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BBC Autos

Bentley’s Continental power play

About the author

Editor of BBC Autos, Matthew is a former editor at Automobile Magazine and the creator of the digital-only Roadtrip Magazine. His automotive and travel writing has appeared in such magazines as Wired, Popular Science, The Robb Report and Caribbean Travel + Life. He lives in Los Angeles with his wonderful wife and four-year-old daughter.

 

  • Bentley Continental GT V8 S Coupe and Convertible
    (Bentley Motors)
  • Bentley Continental GT V8 S Coupe
    (Bentley Motors)
  • Bentley Continental GT V8 S Coupe
    (Bentley Motors)
  • Bentley Continental GT V8 S Coupe
    (Bentley Motors)
  • Bentley Continental GT V8 S Coupe
    (Bentley Motors)
  • Bentley Continental GT V8 S Coupe
    (Bentley Motors)
  • Bentley Continental GT V8 S Coupe
    (Bentley Motors)
  • Bentley Continental GT V8 S Coupe
    (Bentley Motors)
  • Bentley Continental GT V8 S Coupe
    (Bentley Motors)
  • Bentley Continental GT V8 S Coupe
    (Bentley Motors)
  • Bentley Continental GT V8 S Convertible
    (Bentley Motors)
  • Bentley Continental GT V8 S Convertible
    (Bentley Motors)
  • Bentley Continental GT V8 S Convertible
    (Bentley Motors)
  • Bentley Continental GT V8 S Convertible
    (Bentley Motors)
  • Bentley Continental GT V8 S Convertible
    (Bentley Motors)
  • Bentley Continental GT V8 S Convertible
    (Bentley Motors)
  • Bentley Continental GT V8 S Convertible
    (Bentley Motors)
  • Bentley Continental GT V8 S Convertible
    (Bentley Motors)
  • Bentley Continental GT V8 S Convertible
    (Bentley Motors)
  • Bentley Continental GT V8 S Coupe
    (Bentley Motors)

HIDE CAPTION

Bentley may not have many models, but the German-owned British super-luxury automaker certainly knows how to make the most of what it has.

The new Continental GT V8 S coupe and convertible joined the family on 10 September – sportier than the V8 and W12 models, but not so much as to cramp the style of the mighty Speed models. Restrained as ever in matters of style, Bentley has ensured that a keen eye will be needed to spot the differences between this (or any other) Continental GT model.

Coupe and convertible sit 10mm lower and make use of stiffer suspension bushings. A modest front splitter, side sills and rear diffuser suggest the car’s newfound athleticism, as do signature 20in wheels, red-painted brake calipers and, of course, “V8 S” emblems.

The big story here, however, lurks behind that mesh grille. Rated at a stout 521 horsepower, the revised 4-litre V8 engine nestles nicely between the 500hp V8 and the 567hp W12, and comfortably south of the 616hp Speed.  The V8 S Coupe will make the trip from zero  to 60mph in 4.3 seconds, and continue accelerating all the way to 192mph (4.5 seconds and 191mph for the convertible). And, notably, Bentley insists that this additional oomph takes no toll on fuel economy; the cars will still cover as many as 500 miles on a tank.

The Continental GT V8 S coupe and convertible are set to reach Bentley showrooms early in 2014. No word yet on pricing.