Adding a new dimension of style, speed and dynamic character, the 2014 Bentley Continental GT V8 S set makes its formal debut in Frankfurt. Available in both coupe and convertible body styles, the S-spec upgrade amps up the enthusiast appeal of each of these all-wheel-drive grand touring machines while retaining all of the fundamental refinement well-heeled owners have come to expect in any Bentley vehicle.
The transformation begins with a retuned version of the Continental's standard 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 that boosts its horsepower from 500 to 521 and sees peak torque rise from 487 to 502 lb-ft. That extra muscle trims 0-60 mph sprint times to just 4.3 and 4.5 seconds, respectively, for the hard and soft top models. However, it doesn't impact the Continental's class-leading fuel economy stats. The revamp also involves tweaking the exhaust system to maintain a "proper" V8 sound even when the engine's Variable Displacement technology swings into action and shuts down half the cylinders during light-load conditions. Rounding out the mix is a close-ratio ZF 8-speed automatic transmission with a driver-selectable Sport mode that sharpens throttle response, holds gears longer and quickens shifts.
Although basic chassis hardware remains unchanged in the Continental GT V8 S, this hotter variant does net significantly stiffer springs/shocks/bushings, revised software for the Continuous Damping Control adaptive suspension, recalibrated steering, larger rear anti-roll bar, a lower ride height and a less-restrictive Electronic Stability Control system. Individually optimized for coupe and convertible models, these upgrades promise to make the S variants more rewarding to drive under any conditions and at any speed.
Adding visual interest to the S mix, these newest members of the Continental GT V8 family also feature a number of unique cosmetic enhancements. Up front, the standard bright grille is replaced by a gloss-black unit that's complemented by unique lower body styling elements including a deeper splitter, discrete side sills and a rear diffuser all set off by bespoke 20-inch alloy wheels, red brake calipers, "figure-eight" twin dual exhaust ports and V8 S badges.
The 2014 Bentley Continental GT V8 S models will arrive in the U.S. early next year. Pricing will be announced closer to the actual on-sale date.
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