Bentley GT Speed W12 or Aston Vantage V12 – you choose

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So, here’s the thing. I have an Aston Martin Vantage S V12 parked outside Car Couture Towers – with the Bentley GT Speed next to it. Which one would you choose?

I love the passion, drama and craziness of the Aston. It’s obviously lighter, more agile and exhilarating than the Bentley, which is such a large amount of metal, it’s best experienced in a straight line. And wow, does it shift.

But the Aston is beautifully flawed, thanks to the latest Speedshift auto gearbox. Aston would tell you that it is more ‘driver focussed’ – ie designed to be at its best at speed. But quite frankly, it sucks.

There’s such a lag as it flicks up a gear that you are physically pushed forward through each cog of the seven-speed box. It’s uncomfortable and tiresome.

This doesn’t happen rivals supercars, which usually have a double clutch system and are super smooth. The Bentley change is seamless, as is the Porsche 911, Audi R8 etc

So, while I would always choose the Vantage over the big, bad Bentley (heart rules over head), it could be so, so better…

  • Car Couture is off to Switzerland for the annual hols – we’re back from the grand tour on August 21

 

The spider-like headlights of the Bentley Continental isn’t for arachnophobes

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The Breitling clock, the quilted leather seats… there’s no doubt the interior of the GT Speed is more like a gentlemen’s club than the cabin of a car. But what about the exterior?

A friend of mine is ‘freaked out’ by the front end. She says the big, round headlights remind her of a spider – and that’s not a good thing.

I find the rear end slightly more troubling. It’s that lip spoiler that distorts the smooth flow of the boot line.

There’s a new, hidden spoiler, that only pops out at high speed on 2016 model year Speeds. I would have thought that was enough to keep the GT on the road at 200mph?

Either way, the back of the Continental isn’t the prettiest. I’ve never seen the back end of a spider close up but perhaps there is a similarity…

 

The Bentley sounds like two Lesbians moaning in a bucket…

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The acoustic exhaust system is a modern phenomenon. A button that opens valves in the exhaust pipes for dramatic effect is an option on most top end cars, from Porsche to Maserati.

Bentley is no different – although it’s nothing quite so vulgar. For the full effect you just press the ‘sport’ button and let your Continental growl and guffaw at pedestrians.

And of all the supercars we’ve driven here at Car Couture, the Bentley is by far the most pleasing on the ear.

AA Gill once labelled it as sounding like ‘two Lesbians, moaning in a bucket’. I think it’s more like a Spitfire at low revs and low level.

To be honest, it’s the finest sound I’ve heard from any car. It’s not a spit and a cackle, like the Jaguar F-Type, but a monumental groan on a W12 engine flexing its muscles. Wow…