The Bentley Continental GT and GTC V8 has been unwrapped and it's a kinder, gentler bulldog that makes do with "just" 500 horsepower and 481 pound-feet from its 4.0-liter, twin-turbo V8. That is down 20 horsepower and up just 8 pound-feet from the output of the Audi S8, with which it shares the innovatively-packaged, cylinder-deactivating V8. We're going to guess that's to leave unquestionable space between it and the 631-hp Continental GT, and so Bentley could reach its 40 percent improvement goal with respect to emissions and gas mileage.

Specific numbers aren't divulged just yet, but it will get from standstill to 60 mph in under five seconds and will go more than 500 miles on a tank. Unless the tank size has changed from the 24-gallon receptacle in the big daddy W12, which we doubt, that means the V8 is good for at least 21 miles per gallon.

You'll be able to tell this one apart by its black grille with chrome accents, red Bentley "B" badge (red badges were traditionally used on sportier Bentleys, so we're not sure if that's meant to be a sign of this coupe's performance vs. the W12) and reworked treatment of the lower grille. The package rides on 20-inch wheels, same size as the flagship GT, but in back you'll find "figure-eight" tailpipes (which will quickly be swapped for something less obvious) and another red badge.

Both coupe and sedan will introduce themselves to rich buyers and not-so-rich voyeurs at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show. You'll find a press release after the jump with obligatory references to inconceivable colors like Dark Fiddleback Eucalyptus, and a high-res gallery of photos for much more understandable pleasures above.
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- New Continental GT and GTC V8 models will debut at the North American International Auto Show, Detroit (January 2012)
- Exceptional power-to-emissions ratio combined with classic Bentley power and torque from new 4.0 litre twin-turbo V8 engine
- Fulfils Bentley's environmental commitment to a new powertrain delivering a 40 per cent improvement in fuel efficiency and CO2 emissions
- Advanced technologies include direct injection, variable displacement, new close-ratio 8-speed transmission and all wheel-drive
- New Continental V8 model range complements the flagship 6.0 litre W12 GT and GTC

(Crewe 12th December, 2011) Two new Bentley Continental V8 models will be unveiled at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit on 9th January 2012.

The new 4.0 litre, twin turbocharged V8 Continental GT coupé and GTC convertible achieve exceptional standards for power-to-emissions in the high luxury sports car sector.

This remarkable, new Bentley V8 engine delivers maximum power of 500bhp (507PS/373Kw) at 6000 rev/min and an extraordinary peak torque of 660Nm (487 lb ft) which is available across virtually the entire rev range from 1700 to 5000 rev/min, providing exhilarating performance and effortless power delivery in the Bentley tradition. Combined with a new close-ratio 8-speed automatic transmission, this translates into a sub-5 second acceleration time for the 0-60 mph (0-100km/h) sprint and a top speed of over 180mph (290km/h).

At the same time, the new V8 Continental models achieve outstanding levels of fuel efficiency and CO2 emissions for the luxury performance sector and are capable of travelling over 500 miles (800km) on a single tank of fuel. Full and official figures will be released in early 2012.

The arrival of the new V8 Continental models fulfils Bentley's environmental commitment to produce a new powertrain that delivers a 40 per cent improvement in fuel efficiency and CO2 emissions.

The new V8 engine features variable displacement with a highly sophisticated engine management system, ensuring a seamless and imperceptible transition from V8 to V4 mode under light throttle load.

The high-technology V8 also features high pressure direct injection, low friction bearings, thermal management, energy recuperation via the charging system, and innovative turbo charger packaging for greater efficiency.

The instantly recognisable growl of the new 4.0 litre V8 engine sets it apart from its Bentley stablemates.

The new V8 engine will be available in two models; the Continental GT and the Continental GTC. Expressing their potent, muscular character, these models are distinguished by a black gloss matrix grille with chrome frame and centre bar, a red enamel Bentley 'B' badge, and a black matrix three-segment lower front bumper divided by distinctive body-coloured strakes.

