Self-proclaimed Bentley enthusiast Jay Leno hosted the British luxury car company’s latest and greatest coupe in this episode of Jay Leno’s Garage, comparing it to Bentley’s grand touring cars of old, including a 1930s Bentley 8 Litre in his personal collection.
Leno admits that when he first saw the green Continental GT concept at Pebble Beach, he was fascinated by its design.
The concept was powered by VW Group’s massive 6.0-liter W-12, which is still available. However, the car that visit’s Jay’s garage is a 2020 Continental GT with a twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V-8 producing an entirely respectable 542 horsepower and 568 pound-feet of torque. That’s equivalent to what the W-12 offered in the Conti GT’s first iteration.
For this segment, Leno is joined by Bentley’s Western Regional Director Michael Heywood, who walks him through the changes to the latest generation of Bentley’s grand-touring 2+2.
Heywood shows off the Continental’s hide-away infotainment screen, its copious wood trim, and other interior features. He also walks around the big coupe’s exterior and engine bay to give Leno a glimpse into the engineering and craftsmanship underpinning the British grand tourer.
Leno takes the opportunity to talk shop with Heywood about his own Bentley, which he picked up in 1988.
On the road, Leno talks about the development of modern sport and touring cars, waxing nostalgic about how traditional tourers were built for covering long distances at relatively high speeds, rather than putting up numbers on a racetrack. Like James May of Top Gear and The Grand Tour fame, Leno has strong feelings about what the Nurburgring has done to ride quality in the name of lap times.
Leno’s love for Bentley’s traditional approach to its luxury coupe shines throughout the video. Give it a watch.