Vijay Pattni03 September 2013

Bentley reveals Continental GT V8 S

More power, a more sporting setup and more luxury; new 521bhp V8 S is here

Bentley has wrung out its 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged V8 engine in the Continental GT so that it now produces more poweeerrr; welcome the new Conti GT V8 ‘S'.

Of course, power's not the only thing you get, but it's the one we're primarily concerned with. Let's start with some numbers: instead of the standard GT V8's 500bhp, you get 521bhp in this new S, along with 502lb ft of torque (up from 487 torques).

And there are more Better Numbers to further bludgeon your senses with: the coupe's 0-62mph time drops from 4.8s to 4.5s - same as the 567bhp 6.0-litre W12 version - with a corresponding increase in top speed (192mph), while the convertible GT V8 S now hits 0-62mph in 4.7s (down from 5.0s) and tops out at 191mph (up from 187mph). See? Faster. Better-er.

Economy and emissions remain the same as the standard GT V8 though (mid 20s for mpg, 246g/km CO2 for the coupe and 254g/km CO2 for the convertible), thanks in part to the V8's cylinder shutdown system - in this mode, four cylinders are turned off under light throttle ‘cruising' conditions, but the full banana is resumed when you engage Stig Level 10. We're told this elicits an ‘emotive growl' from the exhaust. Lovely.

To help deliver more of this grunt to the road, Bentley has (deep breath) lowered the sports suspension by 10mm, increased the spring rates (45 per cent on the front, 33 per cent on the rear), revised the damping, stiffened the bushes by 70 per cent and rear anti-roll bar by 54 per cent, recalibrated the steering for ‘improved precision and feedback' and loosened up the stability control to allow for ‘increased wheel slip at higher speed'. Best prepare the drift shoes, squire.

Externally you get a new front splitter, side sills and rear diffuser, new 20in wheels, V8 S badging, a contrast centre stripe on the roof lining inside, knurled chrome detailing to the gearshift lever and ventilation controls, and an 8-inch touchscreen complete with a 30gb hard-drive. You can also appoint many options if you have many more pounds, naturally, though we've not had any details on price. Expect it to be a healthy chunk more than the standard V8's £123k.

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