It’s almost impossible to sit in a Continental GT now without musing on its age. Previous to the Volkswagen Group’s overlordship, an elderly Bentley could be appreciated like a first-edition book or a vinyl record cover, the leather and wood absorbing time and patina as if layered onto it like so much French polish.
The GT, though, is far too modern to grow old so gracefully. Instead, it’s rather like watching an effects-laden blockbuster from the late 1990s: everything is recognisably in place, yet also now very clearly out of date.
Bentley knows this, of course, and so with the GT3-R it does what it has been doing for the past half decade and dazzles you with its lavish materials and fine craftsmanship. And even in 2015, it does that to intoxicating effect.
The cabin’s chief difference, though, is to be found directly behind you, where the rear seats have been plundered in the interests of weight reduction. But that paring down extends to almost nothing else in the cabin.
Yes, the door casings are made from rather beautiful lacquered carbonfibre, as are some of the fascia panels elsewhere, but that’s worth about as much in the GT’s case as titanium earrings on a hippo.