Bentley's Latest Toys Capture the Spirit of the Jazz Age Bentley Boys

Mike Espindle | July 9, 2019 | Lifestyle

Bentley unveils an enviable choice to make with the co-launch of both the coupe and convertible versions of the new Continental GT V8. Perhaps the only sensible solution to this perplexing question is: One of each, please?

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At the end of the day, you just can’t make a bad decision here. Both versions of the new Bentley Continental GT V8 just ooze a perfect combination of signature bespoke Bentley elegance and unbridled performance. A new 4-liter twin-turbo V8 engine harkens back to the era of the “Bentley Boys:” A group of British Jazz Age friends, playboys and racers who thrilled onlookers and frustrated local constables with their automotive adventures across Europe. Perhaps more than any other vehicle in the Bentley stable, the new Continental captures the uproarious spirit of men like diamond heir Woolf “Babe” Barnato, Dr. J. Dudley “Benjy” Benjafield and other infamous names.

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Both the coupe and convertible represent the third generation of the GT V8, and are the most nimble iterations ever. Just witness the stats: A hyperjump from 0 to 60 mph in under 4 seconds; a top speed of 198 mph; that throaty, burbling V8 exhaust note; 20-inch, 10-spoke alloy wheels—all in a gleaming package with a grand touring range of over 500 miles between fill-ups. That fuel efficiency is augmented with a smart cylinder-deactivation system for less-demanding driving situations. When tooling along with four cylinders, a quick toe-punch to the accelerator reactivates the full force of the engine in an imperceptible 20 milliseconds.

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The coupe and the convertible have typical handling and ride feel that is expected of Bentley.

Both models share the same thrillingly pulsating heart and share a raft of exterior design cues: quad exhausts, subtle badging details, cutting-edge LED matrix headlamps and Bentley’s muscular yet elegant bodywork. Of course, the roofline is the major differentiator. The Continental GT V8 convertible’s tailored roof can be deployed or stowed in just 19 seconds at speeds up to 30 mph. No less than seven fabric colors are available, including a rakish tweed finish for the very first time. New neck warmer units are integrated into the seats for extraordinarily comfortable top-down motoring.

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The damping systems and active all-wheel drive are intelligent with front-to-rear torque to keep things stable.

Handling and ride feel for both new Continentals are spot-on and pure Bentley: Elegance and comfort that can instantly transform into growling performance. A drive dynamics selector features a full range of modes to meet any of your driving moods. Dynamic ride and damping systems and active all-wheel drive intelligently tweak suspension and front-to-rear torque to keep you stable regardless of the driving situation, with a bias on rear-wheel power.

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Step inside either model and exhale. Both GT versions present the as-expected-but-always-surprising attention to detail only the master craftsmen at the Bentley Crewe facility in the U.K. can deliver. Expect a tide of the highest quality leathers and sustainably sourced wood veneers, as well as exquisite metal detailing work (especially around the gauges and buttons). Classic elegance meets modern comfort in new 20-way adjustable seats that set a new high bar for driver and passenger customization and, of course, are available in a variety of leathers and detailing options. A fully digital dashboard is standard, but Bentley’s rotating display option is built around a 12.3-inch touch screen that can rotate to reveal three classic analog gauges as well. Topless or not, any drive in a Bentley Continental GT V8, from your first test to your most recent commute, is something very, very special, indeed. Bentley Atlanta, 10995 Westside Parkway, Alpharetta

2020 Bentley Continental GT V8 Coupe and Convertible

Base price
$203,825 (coupe), $223,675 (convertible)

Engine
4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8

Transmission
8-speed automatic

Horsepower
542 bhp

Torque
568 lb.-ft.

Grand touring range
500 miles

0 to 60 mph
3.9 seconds (coupe); 4.1 seconds (convertible)

Top Speed
198 mph



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Photography by: bentley