The Bentley Continental GT V8 is now available in Malaysia, slightly a year after the “base model” (if there’s ever such a thing with Bentley) of the third-generation Conti GT surfaced. As you’ll read about, performance isn’t far off the traditional W12-powered version.

Billed as the driver-focused model and its most agile coupe, the Continental GT V8 is powered by a 4.0 litre twin-turbo V8 that develops 550 PS and 770 Nm of torque, together with an eight-speed automatic transmission and a rear-biased all-wheel drive system. The 0-100 km/h sprint is done in just four seconds flat and top speed is 318 km/h, figures that aren’t very entry level.

To compare, the Continental GT with twelve cylinders packs in 635 PS and 900 Nm, does 0-100 km/h in 3.7 seconds, and is capable of a 333 km/h top speed.

Crewe says that compared to the W12, the GT V8 has a distinctive, higher-revving engine personality of its own. The smaller and lighter engine also means that it’s more agile and responsive to drive. For fuel efficiency, the V8 can deactivate four of its cylinders in suitable conditions – the seamless change happens in 20 milliseconds and is claimed to be imperceptible. Auto stop-start that operates at “near-to-stop” speeds is also included.

What’s perceptible will be the “characterful V8 burble” from the quad exhaust pipes, which along with the V8 badges on the front wings set this variant apart from the W12, which has an oval tip that mirrors the tail lamps on each side (quad pipes inside).

All the other good stuff are present. There are 20-inch 10-spoke painted alloys (nine other designs can be optioned, up to 22-inches), seven standard exterior paint choices (you can choose your own too, of course), LED Matrix headlamps with the cut-crystal effect, plus the optional Blackline spec you see on this Dragon Red example. As on the new Flying Spur, Blackline replaces all chrome with black trim, except for the Bentley badges and lettering.

It’s a modern Bentley inside, which means it’s dramatic and luxurious in equal measure, managing to look/feel both high-tech and traditional at the same time. The latter is important; it sets Bentley apart from the other high-end marques and even from those in the Volkswagen Group.

Lots of fine leather and veneers (sustainably sourced, Bentley adds) in the cabin, which features 20-way adjustable seats (available in monotone colour split), new Crown-Cut Walnut wood and a 650W 10-speaker sound system. This is the base of the Bentley sound hierarchy, below Bang & Olufsen and the top-shelf Naim.

The Bentley Rotating Display – which features a 12.3-inch touchscreen housed in a three-sided unit – is a cool option that has to be ticked. It revolves into a clean veneer or three analogue dials at a press of a button.

Other notable kit include Continuous Damping Control and driver assist features such as Active Lane Assist, Traffic Jam Assist and Park Assist. Bentley’s Dynamic Ride System air suspension using three-chamber air springs is optional.

The Continental GT V8 is priced at RM795,000 before local duties and taxes. Here’s the ballpark – the new Flying Spur launched earlier this year is from RM840,000 before duty, the Continental GT First Edition (March 2018) went for RM2.15 million, while the Continental GT Convertible we checked out in 2019 had a sticker price of RM2.24 million.

As always, it all depends on the options, and no one skimps when buying a Bentley. As they say, if you really need to ask how much…

GALLERY: Bentley Continental GT V8 in Malaysia


GALLERY: Bentley Continental GT V8 official images