Although this car seems way too big and bulky, Bentley’s take on the grand tourer segment is a really impressive car. I drove the four door version (Flying Spur) of one of these a few years ago – on motorways these cars just soak up the miles effortlessly, but show it a back road and a heavy right foot and the car transforms into a real joy to drive. The handling is precise with a fantastic four wheel drive system that just grips far beyond the limits of the road.
Unveiled in 2012 at the North American International Auto Show, this particular GT is powered by a version of Audi’s 4.0 V8 engine that features cylinder deactivation as a nod towards fuel economy. 500 mile/800 km range from a single tank of fuel in a car this size is impressive, no matter what you think about big engined machinery.
I have to admit that while I really like the overall appeal of the Bentley badge. The fit, finish and attention to detail of these cars is fantastic, and if I had to buy a grand tourer, I would have a hard time ruling a Continental GT V8 out of the running. Head turning no matter where they are – in this dimly lit area of the car park, this Bentley stands out a mile.
Launched in 2012, the GT V8 variant of this second edition of the Continental is powered by a 4.0L twin turbo V8, developed in conjunction with Audi and the recipient of many industry plaudits. In this guise, the powerplant punches out 500 bhp that propels this machine to 309km/h but uses cylinder deactivation to return an 8% saving on fuel economy. Bentley’s version of cylinder deactivation in this engine works as follows – in the deactivated cylinders, the pistons continue to move because they are being driven by the crankshaft. Before the valves close, the combustion chambers are filled with fresh air with the fuel injection and ignition shut down. This intake of air lowers cylinder pressure acting as an air spring, effectively reducing the energy needed to move the pistons, resulting in better efficiency.
If you are in a position to buy one of these, I recommend this variant, the 4.0 V8 engine. While the W12 engine is bigger (6.0) and has more cylinders (12), it is not the better engine. Do what the owner of this car did, and buy the V8!!
Other technical wizardry includes on demand power-steering assistance, specially designed eco-tyres and overrun alternator charging. An 8 speed tiptronic transmission allows the driver to shift cogs manually if required. And this paddle shift has, in my opinion, the correct setup in that the paddles are column mounted. I’ve driven a few paddle shifters that have the paddles mounted on the wheel, meaning that you can fumble for a gear change when the wheel is not in the dead ahead position – this usually happening when you are in desperate need for another ratio before you blow the pistons through the bonnet!
Bentley Continental GT V8 – Vital Statistics
|Power||373 kW (500 bhp) @ 6000rpm|
|Torque||660 Nm (487 lb/ft) @ 1700rpm|
|0-100 km/h (0-62 mph)||4.2 seconds|
|Maximum speed||309 km/h (192 mph)|
|Fuel consumption (average)||10.9 l/100km (26.1 mpg)|
|Fuel type, tank capacity||Petrol, 90 litres|
|Engine||DOHC, Cylinder on Demand|
Two twin-scroll turbochargers mounted in
inner ‘V’ angle
Variable intake and exhaust camshaft timing
Twin air and water cooled intercoolers
|Cylinders and valves||V8, 32v|
|Transmission||8 speed automatic (ZF 8HP)|
|Drivetrain||All wheel drive|
Bentley Continental GT recalls
BENTLEY IS RECALLING 4 MY 2004 AND 2006 CONTINENTAL GT AND CONTINENTAL FLYING SPUR VEHICLES. THE REPLACEMENT AIR BAG TRIMMED COVERS HAVE BEEN MANUFACTURED WITH TETHERS OF AN INCORRECT LENGTH.
ON CERTAIN PASSENGER VEHICLES, THERE IS THE POTENTIAL FOR INSUFFICIENT CLEARANCE BETWEEN A BRAKE PIPE AND AN ENGINE MOUNTED HOSE CLIP, WHICH COULD EVENTUALLY RESULT IN FAILURE OF THE BRAKE PIPE.
BENTLEY IS RECALLING 13,420 MY 2004-2008 CONTINENTAL GT, CONTINENTAL GT SPEED, CONTINENTAL FLYING SPUR, AND CONTINENTAL GTC VEHICLES. THERE IS THE POTENTIAL FOR ROAD SALT TO CORRODE THE OUTER SURFACE OF THE FUEL FILTER. THIS COULD LEAD TO THE FILTER HOUSING BECOMING POROUS WITH A CORRESPONDING FUEL LEAK.
Bentley Motors, Inc. (Bentley) is recalling certain model year 2012-2014 Continental GT vehicles manufactured February 1, 2011, to April 30, 2014, 2012-2015 Continental GTC vehicles manufactured February 1, 2011, to June 30, 2014, 2012-2013 Continental Flying Spur vehicles manufactured March 31, 2011, to August 30, 2012, and 2014 Flying Spur vehicles manufactured February 28, 2013, to April 28, 2014. In the affected vehicles, a battery cable connection may be loose at the firewall.
Bentley Motors, Inc. (Bentley) is recalling certain model year 2007 through 2011 Continental GT, GTC, and Flying Spur vehicles, manufactured from July 2006 through June 2010 and equipped with carbon ceramic brake discs. In the affected vehicles, the stainless steel screws that secure the brake rotors may fail after being exposed to salty conditions.
Company Recall code: RE13/14