Bentley Continental GT gets new V8 heart

Bentley has upped the model count of the Continental GT range to four with the inclusion of the new V8 model in both coupe and cabriolet bodystyles.

Like its W12 sibling and indeed the recently launched all-new Flying Spur, the V8 rides on the Volkswagen Group’s MSB platform also used by the Porsche Panamera, and differs only slightly from its bent-twelve brother in that it sports V8 badges on the front fenders, rides as standard on 20-inch, 10-spoke alloy wheels with up 22-inches optional, and comes with a choice of seven exterior colours.

In the case of the cabriolet, the soft-top roof can be opened and closed in 19 seconds at speeds up to 30 km/h, and can be had in a selection of seven colours with a tweed finish having been incorporated for the first time.

Inside, the changes are even harder to spot with the V8 still boasting the Rotating Display facia that hides the infotainment system behind a veneer with three gauges for the outside temperature, compass and chronometer, as well as the 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, while also featuring an extensive selection of materials ranging from leather and piano key black inserts, to wood and embroidery work. Also carried over is the 650-watt, 10-speaker Bentley Audio sound system.

Underneath its skin, the V8 comes equipped with the Bentley Drive Dynamics system that offers four driving modes; Comfort, Bentley, Sport and Custom, the three chamber air-suspension system, Continuous Damping Control dampers and the Dynamic Ride System. Unlike the W12 though, the V8 does without the uprated 420 mm brakes.

The biggest change is of course up front where the 6.0 TSI W12 motor has been replaced by the now widely used 4.0-litre V8 that produces 405kW/770Nm that comes paired to an eight-speed dual-clutch gearbox.

As ever, the V8 sends its amount of grunt to all four wheels via Bentley’s Active All-Wheel-Drive system with torque vectoring, with a claimed top speed of 318 km/h and 0-100 km/h in 3.9 seconds for the coupe and four seconds for the cabriolet.

Although order books have already opened, delivers of the V8 will first commence in the United States starting in the third quarter of this year with other markets following in 2020.

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