Bentley Continental GT V8 models unveiled – 542 hp

For those who can make do with four less cylinders, Bentley has introduced V8-powered versions of its Continental GT in both coupe and convertible guises. Prior to this, the latest Continental GT range was only available with a massive 6.0 litre twin-turbo W12 engine.

In terms of facts and figures, the new Continental GT V8 line-up uses a 4.0 litre twin-turbo V8 that develops 542 hp (550 PS) and 770 Nm of torque, together with an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission and an active all-wheel drive system.

By comparison, the W12 unit offers 626 hp (635 PS) and 900 Nm, but the difference in performance is just a few tenths of a second. For instance, the coupe V8 takes four seconds to complete the zero to 100 km/h sprint, and the V12 version takes 3.7 seconds.

Meanwhile while the convertible V8 takes 4.1 seconds compared to the 3.8 seconds with its V12 equivalent. However, the difference in top speed is rather significant, as the V8 versions will max out at 318 km/h compared to 333 km/h.

For efficiency, the V8 engine can deactivate half of its cylinders to conserve fuel, with the changes claimed to be imperceptible, taking just 20 milliseconds. This is said to help contribute to what Bentley calls a “Grand Touring range” of more than 805 km.

Visually, the V8 cars are largely similar to the V12 ones, aside from the V8 badging on the front wings. Features like the folding soft top (on the convertible), LED Matrix headlamps, wheel designs ranging from 20 to 22 inches and a wide selection of finishes are all present.

Similarly, the interior continues to include the Bentley Rotating Display, plenty of premium material applications, further customisation options and the Bentley Drive Dynamics selector.

The last item is tied to systems such as the air suspension with three-chamber air springs, powertrain, electric power steering and adjustable dampers. Bentley says the V8 cars come with front and rear hollow, lightweight anti-roll bars, although an adaptive chassis created for Bentley’s intelligent Dynamic Ride System is also available as an option.

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