Can An Extraordinary V-8 In The 2020 Bentley Continental GT Make It a Better Car Compared With the W-12 Powered Model?

The Bentley Continental GT is perhaps the most recognizable car coming from Crewe, England. Finally available with a V-8 in its newest form, the 2020 Bentle Continental GT V8 is capable of reaching 60 mph in 3.9 seconds, a top speed of 198 mph, and cruise for more than 500 miles on one tank of fuel. The performance isn’t far off of what the Bentley Continental GT W12 can do, but the range is considerably higher. Available in a coupe guise as a GT V8 and convertible layout as a GTC V8, the prices for the Continental with a V-8 engine come in at $203,825, and $223,675, respectively.

The 2020 Bentley Continental GT V8 Is The Most Dynamically Sound Bentley Ever

The Bentley Continental GT V8 Coupe and Convertible are Surprisingly Quick and Efficient
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Carrying the British tradition of extreme sophistication into the theater of the most luxurious coupes and convertibles, the Continental GT is the primary asset of Bentley Motors Limited company. Treated by total reverence in its top V-12 form, the Continental GT invariably delivered effortless performance matched only by the best from Rolls-Royce. With the inclusion of the V-8 in its second generation, the Continental GT embarked on a path of downsizing, but in a way Bentley enthusiasts could appreciate. The latest V-8-powered Continental GT and the Continental GTC prove this plentifully.

Rejecting four cylinders and employing seamless cylinder deactivation practice, the new 2020 Bentley Continental GT V8 became one of the most efficient vehicles ever to bear the Continental name.

The power drop compared to the V-12 powered model wasn’t as severe as one may imagine. The 4.0-liter, twin-turbocharged, V-8 with twin-scroll turbocharges feeds all four wheels with 542 horsepower and 568 pound-feet of torque. That is only 84 horsepower and 96 pound-feet of torque shy of what the 6.0-liter, W-12 can achieve. No wonder Bentley is adamant about titling the 2020 Continental GT V8 the "most agile" Continental to date. Of course, it is a tad lighter compared with the W-12, but that alone isn’t the reason for its responsive nature and commanding agility.

The Bentley Continental GT V8 Coupe and Convertible are Surprisingly Quick and Efficient
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The second-gen Bentley Continental GT V8 was one of the liveliest and most enjoyable Bentleys ever. In keeping with that character, Crewe-based company tweaked the suspension and the steering for more dynamism.

Installation of the lightweight anti-roll bars front and back proved more than adequate to cope with the new athletic capabilities.

Something similar had been achieved with the previous generation Continental GT V8 and that one soon enough become the driver’s favorite.

The Bentley Dynamic Ride System is an important option too. This is what our colleagues from Caranddriver said about the Dynamic Ride System that Bentley installs in the Bentayga:

"Bentley engineers split the Bentayga’s anti-roll bars in two and fit electric motors between the halves. Using planetary gearsets to multiply torque, the Bentley Dynamic Ride system can input up to 959 pound-feet of torque to each anti-roll bar."

Visual Differences Between The 2020 Bentley Continental GT V8 and the Continental GT W12

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Visual distinction between the V-8 powered and W-12 powered Continental’s is minuscule. The new one flashes its four oval tailpipes shaped as Continental GT’s rear lights, and it does so with an adequate aural expression. Bentley calls this unique sound a “cheerful V8 burble” but I’d instead characterize it as a monstrous V-8 roar. It fits better.

Other notable changes compared to the W-12 include the addition of subtle V8 badges and new wheel designs (20-22 inch options available).

Conclusion

The Bentley Continental GT V8 Coupe and Convertible are Surprisingly Quick and Efficient
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Garnished with a new Crown Cut Walnut and covered in the best leather, the interior of the new Continental GT V8 gives the aura of sophistication only Brits can achieve. While it can be differentiated from the W-12 powered model, the truth is that Bentley offers so many personalization options that each Continental is unique.

With that said, I am now surer than ever that the Continental GT V8 and the Continental GTC V8 are among the best that comes from VAG. I mean Bentley. Sure, having the W-12 is fantastic, but a V-8 like this can definitely motivate Bentley as ferociously as anyone would like.