At the rear, unique chromed 'figure eight' exhaust tailpipes, a dark lower valance and red enamel 'B' bootlid badge emphasise the sporty, contemporary identity of the new V8s.

Both models are specified with 20-inch alloy wheels as standard with an optional 21-inch six-spoke design which is available in dramatic Diamond Black (exclusive to the Continental V8) or Diamond Silver finishes.

Inside the cabin, an Eliade cloth headlining, new contemporary Dark Fiddleback Eucalyptus veneers, optional two-tone leather colour split and short centre console continue the fresh, sporting design theme.

The two new Continental models will be offered beneath the flagship 6.0 litre,12-cylinder engined Continental GT and GTC, which continue to excite customers with a combination of silken refinement and the ultimate power of the twin-turbocharged W12 Continental engine that, in its most potent form, delivers an astonishing 631bhp (640PS).

Both new models feature a state-of-the-art, all-wheel drive system employing an advanced Torsen differential and a 40:60 rear biased power split. This ensures safe yet dynamic sports car handling in all road conditions.

Since the launch of the original GT in 2003, the W12-engined Continental range has gone from strength to strength with over 50,000 sales worldwide, making Bentley's factory in Crewe, England, the largest producer of 12 cylinder engines in the world. The W12 story continues to unfold and remains the ultimate expression of Bentley's engineering strength.

Commenting on the launch of the new V8 Continental models, Wolfgang Dürheimer, Chairman and Chief Executive, Bentley Motors said:

"With the new 4.0 litre V8 engine we are widening the appeal of the latest generation of Continentals, introducing a completely new driving experience. 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."


Distinctive sporting style
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

Sporty, contemporary interior
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)

Exhilarating, efficient new 4.0 litre V8 engine
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

