Chris Harris video: Bentley Conti vs Audi S4

Enjoyable though it may be orchestrating the multiple brands of the VW group, ensuring that each has its own space in the market and a distinct personality must be a constant battle.

The new Bentley Continental Speed is in many ways an outright attack on Newton's laws. It weighs 2.4 tonnes, has 625hp and yet somehow manages to go around corners extremely fast. It's probably the best fast GT car in the correct sense of the designation.

Relations of sorts but just how close?
Relations of sorts but just how close?
I drove one a few weeks back, a few hours later I drove a new Audi S4 and was struck by how many similarities there were. Not direct comparative stuff, but subtler genetic traits that made me wonder if there it might be something worth exploring.

Two VW products that sit on opposite sides of the The Empire - how much do they have in common? And if so, is that a positive or a negative situation?

All rather serious, but hopefully it'll calm those who say we destroy too many tyres.

Enjoy the vid!


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Comments (84) Join the discussion on the forum

  • Carnnoisseur 17 Mar 2013

    Dr Z said:
    Some very interesting commentary in the video. Enjoyed it!

    Hate the chrome surrounds on the Bentley tail lights. Yuck.

    Funnily enough, I'm usually given an A4/S4 when I have the my GT serviced. Not sure I've noticed the similarities though?

    Personally, I'd rather spend the £170k GT Speed purchase price on a 2 year old Mulsanne with demo mileage (think I'm getting old)....

  • Light n Hairy 16 Mar 2013

    carinaman said:
    smile Good post.

    Will Porsche be able to retain their 'character' or have they always been Borgswagens due to their Beetle roots?

    VAGness permeates everywhere?

    That 2WD manual Gallardo looks like a great motor though, but someone nearby had a black manual R8 for a while. The R8 channels the Miura to my eyes. How to choose between an R8 and a Gallardo? It's just the brand on the bottle or packet of cigarettes isn't it? I find myself drawn to both.

    VAGness means they have every niche covered and it's one way of securing market share and domination and maximum part sharing profitabilty?

    Is an RS2 really that much more than an S2, 100/C6 C4 S4/S6? Commonality of parts providing much the same in various wrappers and different strengths has been with us for a while? Perhaps as Monkey is hinting at that too much of that and it all seems the same, it's all Borgswagen as Light n Hairy said.

    I quite like both these Borgswagens. smile

    A Bentley Borgswagen means the Bentley badge is still with us and we have more choice?

    I love the Bentley glasshouse. It's a bit Aston to my eyes and better than that A5 coupe with the awkward rear side glass.

    Edited by carinaman on Thursday 14th March 13:23

    Borgswagen design academy flyer, 20 years hence.

  • GrahamC230K 16 Mar 2013

    Nice to see someone in Chris' position appreciating the S4 for what it is and praising it accordingly.

  • g3org3y 16 Mar 2013

    Another great video CH. Love the level of enthusiasm for car geekery. thumbup

    PS, my gf was in the same room while I was watching your video. She says you have a "nice voice"! silly

  • Tartan Pixie 15 Mar 2013

    Ari said:
    JREwing said:
    Is it just me, or was Chris suspicious that the speedo on each were in similar places? As well as the satnav screen and the gearlever and the handbrake switch. Are those things not in broadly similar places in the majority of cars?
    I was thinking exactly the same. What does he expect, the steering wheel to be in the boot and the handbrake switch on the roof? biggrin
    There's a difference between broadly similar and bland uniformity.

    Take for example the Toyota GT86 and the Toyota Verso, both from the same manufacturer and both built down to a price, yet totally different character. The controls are in a broadly similar place but if you closed your eyes there's no way you could mistake which car you were driving.

    See also the current crop of hot hatches for cars that have broadly similar controls yet display different characters.

    As hairyben said earlier:
    hairyben said:
    Why it's such a suprise they feel, ergonomically, so simular? Why wouldn't VAG, having spent a considerable sum of money to arrive at what they consider the ergonomic ideal, apply it to everything they produce? If they make any particular car a bit different, then by definition they're deliberately making it worse.
    If the VAG way is an 'ergonomic ideal' it would suggest that the Lexus LFA is worse, that the Mercedes SLS is worse, indeed that every car that isn't a VAG is worse because it doesn't conform to this mythical 'ergonomic ideal'.

    We all have our own take on what makes the perfect car yet VAG seem to have restricted themselves to only one version of perfection.

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