- Competes with: Rolls-Royce Ghost, Mercedes-Benz CL-Class
- Looks like: A "more affordable and fuel-efficient" Continental is on its way complete with sarcasm-filled quotation marks
- Drivetrain: 500-hp, twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V-8; 631-hp, twin-turbocharged W-12; six-speed automatic and eight-speed automatic transmission; all-wheel drive
- Hits dealerships: Early 2012
Bentley will introduce two new trims — one for the Continental GT coupe and one for the GTC convertible — powered by a new V-8 engine at the 2012 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
The new powerplant will slot underneath the W-12 engine, which also gets a power boost. This is the first V-8 powertrain offered on the Continental nameplate since 2003. The new 500-horsepower, twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V-8 features direct injection and a cylinder deactivation system. Under the right conditions, four cylinders can deactivate on the V-8. When mated to a standard eight-speed automatic transmission, Bentley expects the powertrain to deliver a 40% improvement in fuel efficiency compared to the W-12 model, which returns 12/19/14 mpg city/highway/combined. The motor will propel the Continental GT from zero to 60 mph in less than 5 seconds, and it has a top speed of more than 180 mph.