To see the latest Continental V8 film please go to

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 3 Years Ago
      • 3 Years Ago
      "Red Bentley "B" badge (red badges were traditionally used on sportier Bentleys, so we're not sure if that's meant to be a sign of this coupe's performance vs. the W12)" I'll admit that I'm not a Bentley historian, but I'd imagine that the V8's performance edge comes through it having less front end (and obvious, overall) weight than the W12. Not enough to make up for the power deficit, but enough perhaps to make this one react quicker to turns of the wheel.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I saw the new W12 model driving around a couple weeks ago and have to say that it's much sleeker and prettier than I thought it would be
      Justin Campanale
      • 3 Years Ago
      Dear Santa....
      • 3 Years Ago
      What a beauty!!! Those wheels complement that color perfectly!!! Also 500hp is just fine especially in the US where most of these cars will be boulevard cruisers.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Nice. Too bad I'll never be able to afford one.
      • 3 Years Ago
      wow... 500 HP! they had that in a naturally aspirated corvette years ago... Hell even ford is building 444HP N/A 5.0L V8s. How do you mess up so badly that your $270k twin turbo 4L V8 only has 56 more hp than a damn mustang... If I payed $270,000 for a sports car I would hope it would smash demolish and all around incinerate any mustang rolling off the lot. The way it maths out the boss 302 should beat this from a dig. 500 HP Turbo (lag?) V8 With a 5115lb Curb weight 10lb/hp 444 HP N/A (no lag) V8 With a 3613lb Curb weight 8lb/hp O and the mustang gets 17 city/26 hwy mpg and only costs $40k
        • 3 Years Ago
        Well I agree with you up to a point. The GT V8 is going to be priced below 200K. I am also surprised that all the were able to get out of the engine was 500HP. It should also be noted that they are using American tech with the cylinder deactivation. And not to beat a dead horse nor spawn an endless discussion, but its hard to argue Euro superior tech when they need turbos to boost the power of a V8 to 500hp when American companies have been doing it naturally with OHV and achieving the same if not better EPA in a smaller package and less weight.
        • 3 Years Ago
          • 3 Years Ago
          aside from a bit of personal feelings my post was accurate to the issue I had, how is that a troll? The instant someone says something you disagree with you think that means they are a troll. If you feel my post is incorrect write a reply that supports your opinion and make it a discussion.
          Mike B
          • 3 Years Ago
          Easy, one is a sport coupe (Mustang) and the other is a damn Luxury Gran Turismo, and if they left it at 500hp was because so they could achieve their goal of 40% fuel consumption improvement and emissions, for that same reason they went with turbos, not because they really needed, Also, EPA is not to trust, everyone know is outdated and very easy to tune a car to get much better EPA numbers that what they'll really get in real life. Your post made no sense because you compared engines and cars that aren't competitors nor belong to the same class nor have the same objective... f*uck I hope you're aren't a troll.
        Krishan Mistry
        • 3 Years Ago
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Krishan Mistry
          Your argument is very moving... its like the hands of god opened up and enlightened me...
        • 3 Years Ago
        If you knew the difference between payed and paid, Bentley would listen to you. Right now, they just don't care.
          • 3 Years Ago
          Payed and paid are the same word, Payed is a past tense and a past participle of pay. Not everything you learned in school is correct O_O
        • 3 Years Ago
        yeah but it's a ford dude!
        Miguro Takahashi
        • 3 Years Ago
        Dude, if you hate this thing so much, then shut up and go buy your mustang. I don't think Bentley's goal was to make you happy when they were designing this car. And considering the priorities you mentioned when buying a car, I don't think you'd get along with the Bentley crowd anyways.
        • 3 Years Ago
        They only make 500 hp with the turbo v8 because it is likely a set of low pressure turbos designed solely for the improvement of fuel economy. Not that this car will likely be a slouch, even with the weight, but its the base model Continental GT we're talking about. Its not a sports car in the same vein as a mustang or corvette, its a luxury sports Grand touring car. This car likely has 2 small turbos to eliminate turbo lag and create near instantaneous torque to help get the car moving given the weight of the thing, sort of similar to the engine in the F150 ecoboost, but with 2 extra cylinders. The small turbos means that it will not be capable of making a ton of top end horsepower as it sacrifices that for the midrange torque to get the car moving efficiently. Thats not saying someone won't buy it and immediately upgrade the turbochargers to get performance equal to or better than the w12 model, as I highly doubt that it will be on the market long before a tuner gets their hands on it, but technically, this thing should be a torque monster, given what has been done in the past with moderate sized engines and small turbochargers.
        Connor McLane
        • 3 Years Ago
        There are some things you may never understand...
      • 3 Years Ago
      I just want to know how its weight compares to the W12 version.
      Mark UK
      • 3 Years Ago
      ....also, seeing it's an Audi engine, do you think it will have a DSG/S Tronic style double clutch gearbox? Cool if it has, it will improve the sportiness no end, compared to the Auto only W12. M.
      • 3 Years Ago
      The 2012 Continental GT does not have 631 HP, the ISR Supersports does. The 2012 GT has 567 HP.
      Mark UK
      • 3 Years Ago
      A very sexy GT. Ive seen the new/face lifted W12 and the minor tweaks that car has had really make a difference, it looks so graceful, purposeful and mean, all at the same time. This V8 looks just as good. I like the alloys too. Im just wondering if it will be that much cheaper than the W12. I mean, will it be just 5 or 10 % cheaper, or will there be a substantial saving over the W12 with say a 20%+ ? Bentley are rumoured to be working on a new sporty, smaller, lighter, 'baby Bentley' which will also be powered by a V8, I'd rather have the new genuinely sportier model over this. BTW, that cabin is beautiful, just perfect. M.
      • 3 Years Ago
      i'll have an older version here soon, maybe 1 day after that i'll have the newer version, but none-the-less, it's a BENTLEY!
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