The Continental GT comes with a choice of three engines – a twin-turbo 4.0-litre V8 that produces 500bhp, and 567bhp and 616bhp versions of a mammoth 6.0-litre W12. Even the V8 is exceptionally fast and keen to unfurl its awesome power at very low engine speeds.
It might be fast, but the GT is by no means a raw sports car; it’s too big and heavy for that. The V8 model feels more agile than the W12s thanks to the lighter engine in its nose. All models give you the reassurance of four-wheel drive, as well as adjustable air suspension that mostly strikes a decent balance between comfort and control.
You’d be appalled if the GT wasn’t library quiet: you won’t be disappointed. Inevitably, those big tyres do generate some road noise over grainier surfaces, but that’s the only fly in the ointment. The engines run at just above tickover at motorway speeds, while the triple laminated acoustic glass blots out wind noise to the point where driving past cars traveling in the opposite direction produces only the faintest murmur of wind whoosh.
The Continental GT is obviously anything but cheap, and while residual values are reasonable, you’ll still lose a small fortune in depreciation. The V8 costs considerably less to buy than the W12s, though, and it will return almost 27mpg if driven carefully, whereas the W12s average less than 20mpg.
You’d expect a Bentley to provide a luxurious environment, and the Continental GT does just that. Just about everything is trimmed with polished wood or soft leather, and the quality of the fixtures and fittings is exemplary. We've no reason to doubt the Audi and VW-sourced mechanicals, either.
The GT is a very safe car to drive, with peerless traction from its four-wheel-drive system. Electronic safety systems help you avoid skids, while twin front, side and curtain airbags, and active anti-whiplash front head restraints protect occupants in a shunt. Deadlocks and an alarm are on hand to keep thieves at bay.
There's a wide range of electric adjustment to help drivers of different shapes and sizes make themselves comfortable, and although you sit quite high, the high window line creates a secure feel. The dash is styled to echo the wings of the Bentley badge, and is reasonably user-friendly. However, the thick, steeply angled windscreen pillars leave blind spots at roundabouts and junctions.
Space isn't a problem if you're sitting in the front, and small adults will fit (for short distances) in the twin rear seats. The Continental GT is more practical than most supercars you can buy for the money, then, especially since you also get a large, well-shaped boot with a low loading lip.
The Continental GT comes with nearly every piece of equipment you can think of. There's a paddle-shift system for the automatic gearbox, as well as satellite-navigation, climate control, cruise control and an elaborate stereo. In typical Bentley style, customers can also specify virtually any other luxury item they might desire.
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