Bentley Continental V8 specifications

Bentley Continental GT Bentley Continental GTC
Engine 4.0-litre, twin-turbocharged V-8 4.0-litre, twin-turbocharged V-8
Horsepower 542 HP 542 HP
Torque 568 LB-FT 568 LB-FT
0 to 60 mph 3.9 seconds 4.0 seconds
Top Speed 198 mph 198 mph

Further reading

2018 Bentley Continental GTC
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Read our full review on the 2020 Bentley Continental GT Convertible.

2018 Bentley Continental GT High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Read our full review on the 2018 Bentley Continental GT.

2014 Bentley Continental GT V8 S High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Read our full review on the previous generation 2014 Bentley Continental GT V8 S.

Bentley is introducing two new versions of its third generation Continental GT and GT Convertible models this year. The definitive luxury Grand Tourer is now available for US customer order with a powerful V8 petrol engine, ensuring a lively and engaging drive that complements the unparalleled levels of luxury and cutting-edge technology.

Both V8 models are equipped with a new-generation 4.0-litre, twin-turbocharged engine developing 542 bhp (550 PS) and 568 lb.ft (770 Nm) of torque. It combines immense power with greater range, plus a characterful V8 burble though the stylish quad exhaust pipes.

Designed, engineered and handcrafted in Crewe, Great Britain, the Continental GT V8 and GT V8 Convertible combine driver-focussed performance with exquisite refinement and cutting-edge technology. Both cars feature 20-inch, 10-spoke painted alloys wheels, subtle V8 badging and a sublime, handcrafted interior.

Bentley created the modern luxury Grand Tourer segment in 2003, with the launch of the first generation Continental GT and, sitting at the core of the ground-breaking Continental GT line-up, the new V8 models offer customers a unique breadth of Grand Touring abilities.

Customer deliveries will commence in the US in Q3, with availability for other regions to be scheduled from Q1 2020.

Thrilling Performance – Even Greater Efficiency

The new V8 versions of the ultimate Grand Tourer combine immense power with impressive fuel efficiency. Excellent weight distribution makes the dynamic V8 feel even more agile and responsive with a distinctive, higher revving engine personality of its own.

The new-generation 4.0-litre, 32-valve V8 petrol engine develops 542 bhp (550 PS) and 568 lb.ft (770 Nm) of torque. It also features dual twin-scroll turbochargers located inside the ‘V’ of the engine, together resulting in a top speed of 198 mph (318 km/h) and 0-60 mph in 3.9 seconds (0-100 km/h in 4.0 seconds) for the Coupe; and 0-60 mph in 4.0 seconds (0-100 km/h in 4.1 seconds) for the Convertible.

Spirited performance from both eight-speed V8 models is complemented by refined efficiency, stemming partly from the ability of the engine to de-activate four of its eight cylinders in suitable conditions, without compromising the drive. The seamless change happens in just 20 milliseconds and is imperceptible to customers. Stop-Start technology, which operates at ‘near-to-stop’ speeds, is also available.

Muscular Exterior Design – A Statement of Intent

A statement of true luxury, the third generation Continental GT and GT Convertible represent the pinnacle of Bentley’s design and engineering achievements. Effortlessly elegant and more sculpted and sharply defined, the body and materials combine to create truly breath-taking cars.

The new V8 models feature 20-inch, 10-spoke painted alloy wheels and the option to choose from nine other designs measuring up to 22-inches. Bentley offers seven standard exterior bodywork colours, with an extensive palate of additional paint choices available. Both GT V8 and GT V8 Convertible are distinguished by quad exhaust pipes and subtle V8 badging to the front wings.

The GT V8 Convertible’s tailored roof can be deployed or stowed in just 19 seconds, with the car travelling at speeds of up to 30 mph (50 km/h). This transforms it from a luxurious coupe into an open-top Grand Tourer at the touch of a button. Seven different fabric hood colours are available, including an authentic tweed finish for the first time.

