Preview: Bentley Continental GT V8 S

By John Beltz Snyder

September 04, 2013

Bentley has introduced new “S” models of its Continental GT V8 Coupe and Convertible. The Sportier variant offers better performance and updated styling.
The S models’ biturbo, 4.0-liter V-8 engines now pump out 521 horsepower and 502 pound-feet of torque, and feature a heartier soundtrack than before. Power is still delivered to all four wheels via an eight-speed automatic with paddle shifters, and the S cars feature a Sport mode for sharper throttle response and faster shifts.
bentley continental GT V8 S
The V8 S Coupe can do 0-60 miles per hour in 4.3 seconds, and has a top speed of 192 mph. The heavier S Convertible (5445 pounds vs. the Coupe’s 5060 pounds) hits 60 in 4.5 seconds, and tops out at 191 mph.
The chassis of the S has been lowered, and features a retuned sport suspension with increased spring rates, updated damping, and stiffer bushings, stiffer rear anti-roll bar. The result is more precise handling, less body roll, and a higher level of feedback. The Electronic Stability Control allows for more slip at higher speeds, making performance driving more connected to the driver.
bentley continental GT V8 S
The S Conti has improved aerodynamics (and looks) with a front splitter, side sills, and rear diffuser providing more stability. The S is also set apart by unique 20-inch, open-spoke wheels showing off red brake calipers. “S” badges are included, and the Bentley Wings badges are red in the center.
The interior of the S offers two-tone leather, with 17 color options. The piano black surfaces are accented by knurled chrome. The S models share the same eight-inch touchscreen and infotainment system as the rest of the Continental range.
bentley continental GT V8 S interior
Deliveries for the Bentley Continental GT V8 S Coupe and Convertible begin in early 2014.
Scroll down past the video for more details and complete specifications in the press release, below.
bentley continental GT V8 S

  • Stylish, luxury coupe & convertible grand tourers with sporting agility
  • Sleeker, faster and more responsive 
  • Lowered, uprated chassis for an even more involving drive
  • 521 bhp (528 PS) and 680Nm (502 lb.ft) of torque with a distinctive full-throttle growl
  • Efficient twin-turbo V8 S gives a range of over 500 miles (805 km)
  • Dramatic sporting design cues and handcrafted contemporary luxury
(Crewe, 3 September 2013) The appeal of the world’s most stylish, luxury grand tourer is enhanced with the introduction of the new, sporting Continental GT V8 S. Available as both a coupe and convertible, the new GT V8 S models bring added excitement to the Continental range with lowered and retuned sports suspension, sharper steering, dramatic ‘S’ signature styling cues and a distinctive soundtrack from the uprated V8 engine.
These two new models expand the Continental family and provide an even more engaging driving experience from Bentley’s already renowned 4-litre twin-turbo V8 powertrain. The new Continental GT V8 S Coupe and Convertible will be unveiled at the Frankfurt Show on 10th September, 2013.
Commenting on the introduction of the two new S models, Dr Wolfgang Schreiber, Chairman and Chief Executive, Bentley Motors, said:
“The Bentley Continental is the definitive grand tourer. Its effortless performance, generous space, handcrafted 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.”
More power, more performance, and a range of 500 miles on a single tank
Building on the success of the acclaimed Continental GT V8, the new GT V8 S models feature a more powerful version of  Bentley’s high-efficiency 4-litre, twin-turbo V8 engine developing  521 bhp (528 PS / 389 KW) at 6,000 rev/min and an immense peak torque of 680 Nm (502 lb.ft) at a mere 1,700 rev/min.
Delivered via a close-ratio ZF 8-speed automatic transmission, the increased power provides effortless, exhilarating high performance with breath-taking acceleration and imperceptibly smooth power delivery.  Switch into S mode via the gear selector and the V8 S rewards the spirited driver with a sharpened throttle response while gears are held for longer with faster shifts.
The GT V8 S coupe dispatches the 0-60 mph sprint in just 4.3 seconds (0-100 km/h in 4.5s) onto a top speed of 192 mph (309 km/h). The performance of the GT V8 S convertible is equally impressive, reaching 60 mph from a standing start in 4.5 seconds (0-100km/h in 4.7s) and a top speed of 191mph (308km/h).
The increased performance is achieved without detriment to the V8 engine’s class-leading fuel economy and CO2 emissions, or its ability to cover more than 500 miles (805 km) between fill-ups.
