The Sunday Times Driving Placeholder
So good that it would be a crime to let Premier League footballers have it all to themselves.
Pros
Build quality
Sheer style
Wonderful V8 almost makes the excessive W12 redundant.
Cons
Exterior styling isn’t sufficiently different from that of the first-generation model.

Bentley Continental GT review (2012-on)

The Bentley Continental GT: a car for crossing continents in complete comfort, and at a fair old lick

More Info

What is the Bentley Continental GT?

A sporting car for gentlemen who have left behind their days of impersonating The Stig at the wheel of a Porsche or Ferrari. As its name suggests, the Bentley Continental GT has been designed with the capability to cross continents in complete comfort and at a fair old lick.

A new model was introduced in February 2012, and with it came a V8 engine that endows the GT with better fuel economy and lower exhaust emissions, yet never feels anything less than blisteringly fast. Beyond that, it’s business as usual, with accommodation for four people and a cabin utterly steeped in luxury.

The drive

The new V8 engine is sourced from Audi, and while some purists may scoff at the thought of a Bentley with a “puny” 4-litre engine from a mass-market manufacturer, they would soon change their tune after driving it. Bentley’s engineers have reworked the V8 at the factory in Crewe, and the end result is a thunderous 500 horsepower capable of hustling the big coupe from 0-62mph in 4.8 seconds and on to 188mph, snarling like the hounds of hell as it goes.


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Equally impressive is the Bentley’s cylinder deactivation mode, which contributes to the car’s very reasonable combined-cycle 26.7mpg (a huge improvement on the 17mpg of the 6-litre W12, 12-cylinder version), as does the state-of-the-art, eight-speed automatic transmission.

As ever, the engine drives all four wheels, so roadholding is little short of spectacular in all weathers. And what an experience driving the GT is, its imperious feel coming from its ability to cover ground at an indecent rate while cocooning its occupants in a cabin with the aura of a gentleman’s club lounge.

The interior

The Continental GT’s interior is as comfortable and luxurious as one could hope for in a car of such large performance potential. It even has its own signature aroma thanks to the yards of hand-stitched, quilted leather and faultlessly veneered wood trim.

Under the skin, much of the Bentley’s electronic gadgetry is shared with Audi and Volkswagen, although Bentley’s people have done a grand job of dressing it up to satisfy the expectations of people prepared to pay almost £124,000 for their ride. Almost everything on board has a well-oiled, perfectly damped action, or clicks with marvellous precision. As for accommodation, the Continental’s cabin is of sufficient proportions to carry four adults in perfect comfort, and it allows them to bring along their Louis Vuitton luggage, too.

The One to Buy

There is only one Continental GT V8.

Factfile

      Price:
      £123,850 (correct at time of first publication)

Engine:
3993cc, twin-turbo V8
Power:
500bhp @ 6000rpm
Torque:
487 lb ft @ 1700rpm
Transmission:
Eight-speed automatic
Acceleration:
0-62mph 4.8sec
Top Speed:
188mph
Fuel
26.9mpg combined
CO2:
246g/km
Road Tax Band:
L
Dimensions:
L 4806mm W 1944mm H1404mm

Or buy used for similar money