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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.

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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.

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Let's get this off our chests right off the bat: There's nothing truly efficient about the Bentley Continental GT. That said, we're at least pleased to see that the marque has decided to outfit its luxurious supercar with a smaller and more fuel efficient engine option.

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The Bentley Continental GT with the W12 is rated at 12 city/19 highway on traditional premium, 8 city/14 highway on E85, and easily less than that on an excited right foot. When we drove the Continental GT V8 at launch we were told that official EPA mileage could be rated as high was 24 mpg on the highway, and that, even with the right-foot factor, would be a generous improvement over the W12 for sacrificing just 67 horsepower and almost nothing in performance. It turns out Bentley told the trut

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With co-branding arrangements in place with an increasing array of luxury labels, Bentley doesn't limit its brand just to cars these days. But of all the sunglasses, wallets, pens, skis and cashmere scarves licensed by the British purveyor of super-luxury automobiles, few are as well established as its partnership with Breitling.

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All things being equal, we'd generally rather have more cylinders than fewer. But Bentley upset that particular applecart with the latest Continental GT. Not only is the 500-horsepower V8 version less expensive than the 567-hp W12, it also boasts better handling (thanks to less weight in the nose) and better fuel economy, too – all with a scant 67 less horsepower.

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Bentley has at last debuted its latest beast at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show. The Continental GT V8 arrived in the Motor City boasting a new compact 4.0-liter, twin-turbocharged V8 under its hood. With 500 horsepower and 481 pound-feet of torque on tap, the ultra-luxury coupe offers buyers heaps of performance in an efficient package. Well, efficient by Bentley standards, anyway. The company says the Continental GT V8 has an effective range of 500 miles, which translates to roughly 21 mpg. That's

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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 g

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2011 Bentley Continental GT – Click above for high-res image gallery

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