimed the car 100 per cent new. The exterior is the most obvious update, sporting a familiar silhouette but with all-new details, while the engine is an overhauled version of the existing W12 unit.

The body work’s construction is also new, making it 80kg lighter than its predecessor, while the interior has been modernised with digital displays. There’s been further attention to the kind of details luxury brand customers want to see, such as improvements to the 15 different colours available on the GT’s upholstery and a new, intricate exhaust sleeve that reduces temperatures.

Bentley has enhanced its existing 6.0-litre, turbocharged W12 engine and fitted it to an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission to provide suitably snappy gear shifts. Performance figures are naturally impressive – 626bhp and 900Nm of torque contribute to a 3.5-second 0-60mph time and a top speed of 207mph.

The firm says a combination of high- and low-pressure fuel injection improves refinement and lowers emissions, and a new dual-mass flywheel smooths out the power delivery.

The result is a glorious engine that manages to combine the ferocity you’d expect from such figures under acceleration with a fuss-free, calm and cosseting ambience. The exhaust note is aggressive but refined, like an expensive whiskey that you know is going straight to your head but glides down your throat like honey.

The first thing that hits you is how remarkably serene the driving experience is. It’s easy to forget there’s a whopping great W12 engine with supercar-scaring performance sat under that long, swooping bonnet.

Squeeze the throttle to get up to motorway speeds and you’re greeted by nothing more than a hum, before settling into a floaty cruise accompanied by hushed background noise that’s barely noticeable even with the radio off. Plant the throttle pedal into the plush carpet in comfort mode and you’re greeted by a great surge of acceleration as the GT effortlessly builds speed.

The ride is exquisite thanks to the new air suspension, ironing out imperfections in the road like they’re not there – if everyone drove Bentley Continental GTs, Highways England wouldn’t have to spend so much money fixing potholes.

Switch to ‘sport’ mode, though, and everything changes. Throttle response becomes immediate and suddenly that surge of acceleration becomes more violent – instead of riding a wave of torque you’re being barged into the back of the plush leather seat. The hum from the engine becomes noticeably more urgent and aggressive too, and the stiffened suspension does a great job of keeping the body in check on a winding road.

A nimble supercar would leave the Continental for dead in the corners, but this wafty GT would keep itself closer than it has any logical right to.

“A combination of high- and low-pressure fuel injection improves refinement and lowers emissions”

If you’re dropping a six-figure sum on a luxury car you want something with presence, and that’s exactly what the Continental has. It manages to marry aggression and elegance in a way that perfectly characterises its combination of serenity and crushing pace.

There are swooping lines across the top of the cabin that fall into the long bonnet, which features sharp creases to add definition as the front gently droops forward into the grille – that long bonnet makes it clear there’s a big, powerful engine hidden within. The large circular headlights feature exquisite details within the glass, while the sharp fins in the lower grille evoke a sportier image. The flared arches, too, make it clear this is a muscular car hiding stunning performance, yet the overall aura is one of purposeful luxury.

As you’d expect from a Bentley, the interior is of the highest quality. The materials used throughout are some of the best you’ll find in the car industry, and the technology that’s included is suitably impressive.

The leather upholstery is as soft as any you’ll find, making long journeys a breeze – you might actually feel more refreshed than when you got in. This leather is used on most surfaces, so there are no unappealing plastics hidden just out of sight – it’s this attention to detail that makes the Bentley feel a step above the rest.

Meanwhile, the central touchscreen integrates perfectly into the traditional hand-crafted materials, making the Continental feel as traditional as you’d hope but as bang-up-to-date as you require.

However, one potential niggle comes from the use of generic Volkswagen Group parts in places. It’s most noticeable on the steering wheel controls, which are incredibly similar to what you’ll find on something like a Golf or Passat, as is the cruise control stick. Anyone buying a Continental who has one of these models for daily duties will certainly notice.

There’s no two ways about it – the Bentley Continental GT is a magnificent piece of engineering. From the moment you drop into the cosseting leather seats and find yourself cruising along in serene comfort, it’s clear that few cars would be better-suited to chewing up miles. What’s more, it can pair this with the kind of pace that can make grown adults giggle like children, making it arguably the ultimate all-rounder.

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