Still the pick of the range, without ever feeling like a thinking man's Bentley - which admittedly is difficult for any Conti GT to manage given that the cheapest model costs £140,300. Indeed, this V8 is an engine that offers all the requisite performance and refinement, yet also enough character to make the case for choosing it over the W12 a seriously strong one.
While its peak power is up at 6000rpm, you'll notice that peak torque arrives at just 1700rpm. In reality there's a decent bung of that available from 1500rpm, helping this two-tonne assembly of chrome and leather lurch both off the line and in gear with impressive urgency.
Pull the GT's cold chrome gear lever back into Sport and that urgency becomes almost savage. The gears are held onto longer in auto mode but react more quickly when choosing them yourself, while the throttle is made more sensitive. You're never pinned to your seat supercar-style, but the V8 S's far-reaching torque band and rock-steady traction certainly has your fullest attention.
The W12 is quicker, yes, but plant one after the other and we'd wager the V8's cacophony will provoke the bigger smile. Its bubbling burble around town is transformed into a spitting, rasping bellow as the revs build with our car's optional sport exhaust fitted, unlike the W12's more constant, howling, bassy effort.
Our car was fitted with carbon-ceramic brakes as part of the same Extended Sport Specification pack that also includes a sports exhaust and some extra carbonfibre touches about the place. The cost? £14,380. Ouch. We're not sure about the carbonfibre flourishes inside, but the exhaust and upgraded brakes are very much worth the extra if you can stretch to it, and we'll assume you probably can.
Importantly, it is still supremely refined when you want it to be. Even beyond the national speed limit, wind and road noise are brilliantly contained, and that brutal V8 is easily tamed as a gentle cruise once backed out of Sport mode. Its ability to swap from eight to four of its cylinders in a bid to save fuel at a cruise goes completely unnoticed, too.
Okay, so it has the power, but is it actually a car you'll enjoy threading along a tight, twisting British B-road? In short, not really, but it's easily one of the best examples of a GT to drive spiritedly. You'd hardly call the front end sharp, but it definitely follows your steering inputs more closely than in other versions, while the GT's broad body remains impressively upright.
Don't read into the 60/40 power split and differential too much, either. The GT's grip is monumental, and you could spend all day trying to loosen the rear axle to no avail - although the car's sheer size makes this a somewhat unenjoyable pursuit in any case. Just as engaging is how its four tyres stay put, and experimenting with just how early you can get back on the power and fire yourself out.
The GT's air suspension can be manually adjusted to varying degrees between Comfort and Sport settings, and in its cushiest setting it makes a fine long-distance companion. There's the odd shudder over the sharpest edges and some vibration back up through the steering column, but nothing that is ultimately off-putting.