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2012 BENTLEY CONTINENTAL GT V8 | December 31, 2011

The Bentley Continental GT and GTC V8 has been introduced and as a kinder, gentler bulldog that makes do with “just” 500 horsepower and 487 ft-lb from its 4.0-liter, twin-turbo V8. That is down 20 horsepower and up just 8 ft-lb from the output of the Audi S8, with which it shares the innovatively-packaged, cylinder-deactivating V8. I’m gonna guess that’s to leave unquestionable space between it and the W12 631-hp Continental GT, and so Bentley could reach its 40 percent improvement goal with respect to emissions and gas mileage. Full and official figures will be released in early 2012.

This new Bentley V8 engine delivers maximum power of 500bhp at 6000 rev/min and an extraordinary peak torque of 487 ft-lbs which is available across virtually the entire rev range from 1700 to 5000 rpm, providing effortless power delivery in the Bentley tradition. Combined with a new close-ratio 8-speed automatic transmission, this translates into a less than 5 second acceleration time for the 0-60 mph sprint and a top speed of over 180mph. The new V8 engine features variable displacement with a 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 new V8 engine will be available in two models; the Continental GT and the Continental GTC. 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-colored strakes. At the rear, chromed figure eight exhaust tailpipes, a dark lower valance and red enamel ‘B’ trunk lid badge emphasise the sporty, contemporary identity of the new V8s. Both models are specified with 20-inch 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 new, sporting design theme. Both new models feature an , all-wheel drive system employing an advanced Torsen differential and a 40:60 rear biased power split. Since the launch of the original GT in 2003, the W12-engined Continental range has been continually evolving 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 remains Bentley’s the ultimate expression of it’s engineering strength.

Commenting on the launch of the new V8 Continental models, Wolfgang Dürheimer, Chairman and Chief Executive, Bentley Motors said: “With the new 4.0 litre V8 engine we are widening the appeal of the latest generation of Continentals, introducing a completely new driving experience. The new engine will have all the exhilarating power, drama and performance you would expect from a V8 engine sporting the famous Bentley wings, effortlessly delivered with our characteristic ‘wave of torque’. This is complemented by innovative powertrain technology that delivers exceptional fuel efficiency and emissions.”

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