This car has been superseded by a newer model, click here to go to the latest Bentley Continental GT Coupe review.

Parkers overall rating: 4.5 out of 5 4.5

Adding two turbos to an engine that already displaces six litres over 12 cylinders is a recipe for real fireworks. The GT punches out a huge 552bhp at 6100rpm to deliver a top speed of 198mph. But it’s the pulling power available over such a broad range of revs that makes the GT feel effortlessly quick from any speed. All the pulling power is on tap by 1600rpm meaning there’s never any wait for the performance to arrive, unlike in some naturally aspirated rivals.

Without a hint of slip the four-wheel drive traction rockets the Bentley to 60mph in just 4.6 seconds as the cabin fills with the deep murmur of the mighty engine up front, though the noise never becomes intrusive. The GT Speed is even faster, its 600bhp knocking three tenths off the 0-60mph sprint, delivering an even bigger kick in the back and making this the first Bentley to crack 200mph.

The only available gearbox in both is a smooth six-speed automatic but paddles behind the wheel allow total control.

This isn’t the kind of car you’d take to a track day. It weighs 2.3 tonnes and the four-wheel drive chassis isn’t as playful as a supercar’s. Even on a fast road, the Bentley isn’t as exciting as it perhaps should be, preferring to be quietly capable. But back in the real world it does most things right. The steering is well weighted and direct and in the Speed version at least, offers useful feel about what’s going on at the front wheels.

Which for the most part is grip, grip, grip. Only outright clumsiness will unstuck either end and even if that does happen there’s the standard electronic stability system on hand to sort things out. Also standard are adjustable dampers that can be used to firm up the body control at the expense of some ride comfort by switching between various positions.

But the standard or even the comfort settings are all that you need for most conditions.