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Bentley hauls out fresh firepower

2011-12-12 14:36

GOOD FOR THE ENVIRONMENT...: The new twin-turbo V8, Bentley says, provides fuel savings up to 40%.

Two new Bentley Continental models will be revealed at January’s Detroit auto show promising stellar fuel efficiency, but also sub-five second acceleration times. The best of both worlds, is it?

A new 4-litre, twin-turbo V8 petrol engine will power the new Bentley Continental GT Coupe and GTC convertible models when they are revealed at the North American international auto show on January 9, 2012.

Mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission, this V8 engine delivers 373kW at 6000rpm and churns out 660Nm of torque from 1700 to 5000rpm. Performance for the 0 – 100km/h sprint is quoted as “sub-five second” while the top speed is a figure approaching 300km/h.

Bentley has promised to release detailed figures in 2012, but claims the duo can cover up to 800km on a single tank of fuel. That would be rather interesting to observer, although Bentley also says the introduction of its new V8 fulfils the automaker’s commitment to produce a new powertrain that delivers up to a 40% improvement in fuel efficiency and CO2 emissions.


Bentley Continental V8

...AND GOOD FOR YOU: Despite its environmental credentials, this Bentley is not shy when it comes to delivering its performance, either.

To this end, the engine features variable displacement via its “sophisticated” engine management system, much like the Chrysler Group’s Hemi engine. Four of the eight cylinders are shut down under reduced throttle load, resulting in the fuel-saving benefits of a regular four-cylinder engine.

The V8 also features direct petrol injection, thermal management, energy recuperation and a turbo it says has been packaged for greater efficiency.

While the cars housing them are not new, the Continental GT and GTC fitted with the turbo V8 will be distinguished by their black gloss grilles with chrome frame, a red enamel winged “B” on the bonnet and the three-segment front bumper.

At the rear, chrome “figure eight’ twin tailpipes are visible along with Bentley’s red enamel badge, while the standard 20-inch alloys are visible in profile.

A high level of finishes and equipment can be expected inside the cabin.

Dynamically, both models have the benefit of a state-of-the-art, all-wheel drive system using a Torsen differential with a 40:60 power bias to the rear axle for safe and enthusiastic handling in a variety of road conditions.

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