Haute Auto : Bentley & Aston Martin

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2013 Bentley Continental GT Speed: Consummate Conceptions

Welcome to the famed Autobahn, an intricate system of motorways connecting various German regions and cities. Only a few vehicles have the power, stability, braking capacity, and the efficiency to accelerate up to 205 mph in a short cycle of time and decrease speed profusely before hitting impending traffic. For the rest it’s an untenable position. The 2013 Continental GT Speed which now becomes Bentley’s fastest production vehicle ever is amongst this elite few. Why, it only has a top speed of 205 mph.

Its thick gear selector is wrapped partially in red leather and topped off with Bentley’s traditional knurling metal top cap, while the hand-stitched seats are embossed with the company’s “Winged B” insignia.

Life begins with the GT’s pivotal twin turbo W12 engine. At 6000 rpm, 616 horsepower are at your disposal while 590 pound-feet of torque propels the rear-biased AWD coupe from 0 mph to 60 mph in just four seconds. Note that 500 pound-feet of that torque is available at just 1000 rpm. A new and intuitive close-ratio 8-speed ZF automatic transmission provides quick shifts from either Normal or Sport modes. Of course, Sport transforms the vehicle into a performance happy beast while Normal allows the driver to enjoy the luxury of the vehicle. On the Autobahn, its acceleration is relentless while the Speed is reaching copious amounts of speed as if we’re at Le Mans: 140 mph, 150 mph, 160 mph and then I stopped counting to pay attention to traffic.

All the while I’m relaxing in the palace themed cabin with perforated diamond quilted leather chariot seats that are tan and red in nature to match the exterior Rubino Red we were driving. Actually 17 various exterior finishes are presented with an unlimited palette available from Bentley mild to wild. An enhanced multi-media system features an 8” touchscreen entertainment system with Google 3D mapping that offers guidance from zip codes and the ability to set your own points of interest such as all of my favorite vegan restaurants so I never go without energy. I connected my iPhone and pumped Reggae through the highly specialized 11-speaker Naim audio system ($7,155) and continued playing with the Nav system which also has a 15-gig hard drive. The tech savvy center stack is embedded deep within the red leather dash. Its thick gear selector is wrapped partially in red leather and topped off with Bentley’s traditional knurling metal top cap, while the hand-stitched seats are embossed with the company’s “Winged B” insignia.

Keep in mind the Speed is not a limited edition Bentley. It’s a true model and represents almost 50% of all Continental sales. On sale now, expect a price tag of $215,000. Our vehicle was itemized with premium additions that brought the total price tag to $248,820.

Aston Martin

2014 As ton Martin Vanquish: Vehemently Vicious

It is hand built in the United Kingdom through sophisticated craftsmanship and meticulous artisan techniques requiring 250 man hours to construct completely from the ground up. Its exoskeleton is framed from aluminum and carbon fiber for a competent, yet lightweight structure. Exemplary British fortitude equates to magnificent frontiers defining the exquisite nature of its tantalizing silhouette. A breath of life is initiated through the chronicles of 12-cylinder enhancement by way of tempered enthusiasm for motorsports performance within unwavering luxury conciliation. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome the re-invigorated 2014 Aston Martin Vanquish Super GT.

What may seem to be hyperbole to friendly automotive competition equates to truth and belief for connoisseurs of the finer things in life specifically related to the British auto industry. Where many supercars have ephemeral lifespans and limited production runs, Aston Martin keeps raising the bar with one awesome sports car after another. Thus, each has dual temperaments that cast off signals as sizzling as a forbidden romantic partner or as mysterious as a double agent entrapped in British espionage. And now that the Vanquish name has been restored to order, ultimately “vanquishing” the DBS into retirement, Aston Martin can begin its newfound future with the flagship of the family dictating orders. ASTON MARTIN

 Sexy and succulent is an understatement when describing the lavish interior of the 2+2 Vanquish.

Generating 565-horsepower and 457 lb.-ft. of torque from Aston Martin’s naturally aspirated 6.0-liter V12 engine, the authoritative coupe sprints 0 mph to 60 mph in 4 seconds and has a top speed of 183 mph. Shifting is enabled by Aston Martin’s rear-mid mounted 6-speed Touchtronic 2 automatic transmission with shifters mounted on the steering column.

Sitting astute with flair and poignancy, the Vanquish receives some styling cues from the DBS and the One-77. The remaining 75% parts are all new. Both the front and rear end are broad with bolstered wheel arches that house Pirelli P Zero tires. Sizeable ventilated carbon ceramic discs slow the Vanquish down with six-piston front and 4-piston rear calipers.

Sexy and succulent is an understatement when describing the lavish interior of the 2+2 Vanquish. For example, the resilient red and black full leather cabin and carbon fiber trim I experienced in the Skyfall Silver model was exemplary. Contrast stitching, Alcantara headlining and an embedded carbon fiber center stack was most impressive. Insert the glass key into the center positioned starter and the Vanquish comes to life like a grizzly fresh out of hibernation. Sounds like one as well since the exhaust system has too been borrowed from the One-77.

Aston Martin has the $279,995 Vanquish set to launch this Spring. Of course your vehicle can be made to order by altering colors, materials, and trims or one can choose from AM’s itemized list of features. Bespoke builds are the British way — it’s in their nature.

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