Not that we’re trying to brag or anything, but crankandpiston has already enjoyed its fair share of international launch events this year. Most of these have predominantly included tearing across glamorous landscapes in some of the industry’s most sought after vehicles and enjoying the generous hospitality of one kind-hearted manufacturer or another.
Okay, maybe we’re bragging a little. These events though have given us plenty of opportunity to hone our critiquing skills. So much so that following a recent event with Bentley, we came up with a pretty solid checklist to show what is required for a successful automotive media jaunt:
1– Luxurious Location
A key way to whet the appetites of the assembled media masses is with a stunning location. Suffice to say that when Bentley invited a group of Middle East media representatives to Oman for a few days to test its Continental GT V8 on our home turf, it didn’t take much time thinking about coastlines and the Sultanate’s rugged terrain for us to say yes.
If that wasn’t enough, our overnight stop off in Muscat was the Shangri-la Barr Al Jissah resort, high in the Al Waha mountains where the scenery and atmosphere is astonishing. Add three hearty square meals a day and a comfortable place to rest our weary noggins, and Bentley hit that particular nail pretty squarely on the head.
2 – Car to suit the occasion
The new V8 Continental GT represents Bentley’s drive for a younger customer base, meaning the focus is less on the luxury and ease-of-use exemplified by the established W12 powerplant and more about performance and dynamism: less about driving gloves and easy-listening radio and more about apex speeds and smoking sub-5s 0-100kph runs. So it will be interesting to see how the V8 303kph Bentley performs on ground so authoritatively controlled by the BMW M5.
3 – A good view
The red Bentley emblem, redesigned front grille and hard as nails 20” Diamond Black alloys are fairly subdued changes, and yet carry just enough weight to cast a surprisingly imposing look. It’s certainly not menacing (let’s not carried away!), the angular and sometimes sweeping bodyline offsetting that nicely. The Dragon Red finish in particular has caught my eye, emphasizing the redesigned front bumper and the more aggressive air inlets excellently. The coupe is a very handsome piece of kit.