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

Few cars have such a mighty powertrain 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.

The V8 doesn't represent such a wholesale change to the GTC's ethos. It isn't five days of test cricket foreshortened to 50 or 20 overs. Instead, the new V8's arrival is like being allowed to switch on the floodlights to play in restricted light: eminently more sensible, but not game-changing. No, the general ethos to the GTC remains the same. This is still a 2.5-tonne, four-seat, four-wheel-drive convertible that will only average 20mpg if you're a bit careful with it.

The ride 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.

We wouldn't countenance a machine like this arriving from, say, Honda; yet, somehow, every one of our testers found it remarkably difficult to do anything but gently fall for the graceful Bentley and its wily charms. Six years ago, when we originally road tested the Continental GTC, we said that it was the most authentic production yet from Bentley in the Volkswagen age. Today, times have changed, but its sense of occasion means that it remains as special as ever.

Find an Autocar car review

Explore the Bentley range

Driven this week

  • DS 7 Crossback E-Tense 2019 first drive review - hero front
    15 November 2019
    First Drive
    DS 7 Crossback gains a new flagship plug-in hybrid four-wheel-drive powertrain
  • Mazda 3 2019 road test review - hero front
    15 November 2019
    Car review
    The Japanese firm puts its new-age petrol engine in the fourth-gen family...
  • Mercedes-AMG GT R Pro
    14 November 2019
    First Drive
    Mercedes-AMG’s V8 sports car gets a hardcore chassis makeover but remains...

Find an Autocar car review

Explore the Bentley range

Driven this week

  • DS 7 Crossback E-Tense 2019 first drive review - hero front
    15 November 2019
    First Drive
    DS 7 Crossback gains a new flagship plug-in hybrid four-wheel-drive powertrain
  • Mazda 3 2019 road test review - hero front
    15 November 2019
    Car review
    The Japanese firm puts its new-age petrol engine in the fourth-gen family...
  • Mercedes-AMG GT R Pro
    14 November 2019
    First Drive
    Mercedes-AMG’s V8 sports car gets a hardcore chassis makeover but remains...