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130mph Grand Tourer?

Illustration for article titled 130mph Grand Tourer?
Photo: Why are you reading this instead of drooling over the car?

Having spent some time last year travelling on autobahns and autoroutes of Europe, I have decided that 100mph is passé. Dull. Mundane. Pedestrian. Any Hans in his clapped out E30 or Gaston in his diesel 309 can keep up at that speed - even the UK’s famous White Van Man can get there with a good enough runup.

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This has changed the role of the Bentley R Type Continental in my future. Previously my plan when I win the lottery has included doing the Grand Tour in style, travelling in a Continental and staying at 6 star boutique hotels. However the Bentley, having been designed to cruise all day at the then-exorbitant speed of a mere 100mph, is no longer suitable for the job in these modern times. I shall still have one, because face it, they’re gorgeous, but I will need something else for Grand Touring.

I have determined through extensive experiment that the correct speed for Grand Touring in current times is 130mph (or 210km/h, since I’ll be doing this in Europe). That is quick enough to get you anywhere you want to be in time for drinks, and sufficiently faster than the Hanses and Gastons to make it clear that you are a superior being, but not flashy, offensive and downright hard work the way a headlight-flashing 150mph+ is.

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So: what is the correct choice nowadays for driving all day at 130mph with a trunkful of luggage (fitted, obviously), enjoying the odd detour on interesting roads, arriving at your destination comfortable and unrumpled, allowing the women in the party to alight while dressed to the nines without embarrassing themselves, and most importantly, having the valet park your car out the front at any high class hotel or casino and being able to instantly identify your own car among the others out front. Bonus points if it has enough presence to make a policeman in restricted-speed countries reflexively tug his forelock (or in Italy, applaud you) rather than pull you over as you waft past at an exceedingly illegal velocity.

What would you choose, Oppo?

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