Two new Bentley Continental V8 models were unveiled at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in January 2012.
The new 4.0 litre, twin turbocharged V8 Continental GT coupé and GTC convertible achieve exceptional standards for power-to-emissions in the high luxury sports car sector.
This new Bentley V8 engine delivers maximum power of 500 bhp (507 PS / 373 Kw) at 6000 rev/min and an extraordinary peak torque of 660 Nm (487 lb ft) which is available across virtually the entire rev range from 1700 to 5000 rev/min, providing exhilarating performance and effortless power delivery in the Bentley tradition. Combined with a new close-ratio 8-speed automatic transmission, this translates into a 0-60 mph sprint time of 4.6 seconds for the GT coupe (0-100 km/h in 4.8 seconds) and a top speed of 188 mph (303 km/h).
At the same time, the new V8 Continental models achieve outstanding levels of fuel efficiency and CO2 emissions for the luxury performance sector and are capable of travelling over 500 miles (800 km) on a single tank of fuel.
The arrival of the new V8 Continental models fulfils Bentley’s environmental commitment to produce a new powertrain that delivers a 40 per cent improvement in fuel efficiency and CO2 emissions.
The new V8 engine features variable displacement with a highly sophisticated engine management system, ensuring a seamless and imperceptible transition from V8 to V4 mode under light throttle load.
The high-technology V8 also features high pressure direct injection, low friction bearings, thermal management, energy recuperation via the charging system, and innovative turbo charger packaging for greater efficiency.
The instantly recognisable growl of the new 4.0 litre V8 engine sets it apart from its Bentley stablemates.
The new V8 engine will be available in two models; the Continental GT and the Continental GTC. Expressing their potent, muscular character, these models are distinguished by a black gloss matrix grille with chrome frame and centre bar, a red enamel Bentley ‘B’ badge, and a black matrix three-segment lower front bumper divided by distinctive body-coloured strakes.
At the rear, unique chromed ‘figure eight’ exhaust tailpipes, a dark lower valance and red enamel ‘B’ bootlid badge emphasise the sporty, contemporary identity of the new V8s.
Both models are specified with 20-inch alloy wheels as standard with an optional 21 inch six-spoke design which is available in dramatic Diamond Black (exclusive to the Continental V8) or Diamond Silver finishes.
Inside the cabin, an Eliade cloth headlining, new contemporary Dark Fiddleback Eucalyptus veneers, optional two-tone leather colour split and short centre console continue the fresh, sporting design theme.
The two new Continental models will be offered beneath the flagship 6.0 litre, 12 cylinder engined Continental GT and GTC, which continue to excite customers with a combination of silken refinement and the ultimate power of the twin-turbocharged W12 Continental engine that, in its most potent form, delivers an astonishing 631 bhp (640 PS).
Both new models feature a state-of-the-art, all-wheel drive system employing an advanced Torsen differential and a 40:60 rear biased power split. This ensures safe yet dynamic sports car handling in all road conditions.
Since the launch of the original GT in 2003, the W12-engined Continental range has gone from strength to strength with over 50,000 sales worldwide, making Bentley’s factory in Crewe, England, the largest producer of 12 cylinder engines in the world. The W12 story continues to unfold and remains the ultimate expression of Bentley’s engineering strength.