Parkers overall rating: 4.6 out of 5 4.6
  • Two petrol choices
  • A V8 and V12
  • Both are impressive

Performance is strong whichever of the two models you pick – the V8 is hardly what you’d call an ‘entry-level’ car. It uses a 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged V8 petrol engine developing 550hp and 770Nm of torque. That’s enough to propel the all-wheel drive Continental GT Convertible to 62mph from a standstill in just 4.0 seconds, and will reach 198mph at top speed.

In action it’s a much louder and dramatic feel than the soothing W12, with a similarly-rapid feel thanks to a higher redline and that extra, more aggressive noise coming from under the bonnet and out of the exhausts.

The W12 is the more luxurious, wafty option, but one that – on paper at least – trounces the V8 for outright numbers. A whopping 635hp and 900Nm, 3.8 seconds to get from 0-62mph and a top speed of 207mph. It’s no slouch.

It sounds growly when you first start it up, and it’ll quite happily cruise around town soothing you with very little drama. However, it doesn’t take long to learn just how much power is on tap if you alter the driving modes. The usual comfort-oriented and sport-focused modes are there, but there’s also a dedicated Bentley mode indicated by a ‘B’ on the drive mode select. It manages the perfect blend of comfort and control with a ferocious bark from the exhausts and the engine fired up and ready. That’s because it’s a driving mode honed by Bentley’s engineers, so they know what they’re doing.

Rev it out and the relentless pace is incredible, while the howl from the V12 engine is intoxicating, just missing out on the V8 for overall drama more of the time. The eight-speed automatic gearbox makes its way through the gears effortlessly. Despite how much power this car has, it never feels overwhelmed by it. It just goes.

How does it handle?

  • Hides its size well most of the time
  • Adaptive air suspension helps with this
  • Driving modes tweak things too

The Continental may look a sporting grand tourer in coupe guise, but the GT Convertible is primarily for wafting around in luxurious serenity. And it does it fabulously. The air suspension soaks up the worst bumps in the road despite the car’s huge alloy wheels, and shrugs off bad imperfections in the road.

In Comfort mode, the Conti floats around without feeling out of control like some air-suspended cars can feel, but there’s still a nice weight to the steering so you don’t feel detached from the experience. With the roof down it can feel a little wobbly over bad surfaces, but only the very worst mid-corner bumps, for example. Roof up, this isn’t as noticeable.

If you switch the car into Sport mode, the suspension firms up nicely to keep the car’s 2.5-tonne heft in control in the bends, but only if the road is smooth. It can feel a little jumpy and shuddery through the car if the surface is worse than perfect.

Most of the time you’ll just want to waft around in peace and quiet, and the Continental GT Convertible does it quietly, serenely and elegantly. Just how a Bentley should be, in short.