The new GT V8 S coupe returns a combined cycle fuel economy of 26.8 mpg (10.6 l/100km) and CO2 emissions of 246 g/km. The equivalent figures for the convertible are 25.9 mpg (10.9 l/100km) and 254 g/km.
This impressive combination of power, performance and economy is the result of an array of advanced technologies employed in the design of the Bentley V8 engine. Variable displacement, in which four of the eight cylinders shut down when cruising, reduces fuel consumption without any loss of refinement. When more power is required, the engine switches back automatically and seamlessly to the full eight cylinders.
The high-technology V8 engine also features high pressure direct injection, low friction bearings, advanced thermal management, energy recuperation via the electrical charging system and innovative turbocharger packaging for greater efficiency.
The V8 engine’s variable displacement system presented a unique challenge for Bentley exhaust engineers. When cruising on a light throttle in 4-cylinder mode, the exhaust system is tuned for refinement while maintaining a distinctive V8 sound. However, under acceleration the character of the system changes dramatically as the twin turbo-charged Bentley V8 transforms into an emotive growl.
A more agile, responsive and involving driving experience
The power and performance of the GT V8 S models are complemented by a range of chassis enhancements which deliver greater agility and a more involving driving experience without compromising the Continental’s legendary ride comfort.
The GT V8 S retains the aluminium double-wishbone front and trapezoidal multi-link rear self-levelling air suspension with continuous damping control that is common to all Continental models. For the GT V8 S, there is a more sporting setup with subtly different tunes for Coupe and Convertible. Lowered sports suspension (by 10 mm) is complemented by increased spring rates (45% front, 33% rear) and revised damping for a more engaging and responsive drive. Bush stiffnesses are increased by up to 70%, while the rear anti-roll bar is stiffened by 54% over the standard GT V8 models for improved body control and turn-in. A recalibrated steering system completes the new chassis system, offering both improved precision and feedback through changes to static toe and camber and new software.
Careful recalibration of the Continuous Damping Control (CDC) system ensures minimal degradation in ride comfort despite the gains in handling performance.
The Electronic Stability Control is also optimised for the GT V8 S. The retuned system allows increased wheel slip at higher speeds with engine torque reinstated more quickly after a system intervention. This provides the spirited driver more opportunity to exploit the full potential of the uprated chassis and increased power.
The Lower Body Styling Specification - front splitter, side sills and rear diffuser - benefit aerodynamics by reducing front-end lift and provide greater stability at higher road speeds.
Shared with all Continental models, the all-wheel drive system employs an advanced Torsen differential and a 40:60 rear-biased power split. This ensures the delivery of safe yet dynamic handling in all road conditions.
Distinctive sporting design cues    
While the elegant coachwork of the Continental GT is inspired by iconic Bentleys of the past, its modern, sculpted design, with crisp, highly defined feature lines, is formed using advanced body construction techniques, achieving class-leading standards of quality and body integrity.
For the new ‘S models, the design of the Continental takes a more dramatic direction and its enhanced road presence is clear before a wheel is turned. The lowered suspension provides a more sleek and purposeful stance, complemented by unique, lower-body styling including a sharp front splitter, discrete side sills and subtle rear diffuser finished in Beluga gloss. The black gloss radiator grille with single chrome divider bar and ‘figure of eight’ exhaust tail pipes instantly signify the powerful V8 engine.
The signature 20-inch wheels are unique to the ‘S’ models with an open-spoke design that reveals distinctive, red-painted brake calipers. Subtle ‘V8 S’ badges are applied to each front fender, and as with the other members of the Continental V8 family, the famous Bentley Wings badges feature a red centre.
In common with the Continental GT W12, the GT V8 S models are available in the full palette of 17 paint colours, of which seven vibrant hues are specifically recommended by Bentley Design to match the sporting character of the new model. Of these, two shades (Kingfisher Blue and the new Monaco Yellow) are signature colours for the GT V8 S.
Hand-crafted contemporary luxury
The cabin of the Continental GT is renowned for its supreme luxury with soft-touch leathers, wood veneers, polished metals and deep-pile carpeting, hand-crafted in Bentley’s unrivalled workshops at the factory in Crewe, England.
The cabin of the ‘S’ models presents a thoroughly modern interpretation of Bentley luxury in which colour and tone offer further appeal to the senses.
