You still need to be above third gear, the engine needs to be at the correct temperature and the throttle needs to moderated correctly, but where the V8 drops the same four cylinders to become a V4, with the W12, Bentley had to take a different approach.
"We had to use different software, which drops one bank of cylinders for 55 seconds, before switching both banks back on for three, then switching to the other bank for a further 55," explained Continental product director Paul Jones. "It'll just keep doing that - it's the only way you keep both cats warm enough."
Technically impressive stuff, and, unlike elsewhere in the VAG Group, you won't find a dash light illuminating to let you know you're running on fewer cylinders - it's not what Bentley owners want, apparently.
You'll have a job working out when it's running on six, too - as with the V8 Continental - because it's nigh-on impossible to tell when the W12 begins its mechanical juggling act just a metre away in front of you.
Of course, when you've had enough of saving fuel, planting the throttle brings about similarly monumental performance as before. The eight-speed ZF gearbox is quickly to select the appropriate gear, and then as promised, from 1700rpm you're experiencing all of the W12's torque.
The result is relentless in gear performance, enough to ensure complete confidence in every overtaking situation, but it's not brash, visceral performance, as is the intention. You're aware it's happening and that the trees are flying past more quickly, but it's more muted than you might expect from within your quilted Connolly cocoon.
The W12's handling is telling of its GT focus. The nose feels heavier than the V8's and the steering pretty vague, both are more suited to fast sweeping bends rather than tight switchbacks. The body is well controlled for something weighing this much and pulling the gear lever back to Sport mode sharpens the throttle nicely. Ultimately though, you're fully aware of its bulk at all times.
Happily, grip levels are very high. Our soaking wet test route was often a test of nerve, but the wincing and breath-holding were always met with assured, stable cornering. Keen drivers will lament the fact you're so far away from everything going on, but really, in the GT, that's the point.
Ride quality is good, too. The standard air suspension has four modes and dialled right back it takes camber, potholes, and broken surfaces in its stride while keeping the Conti's big body in check, too. The sportiest setting is a touch too firm, with potholes particularly sharp. The sweet spot is in between.
Inside the quality is still very high. The leather, the inlays, the chrome inserts are all genuine and look and feel the part while the front seats are superbly comfortable yet supportive. The rear seats are best reserved for bags, but if you need to carry a couple of adults they'll be happy on short journeys with the front seats adjusted accordingly.
Letting the side down is the aging infotainment system. Against newer systems, it looks dated and is slow to react, but Bentley knows it, choosing to wait for its Bentayga to showcase its latest tech.
The £875 WiFi option is worth the extra, though. It uses a sim card to bring high-speed internet to up to four devices, and we managed to stream music and use a laptop simultaneously with no issues.