Bentley today unveiled its new Continental V8 range powered by the VW Group’s new 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8 engine. The new powerplant will power both the Continental GT coupe and its GTC convertible sibling, which will receive their world debut at the Detroit Motor Show on January 9.
This is the first time Bentley has put a V8 engine under the hood of the Continental: since 2003, when the first generation of the grand touring coupe entered production, the sole engine choice was the twin turbocharged 6.0-liter W12, which remains the flagship of the Continental engine range.
Wolfgang Dürheimer, Chairman and CEO of Bentley Motors , said: “With the new 4.0-liter V8 engine we are widening the appeal of the latest generation of Continentals. 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.”
Its maximum output is 500HP at 6,000 rpm and 660Nm (487 lb-ft) of torque, which are available from 1,700 to 4,000 rpm. Power is directed to all four wheels via a new, close-ratio 8-speed automatic gearbox and an AWD system with a Torsen differential and a 40:60 front/rear torque split.
Official figures show that the Continental V8 accelerates to 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) in less than 5.0 seconds and reaches a top speed in excess of 290 km/h (180 mph).
The new V8 features a high-pressure direct injection system, low friction bearings, thermal management and energy recovery via the charging system. According to the company, the placing of the two turbochargers within the engines’ banks ensures greater efficiency.
The new motor’s most sophisticated system, though, is the variable engine displacement that, under light loads, turns the V8 into a four-cylinder unit for reduced consumption and CO2 emissions. The British carmaker claims that, thanks to the sophisticated engine management system, the transition between the two modes of operation is imperceptible from the driver and occupants.
Although official figures will be released in early 2012, Bentley claims “outstanding levels of fuel efficiency for the luxury performance sector” and a 40% improvement over previous versions, as well as a range of over 800 km (500 miles) on a single tank of fuel.
Externally, the V8 GT and GTC are recognizable by the black gloss matrix grille with a chrome frame and center bar, the red enamel Bentley badge and the black matrix lower front bumper that is divided by three colored strakes.
Both the coupe and the convertible come with 20-inch alloy wheels as standard and 21-inch six-spoke, in Diamond Black or Diamond Silver, finish as an option, while at the back there are chromed “figure eight” exhaust pipes and a dark lower valance.
[From Bentley Press Release: THE NEW CONTINENTAL V8 MODELS]
- Gloss black matrix grille with bright chrome surround and divider
- Three-segment lower bumper with black air intakes and striking body-coloured dividers
- Dark rear lower valance
- Distinctive twin ‘figure eight’ exhaust tailpipes
- Red enamel Bentley winged ‘B’ badges above the front grille, to the bootlid and wheel centres
- 7 exterior colours offered in standard range
- New Dark Fiddleback Eucalyptus veneer unique to the V8 models
- Eliade cloth headlining and pillar trim
- Short centre console in place of W12 through-console
- 4 hide colours offered in standard range
- Unique two-tone leather colour split
- 3 hood colours (Continental GTC)
Engine & Transmission
- Exceptional power-to-emissions ratio reflecting engine efficiency
- Variable displacement (a technology first proven on the Mulsanne) imperceptibly cuts 4 cylinders on cruise and light throttle
- Switchable engine mounts ensure refinement
- Engine optimisation technologies boost efficiency
- New, close-ratio, 8-speed transmission offers 6 per cent efficiency gain with ultra-fast shifts
- Turbochargers mounted within ‘V’ for efficiency and fast response
- Over 500 miles (800km) range on one tank of fuel
- Distinctive V8 growl
- All-wheel drive system with 40:60 rear biased torque split