There are days, just some days, in the unremitting toil we call existence that make the daily drudgery worthwhile.
This was one of those days, with interest added.
Being behind the wheel of a Kingfisher blue Bentley Continental GT V8 S Convertible with the top down, the Sea of Oman on your right, the Al Hajar mountains to your left with the wind whistling through your hair (ok massaging your bald pate) is one of those freeze-frame moments where you just want to stop the scene and savour the present while it lasts.
There are cars to be driven in and cars to drive, this is the latter by about a million per cent. Climbing into the Bentley is like putting on a new suit, that feeling of somehow being an inch taller.
From a standing start its six-litre W12 twin turbo engine will find 96.56kph (60mph) in 4.1 seconds. You might never need it, but it tops out at 326.69kph (203mph).
Putting the technical specifications aside, this car is a thing of beauty to drive.
In traffic it will happily glide along minding its own business (rather than sulking in the lower range like some sports cars). But put your foot down and it’s as if the entire percussion section of an orchestra has sprung into life. The bass exploding around you (especially with the top down) is astonishing.
And yet as you surge forward you remain in complete control. The suspension, not too soft or springy, allows you to feel the road, complimented by steering pitched just right, the weight and the balance as you head into turns enables the driver to instinctively trust this machine.
Bentley’s PR speak says this: “Drive it with the hood down and a new dimension is revealed. You’re no longer an observer of the passing landscape but a part of it, with every aspect of your journey – especially the thrilling sound track – amplified in the open air.”
Bit overdone perhaps, but yep, that’s pretty much it.
In the cover photo you’ll see the new Mulsanne Speed too. Stay tuned as I be writing about that in detail in Times of Oman‘s Thursday’s magazine soon (which I’ll share here too).