Bentley has announced that it will unveil two new Continental V8 models at the Detroit Auto Show in January. The V8-engined Continental GT coupé and GTC convertible will use 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged units that deliver 500bhp and 442lb.ft yet are said to be 40 per cent more fuel efficient and cleaner than Bentley's W12 engines.
The new V8 units were developed in conjunction with parent company Audi and feature the same cylinder deactivation system that is used in the latest range of S-cars. In conjunction with standard stop-start the new V8 Bentleys should be capable of travelling over 500 miles in between refills yet, thanks to a new close ratio eight-speed transmission, still offer the kind of performance owners are used to with a sub-five-second 0-62mph time and a top speed the far side of 180mph.
The new cars will wear red enamel Bentley badges, normally reserved for performance orientated 'Red Label' cars and will feature distinctive styling like chrome figure of eight exhaust pipes, chrome detailing around a black gloss grille and model specific alloy wheels.
As standard both cars will come equipped with 20-inch wheels with 21-inch six-spoke rims available as an option. Inside there is new Eliade cloth headlining, dark Eucalyptus veneers, optional two-tone leather and four interior colours. The GTC convertible will also have three different hood colours to choose from.
No official word yet on prices and availability but we should have more information after the Detroit show, which opens on January 9.
Paul Healy - 13 Dec 2011