Bentley, the renowned British car manufacturer, has expanded its Continental GT and Continental GTC range with V8 models which will be shown for the first time at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit in January 2012. The engine was co-developed with corporate cousin Audi, which uses it in the latest S6, S7, and S8 models.
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. The Bentley’s V8 engine will slot into their line-up below the flagship 6.0 litre W12 GT & GTC models. This remarkable V8 engine delivers maximum power of 500 hp at 6000 rev/min and an extraordinary peak torque of 487 lb ft. Combined with a new close-ratio 8-speed automatic transmission, this translates into a sub-5 second acceleration time for the 0-60 mph sprint and a top speed of over 180 mph.
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.
At the same time, the new V8 Continental models achieve outstanding levels of fuel efficiency and CO2 emissions for the luxury performance sector and are capable of travelling over 500 miles on a single tank of fuel.
Exterior stylings distinguishing the V8 models include glossy black grille with chrome frame and centre bar, a red enamel Bentley B badge, and a black mesh three-segment front bumper fascia. At the rear, there are chrome figure eight exhaust tailpipes, a dark lower valance and red enamel B bootlid badge. 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.
Interior alsos receives some changes in the form of Eliade cloth headlining, Dark Fiddleback Eucalyptus veneers, optional two-tone leather and short center console.
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.
Both Bentley Continental, GT and GTC will introduce themselves to rich buyers at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show.