Available with a range of striking duo-tone interiors, customers may also select from the full range of seventeen hide colours. The GT V8 S coupe also features a unique contrast centre-stripe for the hide-trimmed roof lining, matched to the colour of the main hide. Contrast stitching throughout, including to the steering wheel, is also available as an option.
Knurled chrome detailing to the gearshift lever and ventilation controls provide a perfect contrast to the Piano Black veneers which are sanded and lacquered up to 18 times to produce a truly flawless finish. Discreet ‘V8 S’ badges are displayed on each sill tread plate.
As with all Continental models, the ‘S’ models include advanced infotainment technology as standard, including an 8-inch touchscreen which displays the car’s navigation, audio and  telephone systems as well as the ride and comfort settings for the air suspension, all complemented by a 30GB on-board hard drive.
Tailoring the specification
Customers may tailor the specification of the GT V8 S by selecting from a range of optional equipment.
The sports exhaust option features redesigned silencers, revised pipe architecture and re-tuned mountings which result in a free-breathing system that delivers a full-blooded V8 sound track.
The optional Mulliner Driving Specification features 21-inch 7-spoke Black Edition wheels, drilled alloy foot pedals, a ‘jewel’ filler cap and a cabin trimmed in diamond-quilted, perforated leather with indented headlining. Other key options include Mulliner dark - tint front and rear lights and Beluga gloss door mirrors to match the Lower Body Styling Specification.
Deliveries of the new Continental V8 S start in early 2014.
Continental GT V8 S
Continental GT V8 S Convertible
4-litre twin-turbocharged direct injection V8 with cylinder deactivation
Max Power
521 bhp / 528 PS / 389 KW @ 6,000 rpm
Max Torque
680 Nm / 502 lb.ft @ 1700 rpm
ZF 8-speed automatic with Quickshift, Block Shifting and column mounted paddleshift
Continuous all-wheel drive (40:60 rear bias)
1st : 4.71; 2nd: 3.14; 3rd: 2.1; 4th: 1.67; 5th: 1.29; 6th: 1.00; 7th: 0.839; 8th: 0.667
Final Drive
405mm ventilated discs (optional 420mm Carbon Silicon Carbide, cross drilled)
335mm ventilated discs (optional 356mm, Carbon Silicon Carbide, cross drilled)
Wheels and Tyres
New unique 20" x9.5J Open-spoke wheel in two finishes, 1x other 20" and 4x 21" designs in two finishes
275/40 ZR20, optional 275/35 ZR21
Rack & pinion, power assisted, speed-sensitive ZF servotronic
Turns lock-to-lock
2.6 turns
Turning circle
11.3 m
Four link double wishbones, computer controlled self-levelling air suspension, with anti-roll bar
Trapezoidal multi-link, computer-controlled self-levelling air suspension, with anti-roll bar
Continuous Damping Control, tuned for dynamic performance
2746 mm / 108.1 in
Overall length
4806 mm / 189.2 in
Width (across body)
1944 mm / 76.5 in
Width (inc. mirrors)
2227 mm / 87.7 in
Overall height
1394 mm / 54.9 in
1403 mm / 55.2 in
Fuel tank
90 litres / 20 gallons / 24 US gallons
Boot volume
358 litres / 12.6 cu ft
260 / 9.18 cu ft
Kerb weight (EU)
2295 kg / 5060 lb
2470 kg / 5445 lb
Gross vehicle weight
2750 kg / 6063 lb
2900 kg / 6393 lb
Top speed
192 mph / 309 km/h
191 mph / 308 km/h
0-60 mph
4.3 secs
4.5 secs
0-100 mph
10.3 secs
10.6 secs
0-100 km/h
4.5 secs
4.7 secs
0-160 km/h
10.3 secs
10.6 secs
Fuel Consumption (EU cycle)*
18.4 mpg / 15.4 litres/100 km
17.9 mpg / 15.8 litres/100 km
Extra Urban
36.7 mpg / 7.7 litres/100 km
35.3 mpg / 8 litres/100 km
26.8 mpg / 10.6 litres/100 km
25.9 mpg / 10.9 litres/100 km
CO2 emissions
246 g/km
254 g/km
Fuel Consumption (EPA cycle)**
City (US mpg)
Highway (US mpg)
Combined (US mpg)
Emissions Controls
EU 5 and US LEV II
* Fuel consumption figures are provisional and subject to Type Approval.
** Fuel consumption figures are provisional and subject to EPA certification.