……….Big Ben has done it again
Bentley Motors just released their 2014 stylish luxury Coupe and Cabrio grand tourers embodied as the Bentley Continental GT V8 S series. Breathtaking performance and high revs at low rpm typical of the Bentley brand have been optimized making these two ultra-luxury supercars the epitome of luxury and performance. This luxury supercar goes 500 miles on a single tank of petrol.
Per Dr. Wolfgang Schreiber, Chairman and CEO of Bentley Motors: “The Bentley Continental is the definitive grand tourer. Its effortless performance, generous space, hand-crafted luxury and all-wheel drive capability take you on a journey in refined style and comfort. Now, for those customers who want even more drama and excitement, the sharper, sporting edge of the new GT V8 S adds a new dimension to the Continental range.” This is so typical of “Big-Ben.” Bentley has always been a thoroughbred sporting machine; the company definitely was not remiss with the new GT V8 S entry.
The alloy 4-litre twin-turbocharged V8 has been refined and now yields greater fuel economy while generating even more power. When cruising, four of the eight cylinders shut down, when all power is needed; a slight tap to the accelerator regroups the symphony of all eight cylinders imperceptibly. The increased performance of 521 bhp @ 6,000 rpm was achieved without sacrificing lower emissions and combined cycle fuel economy of 26.8 mpg for the coupe and 25.9 mpg for the Cabrio. It is the variable displacement with the modulating cylinder operation that greatly improves fuel economy without any loss of refinement.
Also adding to its petrol conservation are high-pressure direct injection, low friction bearings, advanced thermal management, energy recuperation via the electrical charging system, and innovative turbocharger packaging. And the feature that I particularly like is the patented Bentley tuned exhaust system. Cruising through the streets of London it maintains its civil manners with a “hushed” tone but take it out on the open roads and the mighty V8 emits an authoritative “growl” letting all who hear know this is a grand touring thoroughbred.
The Continental GT V8 S has signature styling cues that reflect Bentley heritage. It has a lowered suspension augmented by unique lower bodyshell cladding, a new front splitter, and a subtle rear diffuser all finished in Beluga gloss. The black gloss radiator shell has a single divider bar and “figure of eight” exhaust pipes immediately signify the formidable V8 engine. The bodywork is the result of hand-brazing and the Superform process exhibiting its world-class standards of quality and body integrity.
The GT V8 S rides on 20” open-spoke alloy wheels that reveal the red-painted brake calipers. V8 badges and the famous Bentley Wings with red centers deftly identify this as a grand touring machine in “Big-Ben’s” stable. The GT V8 S is available in 17 colors seven of which are exclusive to the sporting nature of this GranTurismo, and two shades (Kingfisher Blue and the new Monaco Yellow) are signature hues to this model.
The exemplary Continental ride comfort was also enhanced to deliver greater agility and performance without compromising Bentley’s legendary tradition. The GT V8 S builds upon the standard Continental attributes with the aluminium double wishbone front and trapezoidal multi-link rear suspension with continuous damping control and a sophisticated self-leveling system. The suspension was lowered by 10 mm with increased spring rates (45% front, 33% rear) and revised damping.
Bush stiffness is increased by 70%. The rear anti-roll bar has a 54% increase in stiffness over the standard Continental model. A recalibrated steering system with changes to static toe and camber with new software optimize its performance. The GT V8 S has increased aerodynamic efficiency with its front splitter, side sills and rear diffuser providing greater downforce and stability at high speeds. The all-wheel drive employs a Torsen differential with a 40/60 rear-biased power split for greater traction and stability under any road condition.
The exclusive cabin of the GT V8 S is sumptuously appointed in the grand Bentley tradition of sporting luxury and sheer comfort. The Piano Black veneers are hand sanded and polished up to 18 times to produce the glassy mirror image. A full range of 17 hide colors, unique duo-toned interiors, polished metals, and deep pile carpeting are all available through the Bentley bespoke customization program. The GT V8 S models are standard equipped with an advanced infotainment system that displays navigation, telephone system, and ride control comfort settings on an 8” touchscreen all complimented by a 30-GB on-board hard drive.
This is hand crafted luxury by the artisans at Crewe where quality is not an afterthought, but impetus. Myriad choices exist to make the Bentley Continental GT V8 S as individual as you are. When the Mulliner Driving Specification is requested, elegance, comfort, and convenience are escalated to unbelievable heights in individuality and expression. Mulliner is now an in-house Design Department at Bentley Crewe. The prestigious company of H.J. Mulliner had many successful years creating custom coachcrafting for both Rolls Royce and Bentley.
German engineering and British handcrafting make the Bentley Continental GT V8 S the pinnacle of ultra-luxury motoring. Bentley Motors employ almost 4,000 at the Crewe facility which is home to its operations that include Research & Development, engineering, and production. Hand crafting skills handed down from generations combined with cutting edge technology are attributes that are requisites of the Bentley philosophy.
The Continental GT V8 S is the latest chapter in the continuing saga of “As Big-Ben Succeeds.” Powerful, aggressive, and unpretentious is the new GT V8 S Coupe and Cabrio. “Big Ben” will always be among the ultra-luxury leaders in the world lighting the way with technology and paving the way through client satisfaction.
FYI: Bentley sales are up by 9% at the half-year mark with 4,279 vehicles. The American sales market grew 12%. Asian Pacific countries had an outstanding quarter increasing deliveries by 53%. Japan saw growth of 28%. The Middle East region performed equally well with deliveries up 28%. Bentley, under the leadership of the Volkswagen Group is growing in leaps and bounds. They are building upon generations of crafting principles and leading the auto industry with cutting edge technology.