2014 Bentley Continental GT V8 S Quick Take: Subtle Luxury
Driving around Orange County, California on any given day are the usual run-of-the-mill Italian, German, and British high-end luxury cars. Since Kelley Blue Book is headquartered in Irvine, it's not unusual to see an S-Class, Bentley, or any various flavor of Porsche pull up alongside you at a traffic light. In an attempt to blend in, we spent some time with a 2014 Bentley Continental GT V8 S convertible, but that plan was quickly foiled when it arrived in a Monaco Yellow paint job.
As a testament to the build quality of Bentley's newest addition to its line-up, the only time we remembered we were lumbering around in a 5,446-pound yellow submarine was when we looked at the yellow accent stitching on the Beluga black dashboard and center console. Both the seats and steering wheel also feature the same yellow stitching. As for the exterior, out of sight (while driving), out of mind. Aside from the bright stitching, the cabin is a feast of understated luxury from chrome buttons that snap into place with a purpose to Piano Black veneer everywhere you look. Bentley takes its craftsmanship so seriously that the veneer in every vehicle it produces is sanded up to 18 times. It's obvious when you look at the dashboard too - it's flat and smooth as glass.
Riding on a set of (optional) four 21-inch six-twin spoke painted wheels, the Continental GT V8 S has a definite presence, but dunk it in Monaco Yellow paint and you're the center of attention no matter where you go. Navigating a mall parking garage is no easy task thanks to the Bentley's daunting size but that's what the valets are for. At low speeds, the 4.0-liter turbocharged V8 emits a deep burble but a quick step on the accelerator summons 521 horsepower and 502 lb-ft of torque for a quick getaway. A loud roar escapes through the quad exhaust pipes that flank the Continental's rear-end as the ZF 8-speed automatic transmission seamlessly engages the next gear. A robust engine requires robust brakes to bring everything to a halt and those assigned to stop the Continental V8 GT S are up to the task. Up front, 15.9-inch rotors work with 13.2-inch rear rotors to contribute to a sharp, controlled brake feel.
The Bentley Continental GT V8 S may tip the scale at over 5,000 pounds but even still, it's an incredibly comfortable cruiser. We spent a good amount of time behind the wheel in a city setting floating up and down the street. Traversing canyon roads is where the Continental GT V8 S surprised us with lithe handling and yet the car felt firmly planted on the ground. Our recommendation? If you're looking to create some space between you and the Joneses and have just shy of $300,000 to spend, be patient and wait the extra time for your Monaco Yellow, Sunrise (orange), Habanero (red) or Stratosphere (sky blue) Continental GT V8 S to arrive. However, if you just have an affinity for hyper luxurious things but still want to attempt keeping a low profile, Perfect Storm (dark grey satin) or Pure Power (white) will suffice.
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