Xcar takes a ride in the Bentley Continental GT V8 S and comes away very impressed from all of the luxury brand's tweaks for the big, comfy coupe. It even considers whether this might be the best vehicle in the company's lineup.
Limited to just 300 examples worldwide, Bentley's new GT3-R is set to bring a bit of the brand's motorsports pedigree to the street. After all, the Flying B recently took the win at the Blancpain Endurance Series at Silverstone with its new Continental GT3, less than one year after the big racer's debut.
Whether they're powered by V8 or W12 engines, the Bentley Continental GT just keeps getting faster and faster. The new Continental GT Speed, for example, is the fastest road-going Bentley ever made, capable of reaching 206 miles per hour. And the Continental GT3-R is the quickest-accelerating Bentley yet, capable of hitting 60 in just 3.6 seconds.
Does Bentley have room in its Continental GT lineup for an even more extreme version than the new GT3-R? Luc Donckerwolke seems to think so. Speaking with Autocar, the Bentley design chief suggested that an even more performance-focused Continental GT could be in the works, potentially ditching the heavy all-wheel drive system in an effort to further reduce weight, improve handling and drop even more ticks off the 0-60 time that's already down to a best-yet 3.6 seconds in the GT3-R.
Only halfway through the year, Bentley reports that it's on track to post record sales. Thanks in no small part to the introduction of its new V8 engine in the Continental family, sales are up nearly a quarter over last year. And they only stand to increase even more with the introduction of new models currently in the pipeline. The upcoming SUV will surely form a large part of that, but it won't be the end of the story for the storied marque.
A factory-entered Bentley hadn't won a top tier race in the UK for 84 years when the Continental GT3 recently took victory in the second round of the Blancpain Endurance Series at Silverstone. It was an early success for a racer that only hit the track competitively for the first time late last year at the Gulf 12 Hours in Abu Dhabi. To capitalize on the potent platform, Bentley is bringing it to the street with the limited-edition Continental GT3-R.
When it comes to street-legal cars there's "power," there's "Power" and then there's "PAHRRRRRR!" This Bentley Continental GT dragster built by Webster Engineering in Bedford, England owns that third category, with its 3,082-horsepower heartbeat erupting from a twin-turbo, 10.2-liter Chevrolet V8 crate motor built by Steve Morris Engines. An entrant in the Street Eliminator Class of last weekend's European Drag Racing Championship, it is fully road legal.
The Bentley Continental GT V8 is a darn good car. The GT V8 S, even more so. It's only logical, then that an even hotter Conti GT would be commensurately better. At least, we're hoping that's what the minds at Bentley's Crewe, UK headquarters were thinking when they dispatched this bewinged GT V8 to the Nürburgring.
Who would you think would be the largest producer of 12-cylinder engines in the world? Mercedes? BMW? Ferrari? Think again: as you might have guessed from the headline, it's Bentley. The thing is that, while all Bentley automobiles are manufactured in the UK, its engines aren't: while the 6.75-liter V8 in the Mulsanne is made at home, the innovative 6.0-liter twin-turbo W12 engine in Continental models so equipped (like the newer 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8) is shipped in from Germany. But that won'
Bentley may step down a segment with a new, smaller luxury car that it hopes to have ready by 2019. The British luxury marque's fifth model line, assuming that its SUV ever makes it to market, though, is still in the earliest planning stages.
We know what you must be thinking: another Bentley Continental. And we can hardly argue with you, because that's exactly what this is. But what you're actually looking at is the fastest production Bentley ever.
Until the new Falcon sport-ute comes along, Bentley is still a brand that revolves around two model lines: the Mulsanne, which is available essentially in one form, and the Continental family, which is available in many. The Flying B marque has traditionally offered the V8 version in two specifications and the W12 in three, and packaged them into three different bodystyles. With the Geneva Motor Show fast approaching, Bentley is rolling out two more.
Bentley still appeals to those with an appreciation for strong, Old World traditionalism. Cars wearing the storied Flying B have been discussed in wood-paneled drawing rooms by men wearing earthy tweeds and corduroy through clouds of fragrant cigar and pipe smoke, for decades. It is a company that has spent nearly 100 years building cost-no-object automobiles, for rich drivers who require a tremendous way to waft above the Sturm und Drang of mortal motoring.
For a company with a tendency to name its cars after parts of the Circuit de la Sarthe like Arnage and Mulsanne, Bentley sure has been gone from endurance sportscar racing for a long time. It famously won the 24 Hours of Le Mans five times in the 1920s, but didn't come back until 68 years later to win again in 2003. That was the last time Bentley competed on the world stage... until now.