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In-depth reviews

Bentley Continental GT coupe review

"The Bentley Continental GT has been reborn with improved technology that makes it feel lighter and nimbler than before"

Carbuyer Rating

3.8 out of 5

Owners Rating
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Pros

  • Improved technology
  • Incredible interior quality
  • More exciting to drive than predecessor

Cons

  • Limited rear space
  • Thirsty engines
  • Expensive options

Bentley spent more than half-a-decade developing its third-generation Continental GT coupe, and the luxurious cruiser is aimed squarely at the Aston Martin DB11, Mercedes-AMG GT and the Ferrari 812 Superfast.

The previous generation Continental GT was a resounding success for the British marque, and it has gone on to become Bentley’s best-selling model of all time. As Bentley looks towards an electrified future, the petrol-powered Continental GT still stands as one of the best ways to travel long distances in style and comfort, and its powerful engines offer the potential for plenty of fun along the way.

The third-generation Continental GT has been entirely redeveloped from the ground up, and it now shares its underpinnings with the Porsche Panamera. Bentley’s engineers worked closely with Porsche during the platform's inception to ensure they’d have precisely the foundations needed to develop the ultimate Continental GT.

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A design overhaul, complete with muscular proportions and a more ground-hugging appearance, gives Bentley's most sporting model much more purpose this time around. It isn’t any longer than before, but the wheels have been pushed out to each corne, giving the car a more athletic stance, while sharpened edges and creases add muscularity to the overall design. A Blackline pack that sees chrome replaced by gloss black trim also points to the Continental's popularity with a younger set of buyers who prefer more aggressive looks.

A newly developed 6.0-litre W12 twin-turbo engine arrived first, but a smaller 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged V8 subsequently joined it – a petrol-electric V6 plug-in hybrid may eventually join the range too. The latest W12 model is much sharper than its predecessor, but the less expensive and lighter V8 model is still absurdly quick. Perhaps, for this reason, the Continental GT and GT S now come with just the V8 engine, while the W12 only features as standard in the flagship GT Speed, though it can also be chosen with the exclusive GT Mulliner model. A host of chassis upgrades have also been engineered to make this Continental GT one of the most exciting Bentleys to drive ever.

In all versions, the engine now sits nearer the centre of the car, and there's a new eight-speed gearbox and suspension. The heavyweight GT belies its size on track, handling more like a four-wheel-drive sports saloon, but adjustable suspension allows everything to be softened when Comfort mode is chosen. An electronically controlled limited-slip differential appears in the GT Speed for the first time, making the coupe even more playful, while enormous optional carbon-ceramic brakes help deal with the extra power.

The Continental's occupants have plenty to enjoy inside, from the delightful leather massaging seats to the new 12.3-inch infotainment display that can be hidden at the press of a button when Bentley's rotating display is chosen as an option. As always, each customer is also able to specify their GT to be completely unique, from the shade of the leather to the wooden veneer and optional audio systems.

Bentley interiors have long been among the finest in the world, but now the latest chassis and infotainment technology has been added to the mix, the Continental GT has become arguably the best all-round grand tourer on sale.

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Richard is a former editor of Carbuyer, as well as sister site DrivingElectric.com, and he's now Deputy Editor at Auto Express. Having spent a decade working in the automotive industry, he understands exactly what makes new car buyers tick.

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