A newly designed neckwarmer (which is both warmer and quieter than in the previous generation model), is seamlessly integrated into the heated and vented Comfort Seats, optimising efficiency and airflow around the electrically adjustable headrests. The styling highlight of the new neckwarmer is a chrome centre vane that stretches the full width of the duct, echoing Bentley’s famous ‘bullseye’ vents. Combined with a heated steering wheel and new heated armrests, these sophisticated comfort features create a luxurious driving experience in all environments.

The V8 models also employ the latest LED Matrix technology, while the design of the headlamps is inspired by the finest cut-crystal glasses. The result is similar to that of an illuminated cut gem, an effect which is magnified when the optional welcome sequence gradually illuminates the headlights as you approach the car.

A Cabin of Handcrafted Luxury

The Continental GT V8’s innovative, luxurious interior offers unrivalled Grand Touring refinement. It seamlessly integrates natural materials such as the highest quality leathers and rare, sustainably sourced veneers into the finest handcrafted cabin.

Twenty-way adjustable leather seats set new industry standards in comfort and refinement, and are available in a monotone colour split on the GT V8 and GT V8 Convertible. Four further colour split options are available, together with Contrast Stitching, Piping and Hand Cross Stitch.

New Crown Cut Walnut adorns the V8 fascia and other areas, with the option of a variety of exquisite wood veneers. V8 models also feature a 10-speaker Bentley Audio system as standard pumping out a powerful 650 watts of entertainment.

At the heart of both the GT V8 and GT V8 Convertible dashboards are an advanced, fully digital, driver-focussed instrument panel and the optional Bentley Rotating Display. The latter features a 12.3-inch touchscreen housed in a three-sided unit, which revolves the veneer to reveal the touchscreen, as well as three elegant analogue dials.

Inside the new GT V8 Convertible, the ultimate Grand Tourer for all seasons, customers can choose from a range of eight roof lining colours.

Unrivalled Ride and Handling

The driving dynamics of the Continental GT V8 and GT V8 Convertible offer the driving character expected of a class leading Grand Tourer, along with the opportunity to explore the range of performance the car has to offer via the Bentley Drive Dynamics selector.

The different modes available offer the customer the full breadth of performance, from class-leading refinement and comfort to focussed handling in Sport mode.

The Continental GT V8 and GT V8 Convertible are both equipped with front and rear hollow, lightweight anti-roll bars for exceptional handling while the technically advanced, adaptive chassis created for Bentley’s intelligent Dynamic Ride System is also available as an option.

The Dynamic Ride System controls ride comfort and lateral roll, cushioning passengers from excessive movement, as well as making the Continental GT V8 models feel effortlessly precise.

The air suspension uses three-chamber air springs which further improve ride comfort and the dynamic character. It has the scope to vary from sporting spring stiffness to luxury limousine refinement, depending on which mode is selected.

An Active All-Wheel Drive System varies the front-to-rear torque split dependent on the driving situation. The Continental GT V8 will use rear-wheel drive as much as possible during normal driving for optimum efficiency and dynamic performance.

Electric Power-Assisted Steering provides excellent feedback to the driver. It utilises a variable rack ratio, allowing increased response with higher steering angles to aid manoeuvrability whilst maintaining excellent stability at high speeds. The V8 models are offered with a wide range of driver assistance features, such as Active Lane Assist, Traffic Jam Assist and Park Assist.

Continuous Damping Control optimises comfort and handling, by constantly adjusting the damper forces in response to road inputs, vehicle movement and driver demand. It does this by continuously measuring the velocity and distance between the wheels and the body at each corner and adjust to optimise comfort and handling.

Bentley’s Centenary – 100 Years of Extraordinary

In 1919 Walter Owen (W.O.) Bentley created a company with a simple objective: to build “a fast car, a good car, the best in its class”. This guiding principle has driven Bentley ever since, pushing the brand forward and making it the leader in automotive luxury around the world today.

The 10th of July 2019 marks Bentley’s 100th year. This extraordinary milestone – reached by only a special few companies – will be a cause for celebration of the company’s history and its global success today.

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