The basics: 6.0-liter twin-turbo W-12 with 552 to 600 hp; six-speed automatic; all-wheel drive standard
Fuel economy: 10/17 mpg
Rating: 9 out of 10
The 2009 Bentley Continental GT scores points on most every front, starting with its coupe silhouette--a winner--and the lush woods and leathers and chrome finishes that decorate its cabin. It looks imposing; TheCarConnection.com's editors think the massive fenders and their crisp pleats play well on the roofed version, more so than the similar Continental GTC convertible. The 552 hp of the standard car is overwhelming; in 600-hp Speed form, it's shattering, with a cardiac lope at idle and a marvelous whirring engine note. All-wheel drive is standard, as is stellar construction quality.
Less marvelous: for starters, the abysmal fuel economy of 10/17 mpg. This is a heavy, heavy car, at 5500 pounds, and its weight plus all-wheel drive give it a more detached driving feeling than most superluxury cars, and light steering amplifies that feel. Its range of interior features is vast, but we think the navigation logic needs some rethinking--and the optional Naim audio system should let drivers choose tone qualities, instead of leaving them behind some hidden studio door inside the Bentley's wood-trimmed console, out of electronic reach.
TheCarConnection's Bottom Line? With panache to spare, the 2009 Bentley Continental GT also has an appetite for speed—and fuel—that’s unrivaled among four-seat coupes and convertibles.