Bentley Continental GT V8 Test Drive

The Execution

When I first get in the GT V8, it smells and looks so good inside I’m thinking I’d be happy to just sit here for a while. So that’s just what I do, taking in the as-expected fantastic materials and build quality. Mostly, though, I’m entertaining myself with the rotating display, a must-have option. It has an easy to read and use 12.3-inch touchscreen housed in a three-sided unit. Touch a button and it revolves the veneer around to show the touchscreen or three elegant-looking analogue dials for outside temp, a compass and a chronograph. So cool.

Fire it up and its rumbly V8 idles like a not-too-well-muffled Cup car. I sit another minute just to listen to the engine and bask in the interior.

Time to go. And I do mean go. No car this big and heavy can possibly be this fast, can it? Stab the accelerator and the V8 is putting the power down in a big hurry, roaring all the way. I swear the big coupe does a wheelie. Pretty sure it doesn’t, it’s just that the acceleration is so brutal. The front tires do their best to help with some traction. The old all-wheel-drive system had a 40/60 front/rear torque split with the new one defaulting to rear-wheel drive until it senses the rear wheels slipping (and, believe me, they do!!), then it directs, at most, 38 percent torque frontward. This car is so close to being supercar fast -- from a stop or once rolling. The torque is seemingly unending and the eight-speed dual-clutch, a development of Porsche’s PDK, works great with near-instantaneous, smooth shifts.

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