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Used Bentley Continental GT (Mk2, 2010-2018) review - What’s it like to drive?

Choose the silky smooth W12 or the rumbustious V8 – either way the Conti is devastatingly quick

The Bentley Continental GT is a big car, and it shows in corners. Four-wheel drive means there’s lots of grip, but the W12 Continental GT rolls a bit in bends – and always feels more at home as a long-distance cruiser than anywhere near a racetrack. As for the V8 S, it provides the best blend of handling (superb for such a big car), but still with the ability to waft along.

Engines

There are two engines in the Continental line-up: an updated version of the 6.0-litre W12 from the original Continental GT (available with either 567bhp as standard, or 633bhp in the GT Speed) and the newer 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 available with 500bhp as standard or an extra 21bhp in S spec.

The V8 got cylinder-deactivation as standard, but in 2015 the W12 was also given the ability to run on six cylinders when power demands are low. Power was also boosted from 567bhp to 582bhp, while torque increased by 20Nm to 720Nm. The slight power jump might not be noticed, but the efficiency tweaks are useful.

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We’d go for the 521bhp V8 S, as it offers similar performance to the W12, has better handling and much better fuel economy, plus a great V8 soundtrack. If you want a luxurious grand tourer that can pamper four passengers (at a push) and still be an entertaining driver’s car, the Continental GT remains a great choice.

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However, the GT Speed is significantly faster, with a top speed of 206mph (or 203mph for the convertible), along with suspension that's lowered by 10mm and around 45 per cent stiffer. As a result, the handling is remarkably precise for a 2.3-tonne car.

It's the V8 that delivers a sportier soundtrack, too. While the W12's booming full throttle exhaust note is imposing, it never sounds particularly exciting for such an outrageously powerful car.

On the road

It goes without saying that the Bentley Continental GT is savagely quick in a straight line, regardless of the engine under the bonnet. Translated into on-road performance, even the standard GT V8 delivers 190mph and 0-60mph in 4.6 seconds. The standard W12-powered GT offers 198mph and a 4.3-second 0-60mph time.

A GT car is never going to handle with the precision and deftness of, say, a Ferrari California T; there’s always a sense that the Bentley Continental GT is more comfortable being, well, comfortable. In many ways, this makes the precise steering and the car’s relative reluctance to lean when cornering seem all the more impressive.

The Supersports offers the best blend of comfort and supercar-like performance. It rides 10mm lower than the ‘standard’ Continental GT, with stiffer springs, carbon-ceramic brakes and a titanium exhaust. It’ll tackle a B-road like a hot hatch, which is amazing for a car weighing as much as a boutique hotel.

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