Bentley has revealed the latest V8 variant of its Continental GT and GT Convertible, which will go on sale alongside the W12 version launched last year.
The 4.0-litre unit is well-known, already employed in a number of Volkswagen Group models. In the Continental GT, it develops 550hp – more than 40hp more than the previous generation Continental GT V8 – and 770Nm of torque.
The twin-turbo V8 provides the Continental, pitched as more of a grand tourer than a sports car, with some significant performance figures – it will hit 60mph from rest in just 3.9 seconds and go on to a top speed of 198mph. Convertible models, with their increased weight, are one-tenth slower to 60mph but have the same top speed.
Bentley promises the new engine will produce a ‘characterful V8 burble’ and paired with the standard-fit eight-speed auto transmission and all-wheel drive, the lighter weight of the engine should make the car nimbler in the corners and less nose-heavy.
The main appeal of a Continental V8, however, will be the improved range. The new engine will be able to deliver better fuel economy than the W12, helping the Continental GT complete cross-country journeys with fewer stops at a filling station.
Bentley hasn’t released fuel economy figures yet, but has promised a range between fill-ups of more than 500 miles – around 50 more than the W12 will manage.
Customers will be able to distinguish their V8 Continental from the W12 model by bespoke 20-inch, 10-spoke alloy wheels, quad exhaust pipes, and subtle badging.
The Continental GT V8 is expected on UK roads in 2020 – no pricing has been released yet but the figure is expected to be less than the W12 model’s £159,100 asking price.