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V8 motor joins Bentley Continental family. Image by Bentley.

V8 motor joins Bentley Continental family
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Newer articles featuring 2019 Bentley Continental GT

2019-07-30: First drive: Bentley Continental GTC
2019-06-06: Pikes Peak record the aim for Bentley Continental GT

What's all this about?

Well, the superb new Bentley Continental, the proper Mk2, is here and now it's time for the derivatives. We've already seen the latest car as a convertible model, following on from the old GTC, and now we have a new V8 Conti. You can have this latest powerplant in either the GT coupe or the GTC convertible body styles.

Is this, like, the entry-level Conti?

Yes. Well... sort of. Inasmuch as a car that will inevitably have a six-figure price tag can be described as 'entry-level'. Perhaps it would be better thought of as the fuel-efficient one.

Don't tell me they've gone and done a Bentley V8 diesel?!

Calm your nerves - this is the 4.0-litre, biturbo V8 petrol. It packs 550hp and 770Nm, which is considerably more than even the 528hp/680Nm the uprated version of the old V8 - known as the GT V8 S, a mighty bit of kit - could muster up. Performance is, understandably, pretty sprightly: the GT will hit 62mph from rest in four seconds dead, the GTC is a tenth behind at 4.1 seconds, and both will run on to 198mph. This is because they're fitted with active, rear-biased all-wheel drive and an eight-speed automatic gearbox.

A two-tonne, 198mph Bentley doesn't *sound* very fuel efficient...

In and of itself, you're right, it's not. However, what it does have is a 'Grand Touring' (read: cruising) range of more than 500 miles on a tank. It achieves this through cylinder deactivation, allowing four of the V8's pots to sit idle when they're not required, and it should ease away the stress of a cross-continental (geddit?!) thrash thanks to three-chamber air suspension with Continuous Damping Control, active anti-roll bars that do their best to quell lean in the corners, and the sort of exquisite fit and finish that'll make the cabin cathedral-quiet, even when the car's travelling at (immense) speed. The GTC V8, by the way, has the same fabric roof that can be lowered or raised in just 19 seconds, even on the move at up to 31mph, as the W12 convertible.

Will I be easily able to spot a V8 Conti?

Only if you clock its discreet wing-mounted 'V8' badges, its specific design of 20-inch, ten-spoke painted alloys or - most obviously of all - its quad exhaust tips. It also used to be the case that the V8 versions of the Conti had red 'winged B' logos on the exterior, while the W12's had black-backed motifs, but this hierarchical colour spectrum seems to have been dropped for the new car.

Go on, then - how much and when can I buy it?

As to the first part of your question, we're not sure - less than 160,000, of course, which is the approximate starting price for a W12 GT, but we'd be mighty surprised if the V8's ticket was much below the 140,000 marker. The reason we don't know the price as yet is linked to the second part of your query: we have to wait until Q1 2020 for our V8 Continentals, whereas the US market is getting them first in the third quarter of this year. How very unsporting of Bentley! Harrumph!



Matt Robinson - 18 Mar 2019

Earlier articles featuring 2019 Bentley Continental GT

2019-03-04: Bentley honours Blower with Conti GT limited edition


2019 Bentley Continental GT gets V8 power. Image by Bentley.2019 Bentley Continental GT gets V8 power. Image by Bentley.2019 Bentley Continental GT gets V8 power. Image by Bentley.2019 Bentley Continental GT gets V8 power. Image by Bentley.2019 Bentley Continental GT gets V8 power. Image by Bentley.

2019 Bentley Continental GT gets V8 power. Image by Bentley.2019 Bentley Continental GT gets V8 power. Image by Bentley.2019 Bentley Continental GT gets V8 power. Image by Bentley.2019 Bentley Continental GT gets V8 power. Image by Bentley.2019 Bentley Continental GT gets V8 power. Image by Bentley.









www.bentley.co.uk    - Bentley road tests
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