Test: Bentley Continental GT V8, modesty is a virtue (2022)

Bentley Continental GT. At its inception in the early 2000s, it suffered from the unfortunate stigma of being a football player’s car; now in its third generation it is in its element and better than ever. It even offers a real selection, because with trendy models like Azure, S, Speed ​​and Mulliner, the possibilities for customization and finishing are now officially endless.

From Phaeton to Panamera

But unlike the Bentayga and Flying Spur, the Continental GT must do without a plug-in hybrid drive (so far), so the central role up front is given to two power sources: the majestic W12, which we could taste a year and a half ago and for the second generation in a row a lighter and more sporty V8. Although it has four cylinders smaller, it is not inferior.

It has everything to do with the foundation of this Continental GT. The third generation, which debuted five years ago, moved from the platform of the defunct Volkswagen Phaeton to the current Porsche Panamera. A masterpiece: Not only does this platform make the Continental GT’s sporting aspirations much more credible, but it also gives the coupe – and the convertible version GTC – access to chassis technology that allows Britons to better control its pounds.

Bentley Continental GT V8 (2022) drives, rear

Push the pounds back

Although the lightening of the engine results in a reduction of the kilos on the front axle, with an unladen weight of 2,165 kg, the Continental GT V8 is still not a featherweight. To better control this mass, the British Porsche gets three-chamber air suspension, which works wonders against the kilos from the Cayenne and Panamera. The new air suspension provides more headroom for wrinkle-free comfort or controlled sportiness, while the active roll bars, also of German origin, keep the elegant body under control.

When we talk about bodywork, the visual differences between V8 and W12 are minimal. The eight-cylinder version has more discreet letters, slightly higher on the flanks and double exhaust pipes on each side, instead of the W12’s unique two oval exhaust pipes. Inside, there is no difference: the sky is here limit and there is real metal, real aluminum and copious amounts of leather and wood.

Bentley Continental GT V8 (2022) interior

roar

A push of the start button on the center console and the 4.0-liter V8s under the outstretched bonnet jump to life. It offers here an output of 550 hp and 770 Nm, similar to its work at Porsche and with slightly different powers at Audi and Lamborghini. In this Continental GT, the eight-cylinder gets a personal character, because its discreet growl and silky-soft running culture fit perfectly with the distinguished Briton.

More than that: Bentley has managed to make the V8 look pretty much identical to the W12. The eight-cylinder, for example, only raises its voice when it is pressed hard on the accelerator, or when you choose the more sporty driving modes, but even then it seems during a firmer roar reserved rather than extravagant. The Briton seems to wait a moment as if she wanted to make sure we were really going to drive at full speed before she unleashed a wave of torque.

Bentley Continental GT V8 (2022) center console

In details

The difference with W12 therefore lies mainly in the decimals, both literally and figuratively. The Continental GT V8, for example, sprints to 100 km / h in 4.0 seconds and has a top speed of 318 km / h. This is 0.3 seconds and 15 km / h slower than the W12, respectively. The V8’s growl is a little bolder, with the twelve-cylinder having a softer voice. Thus, the equipment GT also offers a finer ride, just as stable but a little lighter from the front. But again, this is about the details.

When things need to go a little slower, this V8 makes relaxation effortless. The eight-speed dual-clutch gearbox glides effortlessly, the air suspension filters effortlessly through the roughness of the sidewalk, and the monumental torque is always there. V8 or not, the Bentley Continental GT gets the most out of luxury.

Bentley Continental GT V8 (2022) driving, foresight

Price

For Continental GT with V8, Bentley requires at least € 222,156 (France: NC). Of course, that is not a given, but it can still climb by taking a walk through the list of options. Our test model was equipped with almost € 95,000 of options, including almost € 30,000 for 22-inch rims and carbon brake discs! Looking at the Volkswagen Group at Porsche, the soulful and technical sister, the Panamera Turbo S, is shown for around € 194,000. It gives some credit for the possibilities …

Bentley Continental GT V8 (2022) driving, rear view 2

Conclusion

The V8 may be the base engine for the Continental GT, but it is by no means an entry-level engine. The eight-cylinder not only makes the difference in terms of price and consumption, it is also barely inferior to the W12 in terms of power and performance. The character GranTourer of this Bentley Continental GT has been effortlessly preserved.

Leave a Comment