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Published on December 13th, 2011 | by Seán Ward

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Bentley Continental GT V8

In just a few weeks time at the North American Auto Show, Bentley will unveil its latest Continental GT, but rather than a W12 under the bonnet, the new car will have a V8.

The V8 is a 4 litre turbocharged unit that produces 500 bhp at 6000 rpm, and 660 Nm of torque between 1700 and 5000 rpm.

Unlike its bigger brother, the 6 litre W12 GT, the V8 has an eight-speed close ratio, semi-automatic transmission, meaning it can get from rest to sixty miles per hour in less than five seconds.

Wolfgang Dürheimer, Chairman and Chief Executive, Bentley Motors said: “With the new 4.0 litre V8 engine we are widening the appeal of the latest generation of Continentals, introducing a completely new driving experience.

“The new engine will have all the exhilarating power, drama and performance you would expect from a V8 engine sporting the famous Bentley wings, effortlessly delivered with our characteristic ‘wave of torque’. This is complemented by innovative powertrain technology that delivers exceptional fuel efficiency and emissions.”

Efficiency, as Dürheimer explained, is much improved over the W12 – not only does it produce 40% less CO2, but one tank of fuel can last over 500 miles, thanks partly to an engine management program which means only four cylinders are used on light throttle.

Two V8 models are available: the GT and the GTC, the former being the coupé and the latter being the convertible, both recognisable by their red Bentley badges.

Both models are specified with 20-inch alloy wheels as standard with an optional 21-inch six-spoke design which is available in dramatic Diamond Black (exclusive to the Continental V8) or Diamond Silver finishes.

The cars are fitted with a two tone leather interior, and feature the same four wheel drive system as the W12.

The new cars will be launched at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit on 9th January 2012.

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