2013 Bentley Continental GT V8 Preview

Bentley-Continental-GT-2013_review In 2008, Bentley set itself the ambitious task of designing, in second, parallel version of the 567 hp Continental GT that would be 40% more fuel-efficient. The result is the 2013 Bentley Continetal GT V8, which meets the Aston Martin DB9, Porsche 911 Turbo S, Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG and Audi R8 5.2 head on.

Commendably, the British automaker met its environmental objective, and the coupe emits just 26 g/km of CO2. As for fuel consumption, Bentley advances ratings of 15.4 and 7.7L/100 km in town and on the highway, according to European standards.

We can thank the all-new engine for this environmental prowess. What was originally a 12-cylinder affair has been slimmed down to 8 cylinders. Designed mainly to handle deceleration, the alternator also contributes to the GT V8’s green side. It teams up with 405 mm brake discs up front and 335 mm around back. Optional ceramic brakes can offer more durable performance as well.

And let’s not forget that the option of shutting down four cylinders allows the lofty Continental GT V8 to travel 850 km on a single tank. The same Bentley uses an all-wheel drive and an 8-speed autobox that includes a manual mode and steering wheel paddles.

So as not to sacrifice performance at the altar of fuel-efficiency, Crewe’s engineers gave the twin turbos some extra verve: the 4.0L V8 still deploys 500 snorting ponies and 487 lb-ft of torque, which translates into a top speed of 303 km/h and a 0-100 dash in under 5 seconds.

The V8’s distinctive voice is amplified by a dual-mode exhaust system that allows for a soothing growl at highway speeds and ear-splitting fury at WOT. To wake the slumbering beast, simply press the start button.

Bentley-Continental-GT-V8-2013_i02 Visually, 20” wheels and optional 21” numbers set the 2013 Bentley Continental GT V8 apart. Inside, homage has been paid to the brand’s history by way of the traditional supple leathers and gorgeous woodwork.

An 8-speaker stereo sets the mood, accompanied by 15 gigs of storage and iPod, MP3 and SD card compatibility. A touch screen graces the centre console; Bluetooth and SIM card compatibility allow you to manage any and all address books.

The body was crafted according to Bentley’s exclusive “superforming” technique. The aluminum used for the wings is first heated to 5,000 ÂșC, and then moulded by pressurized air. There’s a mind-boggling choice of 100 exterior hues, but Bentley will also drape the GT V8 in the colour of your choice.

The V8’s price should be slightly lower than that of the Continental GT W12, i.e. in the $225,000 range.