The 2012 North American International Auto Show AKA NAIAS AKA Detroit Auto Show is in full swing and the first big debut from the European set is the new 2013 Bentley Continental GT V8. Up until now we have always known Continental GT’s to sport twin-turbo V12 engines but with Bentley’s new push to make the Continental GT more of a sport car they have shaved weight by removing four cylinders (but keeping the twin turbos) while increasing efficiency and providing grunt-worthy power. Bentley’s new 4.0 liter twin-turbo V8 delivers 500 horsepower and 487 ft-lbs of torque to all four wheels via an 8-speed paddle shifted transmission. While the overall package still comes in over 5000lbs, it is still a significant power-to-weight improvement over the V12 model. However if you still just need to have all those pistons, the 12 cylinder model will continued to be offered. Another noteworthy change is a subtle but impactful styling update. Some of the softness has been taken away and replaced with some more sharply sculpted lines which is especially noticeable in the front of the car. You may also notice the new red background “winged B” emblem which I think is a nice touch. All of this German-sourced British fun has not been given a price for the U.S. market yet but expect it to come in around $173k to start. If the price is too rich for your blood then feel free to enjoy the video and pictures below to fuel your daydreams. That’s the route I am taking…
- New Continental GT and GTC V8 models will debut at the North American International Auto Show, Detroit (January 2012)
- Exceptional power-to-emissions ratio combined with classic Bentley power and torque from new 4.0 litre twin-turbo V8 engine
- Fulfils Bentley’s environmental commitment to a new powertrain delivering a 40 per cent improvement in fuel efficiency and CO2 emissions
- Advanced technologies include direct injection, variable displacement, and new close-ratio 8-speed transmission and all wheel-drive
- New Continental V8 model range complements the flagship 6.0 litre W12 GT and GTC
Other optional packages include the Driving Specification, Mulliner Styling Specification, Touring Specification and Convenience Specification. Many, however, will prefer the sporting, focused simplicity of the single-colour interior with its contemporary, clean Fiddleback Eucalyptus trim and Eliade cloth headlining.
However, owners wishing to access the full palette of 17 exterior finishes, 17 hide colours, up to seven interior duotone colour ‘splits’ and eight hood colours available on the Continental W12, can take this option. This also brings access to the full Bentley range of veneers and a new sporty duotone seat design.
Both the coupe and convertible will be offered with a choice of four single-tone interior hide colours, seven exterior finishes and (in the case of the GTC) three hood colours.
(Crewe and Detroit. 9 January, 2012) Two new Bentley Continental V8 models will be unveiled at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit on 9th 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 remarkable, 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 CO2emissions 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.
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.”
THE NEW CONTINENTAL V8 MODELS
Distinctive sporting style
- Gloss black matrix grille with bright chrome surround and divider
- Three-segment lower bumper with black air intakes and striking body-coloured dividers
- Dark rear lower valance
- Distinctive twin ‘figure eight’ exhaust tailpipes
- Red enamel Bentley winged ‘B’ badges above the front grille, to the bootlid and wheel centres
- 7 exterior colours offered in standard range
Sporty, contemporary interior
- New Dark Fiddleback Eucalyptus veneer unique to the V8 models
- Eliade cloth headlining and pillar trim
- Short centre console in place of W12 through-console
- 4 hide colours offered in standard range
- Unique two-tone leather colour split
- 3 hood colours (Continental GTC)
Exhilarating, efficient new 4.0 litre V8 engine
- Exceptional power-to-emissions ratio reflecting engine efficiency
- Variable displacement (a technology first proven on the Mulsanne) imperceptibly cuts 4 cylinders on cruise and light throttle
- Switchable engine mounts ensure refinement
- Engine optimisation technologies boost efficiency
- New, close-ratio, 8-speed transmission offers 6 per cent efficiency gain with ultra-fast shifts
- Turbochargers mounted within ‘V’ for efficiency and fast response
- Over 500 miles (800 km) range on one tank of fuel
- Distinctive V8 growl
- All-wheel drive system with 40:60 rear biased torque split
Contemporary, sporting design character
“With the new V8 models, we are taking the opportunity to further widen the appeal of the Continental range. They have a lean, sporty character that’s entirely in keeping with the exhilarating new engine’s nature. Unique design motifs like the red winged ‘B’ and figure-eight exhaust tailpipes are subtle details that owners will appreciate.”
Dirk van Braeckel, Director of Design, Bentley Motors
- Red enamel winged ‘B’ badge
- Black gloss grille edged with bright chrome
- Black three-segment lower bumper and air intakes
- Dark rear lower valance
- ‘Figure eight’ exhaust tailpipes
- New engine cover design created
- Unique 21” wheel options at launch
The new Continental V8 models have all the sculpted, muscular elegance of their W12 stablemates, with their distinctive wide rear track, super formed aluminium wings, powerful haunches and low, poised stance. But a number of key differences distinguish these branches of the Continental family.
One of the most significant differences is also one of the smallest. When it appears on the Mulsanne and the 6.0 W12 Continental models the winged ‘B’ emblem above the radiator grille has a black enamel background.
On the Continental V8, the enamel is red. It’s a distinction that dates right back to the 1920s, where the ‘red label’ badge appeared upon the company’s smaller cars, such as the short-chassis 3 Litre, while black badges were usually reserved for larger-engined models.
Other external distinguishing features are more striking. The radiator grille of the V8 models features gloss black mesh, bordered by a fine chrome surround, in place of the W12 Continental GT’s brightwork.
Underneath the grille the lower bumper also features black mesh and is divided by strakes into three distinct segments. The effect, both literally and figuratively, is a Bentley with a darker side to its character; potent, muscular and challenging.
At the rear two eye-catching ‘figure eight’ exhaust pipes, one each side of a dark lower rear valance, tell those in the know that this Bentley is powered by the advanced, exhilarating and efficient new 4.0 litre V8.
Both the coupe and convertible will be launched with 20-inch wheels as standard and customers will also be able to select from two 21-inch wheel designs especially created for the Continental V8 models. Both these options feature a six-spoke alloy with a strong, sporting theme and are finished in either Diamond Black (exclusive to the Continental V8) or Diamond Silver. Each Bentley ‘B’ emblem featured on the wheel centre caps is also finished in red.
The cockpit of the two Continental V8 models has a correspondingly sporty ambience, featuring a new veneer, Dark Fiddleback Eucalyptus, for the fascia and trim. Both the coupe and convertible feature a technical finish Eliade cloth headlining, rather than the leather that is standard in their W12-engined counterparts.
Unlike the full through-console of the W12, the centre console simply separates driver and front passenger seats, underscoring the sporting, lean and weight-conscious ethos of the V8 models.