The 2013 Bentley Continental GT V8 Drops Weight and Price With a New Powerplant for a Sportier Ride and Increased Efficiency
Bentley has a new large, luxurious coupe for the 2013 model year in the Continental GT V8, a car both lighter and more efficient than the V12 model that was the standard Continental through the 2012 model year. Although the brand-new direct-injection, twin-turbocharged V8 sheds a full 2 liters of displacement over the V12, power output and acceleration performance are at similar levels.
As is the custom with Bentley, the Continental GT V8 still comes with world-class luxury and convenience features despite its new lower price point. Pricing starts at around $200,000.
When the Bentley Continental line debuted, a V12 engine came standard, providing smooth, effortless power but at the expense of price and gas mileage. For the 2013 model year, Bentley adds a brand-new engine choice to the Continental lineup: a 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8 with cylinder deactivation technology. This motor outputs an even 500 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 487 foot-pounds of torque at just 1,700 rpm, outstanding figures for an engine at this displacement. Mated to a ZF-designed eight-speed automatic transmission and full-time AWD, the Continental GT V8 is, in many respects, a stronger performer than the V12 base model, thanks to its rev-happy engine and lower curb weight.
Zero to 60 mph comes in just 4.8 seconds, while top speed rings in at 188 mph. Bentley pulled no punches in designing this engine, and it shows as the car pulls hard throughout the rpm range. The eight-speed is perfectly suited to this engine, as shifts are snappy and right on the money when the driver chooses to row the gears himself, while the car has a luxurious, laid-back demeanor when left in fully automatic shift mode.
As the Continental has gained refinement and cut engine displacement, so too has weight been trimmed down by a significant margin. The 2013 GT V8 weighs in at 5,060 pounds with standard equipment, a loss of more than 60 pounds over the V12 model. With less weight comes a lower center of gravity, and better performance when the roads get twisty. Fuel efficiency is drastically improved, now ringing in at 15 city, 24 highway and 18 combined mpg on the EPA cycle, an improvement of 3 combined mpg over the 2013 Continental GT V12. This helps the car avoid that pesky gas guzzler tax, shaving thousands from the true cost of purchase.
Bentley has wisely fitted such a high powered car with the brand’s latest electronic stability and traction control technologies. Using engine power modulation, brake pressure and variable torque applied to the front and rear wheels, the stability control system keeps many driving mishaps in check while improving the car’s high-speed stability.
Seating four passengers in a large, spacious grand touring coupe body style, the GT V8 comes with a full complement of cutting-edge interior technology. Leather, Dark Fiddleback Eucalyptus wood trim and knurled metal give the car cabin styling that can be tailored to a near-infinite degree to suit individual owner tastes. Leather seating surfaces come standard, of course, available in Beluga, Newmarket Tan, Porpoise or Imperial Blue in a unique design that extends to nearly every visible interior surface. The total cabin impression is one of coddling luxury, with rear legroom approaching that of larger Bentley models like the flagship Mulsanne sedan.
Drivers will be treated to the brand’s latest in navigation and infotainment technology, including a touchscreen in-car control system with a 30-gigabyte hard drive preloaded with complete United States and limited international maps. The hard drive features usable space for MP3 files, which can be played through the eight-speaker surround sound system featuring eight channels of audio. Among luxury coupes, the Continental line has an overall impression of craftsmanship that no other vehicle can match at any price point. From hand-stitched Bentley logos adorning the seats, to the available rear-seat mobile office setup, the Continental GT V8 is the perfect vehicle with which to tackle some back roads, or be driven while enjoying ample space and comfort.Comments
Taking cues from its 6.0 litre W12 GT coupe sibling, the Continental GTC builds on the highly successful foundation of the previous cabriolet, which premiered in 2006. Bentley’s design and engineering teams have improved virtually every aspect of the iconic convertible with an uncompromising focus on quality.
While the original Continental GTC was elegant and understated, the sharper radii and assertive stance of the new model deliver a more contemporary and muscular presence. Advanced manufacturing techniques produce aluminium front wings without the need for seams or welds creating the look and feel of a coachbuilt car. Twenty-inch wheels are now standard with three styles of 21-inch wheel, a first for GTC, available as an option, reinforcing the distinctive, sporting stance of the new Bentley.
The four-seater luxury convertible features a new, even more spacious and sumptuous hand-crafted cabin, with soft-touch leather hides, an extensive range of wood veneers, cool-touch metals and deep-pile carpets. There are 17 standard soft-touch leather hide colours with six colour split combinations, complemented by a range of seven veneers, all produced by Bentley’s talented craftsmen and women.
The GTC’s renowned coupe-like refinement is also enhanced. The tailored, multi-layered fabric hood is complemented by acoustic glass and under-body panels, for optimum noise isolation.
Superb everyday practicality for a luxury convertible was a hallmark of the original GTC and much valued by its customers. The cabin of the GTC is even more practical, with additional rear legroom, new storage solutions and innovative features such as touch-screen infotainment, automatic seat-belt presenters and a Bentley-designed Neck Warmer for comfortable roof-down motoring whatever the temperature.
A wider track, front and rear, sharper steering and retuned suspension provide a more exhilarating and class-leading drive. Bentley’s advanced all-wheel drive system features a new 40:60 rear torque bias (compared with 50:50 of the original GTC) minimising understeer during hard cornering and allowing the spirited driver to manage the car’s line and balance via precise throttle control.
This compelling dynamic package is combined with a more powerful 6.0-litre, twin-turbocharged W12 engine as well as a new QuickShift transmission enabling faster gear changes than ever before. Power output is raised from 560 PS to 575 PS (567 bhp / 423 kW) and the famed Bentley ‘wave of torque’ has been increased by a further 50 Nm to 700 Nm (516 lb ft).
“The GTC has always been the most emotional model in the Continental range and a showcase for Bentley design. With its tailored soft top, the GTC is a pure British convertible true to those classic Bentleys of the past. However, the technology, performance and overall design excellence invested in this model means that we are now writing a new chapter for the Bentley convertible driver.” Wolfgang Dürheimer, Chairman and Chief Executive, Bentley Motors.
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The Bentley Continental V8 is making it’s debut this week at the Detroit Motor Show (North American International Auto Show). The North American auto show was selected as the perfect platform to make a world debut of the powerful new V-8 engine. Here, you can enjoy interviews include Bentley Chairman Wolfgang Dürheimer, Power On Ice Record maker Juha Kankkunen, Le Mans winner Guy smith, engineers, race car drivers and many more.Comments
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.
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