Bentley Continental GT review – performance and 0-60 time

All Continental GT variants are immensely powerful, yet none feel overstressed. The W12’s 626bhp power figure results in the faster of the two units

Evo rating
Price
from £159,100
  • Astonishing ability for such a big car; raw performance; refinement; cabin quality
  • W12 GT not as accomplished as the V8 to drive; chassis feels like it could take more power and focus

The Continental GT’s performance is impressive across the board, with V8 models taking 4.0sec to reach 62mph, and the W12 a faintly ridiculous 3.6sec. Convertible models add 0.1sec to the total due to their marginally higher weight figures. Top speeds are not electronically governed, with the V8 reaching 198mph and the W12 207mph.

And blimey does the W12 feel blisteringly quick in a straight line. The way it summons its energy with such effortless efficiency and simply propels you towards the horizon is as if you’ve been released from a giant bungee cord at the very extreme of its tension. It reminds me of the first time I drove a Bugatti Veyron.

The sense of acceleration is total, yet the sense of control – as if everything is going to be just fine, despite the fact that you appear to be travelling at Mach 2 for much of the time – is also all-encompassing. Combined with a new dual-clutch gearbox that picks off ratios as quickly and calmly as a pickpocket plundering its victims all the way along Oxford Street makes the GT a deeply impressive car to drive, or even just to be driven in.

While the V8 does lack the W12’s ultimate punch, it is both noticeably more agile and charismatic. The V8’s low-speed burble is a nice counterpoint to the W12’s sometimes locomotive-like whoosh, and thanks to its own deep-rooted torque figure doesn’t feel short-changed for grunt on the road.

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