Launched about a decade after the range-topping, 12-cylinder model, the Bentley Continental GT in eight-cylinder trim was added to the lineup for two major reasons. First of all, it uses almost 50 percent less fuel than the giant W-12, which helps in some ways to keep the overall Bentley CO2 emissions down. Second of all, with 500 horsepower in the GT V8 and 521 horsepower for the GT V8 S, the eight-cylinder Conti GT is by no means an entry-level model, it just offers more choice.
As some of you know, its twin-turbocharged, 4.0-liter V-8 was developed by Ingolstadt engineers, with different versions of it being used on Audis like the S8, S7, RS7, S6 and RS6 Avant. Thanks to a cylinder-deactivation system, it offers a somewhat decent fuel economy for the 5,000-pound coupe, but you couldn’t exactly call it frugal. The V8 S version hit Bentley dealerships in 2014, and its 502 pound-feet of torque seems to be enough to move Drive’s not-exactly skinny Matt Farah from one place to another with no problems.
In fact, the presenter looks to be smitten with the Continental GT V8 S, going as far as calling it much better than the W-12 model and his favorite Bentley ever. Obviously, not everything is perfect with the car from Farah’s perspective, but then again, he didn’t get to “test-drive” the face-lifted model, since that one arrives at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show.