The 2011 revisions to the Bentley Continental GT ran deep but they didn't transform the car, so it’s a credit to how well it the Bentley was engineered in the first instance that it still feels so impressive, solid and satisfying. 

Few cars have such a mighty powertrain as the W12 and, although we’re disappointed with the fuel economy, there’s little denying the pace and flexibility. They go a long way to making the GT supreme at shortening distances.

Brutal cruiser with new-found dynamic edge and refinement; still flawed

But for all the W12’s improvements, it’s the V8 model that is the star of the range now; it doesn’t feel weak of performance, yet its improvements in efficiency over the older engine make you wonder who will actually stump up the cash for the 6.0-litre unit from this point on.

Bentley still expects a 50/50 split between the two engines; it wouldn’t surprise us in the slightest if the W12’s client base shifts entirely to the Middle East, Russia and China, leaving the V8 as the sensible option for the rest of the planet.

Complaints? The interior wasn’t an ergonomic delight before and little has changed. The ride, too, is not as compliant as its most cosseting rivals’.

However, there are a few cars that can get away with such idiosyncrasies and, thanks to a feeling that it’s impeccably and individually built, the Continental GT is one of them. It has its failings, yes, but it also has charm.

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