Thursday, April 17, 2014

Bentley Continental GT V8S - Test Drive

I was invited by Al-Zayyani Motors - Dealers of Bentley, Ferrari, Jaguar, Bugatti and other car brands in Kuwait to fly to Oman and test drive the new Bentley GTV8S.


I came from Bahrain at night maybe 10:45pm
Went home
Unpacked
Packed again
Showered
Had lunch
And headed to the airport again at 2:00 am to catch my next flight on Oman Air at 4:00 am


Arrived to Muscat Airport
Bought a line from Omantel
Found someone waiting for me
Went outside to see the new Flying Spur waiting for me to go my hotel!

What a ride!


I was hoping to get some sleep in between or during the flight, no chance at all.
Tried to sleep in the Bentley.. Still no chance..

Arrived at the Shagri-La Hotel (Al-Husn) to see lots of fine art parked outside.. Lots of V8S
And two V8 cars and one GT Speed.


Checked in
Changed
Showered again
Booked a massage session for after the test drive
Went back to the Lobby
signed those papers (If you die, we take your wallet) disclaimers :P

And went to the cars..


I was very keen in the beginning to drive theV8 and then drive the V8S to get more feel of the difference between the two. Especially if you drive them back to back.

The V8 comes with a 4.0L engine Twin turbo charged makes a hefty 500Bhp
660 Nm of torque
8Speed transmission
0-100km/h in 4.8 seconds
Top speed is 303km/h
Weighs a total of 2750kg with full tank and a driver..

The V8S
added 21 extra Bhp to reach a total of 521Bhp
20Nm of torque to reach 680Nm
same transmission
0-100 km/h in 4.5 which is a lot for only 21Bhp!
Top speed is 309 which is again very significant.
weight is the same though.


So we drove in the city of Muscat in the beginning to get the feel of the car in some traffic.. It feels very normal.. once you're inside, you can't feel the size of the car.. It is wide but you sit in a place where you can see all the angles well.

Then we headed to the highways.. again.. I took a convertible V8.. I was expecting some wind noise on high speeds.. But was so quit! with time, you forget you're in a convertible!

It was only some noise form the big rims.. but not as noise.. in general.. maybe only the Mulsanne will top that silence.


Then we headed to some small lanes between villages..
Turns and bends very twisty up to some mountains to reach an area called Sifah where we will have lunch and switch cars.


After Lunch, I jumped into the white V8S you see below..
Very well trimmed and so white..
I wanted another white one but it was taken..
It is a bit blue! white but blue?
Called Ice white!


From the moment you enter the V8S.. You can't feel the change..
Totally Identical..
But once you hit the road..
full throttle... YES!

A little bit more exhaust note! Lovely royal ROAR! PHRRRRR not VRRRR!


Power difference.. Unless you drive them back to back.. you won't even know.. They're almost the same but you can feel the torque picking up.. more Bhp and more Nm of torque can be felt in a smaller or lighter cars.. but in an almost 3 tonnes car.. the feel is not very significant.


You can control the hight to drop it 10mm lower than the normal V8 and this was something I felt better than the V8 in some corners between the mountains.


The trip back to the hotel was shorter.. But I was already awake for 30 hours! So I remembered the Flying Spur test I did earlier..

Guess what I found? The Massage button!!!!
Yes...
I pressed that and relaxed for the next hour or so.. And then the seat air cooling system.. where you have these little holes in the seat pushing cold air in your back.. Called Butt cooling system.. I love it!

I almost slept! but driving fast in some cars keeps you awake better than a RedBull!


8 Speed transmission was very quick and responsive
Pedals fitted behind the wheel feels the same as those fitted to LP560-4


Ride was very supple and refined compared to the Old Bentley GT I tested back in 2008.. It was the SuperSport version and that was a bit sportier and much more powerful.


Power is more than enough.. 521Bhp was so good..
I remember when car makers like BMW used to brag about their M5 making 400 Bhp in 1998..

Now the starting point for the CGT is 500!

You can't say "I Need More Power"
But I wouldn't mind the GT Speed.. I am a Horsepower junkie.


You have a lot of colours to choose from.. even if the colour you want does not exist.. they'll make it for you..


The fuel consumption was good comparing to the crazy driving style we were doing..
But in normal mode driving..
you can do 850km between fill ups..

That's better than most normal cars even.. and the fuel tank is not even big! its only 90 Litres.


The only comment I have.. Is how wide the A pillars..
On some twisty roads between mountains, you really have those blind spots.

But if you drive slowly.. you'll be ok..
Or even in the city.. But our driving style was crazy.. that's why I felt it..



As for now.. Enjoy some pictures I got from the event by the talented Photographer..


















All in All this is just one of the finest cars you can get for that price..
A Company started making fine cars from day one..
But with a sporty/luxury fusion..

Thank god we had a photographer to do all of our photography and leave me to enjoy driving this car..

Thanks Bentley
Thanks Zayyani
Thanks Ahmed
Thanks Performance PR
Thanks Nobel Events

Old Formula1 cars cutouts

For Formula1 fans and especially those interested in the roots of the modern race cars and teams.. here you find some of the most iconic cars and what they wear beneath the wings and carbon covers..








I have seen this Ferrari Above and the Lotus Below in the GoodWood Members' meeting and you can see the real ones Here






Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Bahrain GP 2014

After I came back from GoodWood, I have only one day to stay in Kuwait before I head to Bahrain for the Formula1 race.


Me and my friend booked the three day event ticket to attend the practice and the qualifying since we were excited about the new season, and wanna see how the cars will sound with the new engine!


Practice was very normal! and we noticed that we don't need any ear plugs since they're mute!!!
Turbo blow-off can't be heard also for all cars.. only few can be noticed.


It was very nice to stay till the end of each session to see the safety car and enjoy the roaring AMG V8 that sounded 10 times better than the F1 cars!


McLaren wearing the GulfAir Livery.. NIIICE


Next Day, Qualifying was a bit normal.. but lots of surprises shocked everyone, Vettel 11th! and because Richhardo was penalised, Vettel got to 10th!
 

To me the best looking cars this season is the Martini Racing and Redbulls.
Martini as you can see below, were not allowed to use Martini.. and replaced it with Racing! since Bahrain is an Islamic country.. Although McLarens used to race with Jhonny Walker branding!


Race Day!

We were staying in the lower pits of Oasis Grand Stand.. with one of our Kuwaiti teams from the GT3 Cup Porsche racers..

And they Have screens in the pits, So they asked us to stay and watch the race in the pits.
Race started, and we noticed that everyone was standing at the fence of the pits which is only 3 meters from the cars!



So we ran with our cameras to have this life time opportunity of getting this close to the cars..
We took as many pictures as you can imagine.. I have almost 1500 pictures from that angle!



Later on, Marshals discovered that we have no badges and asked us to go back to the pits,in a very polite way! I Love Bahrainis.


Being this close from the cars, You'll notice how mute they are!
No need for ear plugs at all.. It was noisy yes, but not deafening like the V8s or V10s.
 























This was the best race I have attended in my life.
Enjoyed every single moment and loved the weather..
My only concern is the policemen outside the track giving false directions and information without listening to people.

But I'll definitely attend it next year if its at night.

Enjoy!