2012 Bentley Continental GT V8 review - price, specs and 0-60 time

The V8 powered Bentley Continental GT offers similar performance to the 6-litre W12, but with vastly better mpg and a lower price. A winner?

Evo rating
Price
from £123,850
  • Superb new engine combines power with economy
  • Starting to look old...

We’ve already driven the Bentley GTC convertible fitted with the new V8 engine, but now we’re having a proper go in the coupe version. You’ll have to squint to spot design differences between this car and the last, launched in 2003, but it’s under the skin that the real changes have taken place.

Engine and performance

As with the convertible the Continental GT boasts an all-new 4-litre twin turbocharged V8 engine with 500bhp, which will be offered alongside the venerable 567bhp 6-litre W12. The V8 is a development of the engine Audi has fitted to the S6, S7 and S8, although the Bentley gets a unique state of tune. The V8 Conti shares the W12’s four-wheel drive system, but gets a new eight-speed autobox in place of the older six-speeder.

Subscribe to evo magazine

Subscribe today to our exclusive new offer and SAVE 39% on the shop price, get evo for its original cover price of £3.00 an issue, plus get a FREE gift worth £20!

Weight is saved by aluminium bodywork and a plastic tailgate, and the V8 also features a clever cylinder deactivation system that turns it into a V4 at cruising speeds. That improves fuel economy over the W12 by some 40 percent to around 24mpg.

What's it like to drive

The V8 feels punchier and faster to respond than the – still hugely impressive - W12. Despite its smaller capacity the 4-litre engine still delivers 487lb ft of torque, while the eight-speed gearbox gives it a broader choice of ratios to choose between. Steering is light, although the Bentley is easy to place on the road. The mass saved by the new, lighter engine means that it feels far keener and more agile than the W12.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

Selectable mode dampers help to really lash down the V8 Conti’s (still considerable) bulk, with ‘Sport’ mode proving adept at dealing with bumpy stuff. The car’s sheer bulk and sorted body control help it to steamroller undulating roads in a surprising fashion.

As before, the Continental is a supremely relaxed cruiser, with its long-range credentials improved by the new V8 ability to go much further on each gallon of super unleaded. Sharing the W12’s 90-litre fuel tank means that the V8 will be able to go over 400 miles at the 22-25 mpg that experience suggests it should  be able to return in everyday use. For contrast, the W12 struggles to manage 300 miles on a tank when being driven hard.

Rivals

Bentley boss Wolfgang Durheimer likes to liken the Continental range to the Porsche 911 – presumably on the basis that you can buy both coupe and convertible versions in a variety of different states of tune. But the statement is also relevant to the way the model is following an evolutionary development process that’s seeing it enjoy a second wind, even after the best part of a decade on sale. At £123,850 – versus £135,760 for the W12 - the V8 isn’t exactly an austerity choice, but that makes it look very reasonable next to rivals like the Ferrari FF.

Price and release date

The Bentley Continental GT V8 is available now for £123,850.

Read our full Bentley Continental GT review here

Specifications

Engine3993cc V8, twin-turbocharged, petrol
Max power500bhp @ 6000rpm
Max torque487lb ft @ 1700rpm
0-604.6-sec
Top speed188mph
On saleNow
Advertisement

Recommended

Visit/bentley/continental-gt/22837/bentley-breaks-production-car-pikes-peak-record-with-continental-gt
Bentley Continental GT coupe

Bentley breaks production car Pikes Peak record

1 Jul 2019
Visit/bentley/continental-gt
Bentley Continental GT coupe

2019 Bentley Continental GT V8 review

28 Jun 2019
Visit/bentley/continental-gt/22455/bentley-continental-gt-v8-revealed-will-this-be-the-sportier-gt-weve
Bentley Continental GT coupe

Bentley Continental GT V8 revealed

18 Mar 2019
Visit/bentley/continental-gt/22176/bentley-unveils-continental-gt-no9-edition-at-geneva
Bentley Continental GT coupe

Bentley preparing celebratory ‘Blower’

4 Mar 2019
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/honda/civic-type-r/202099/honda-civic-type-r-limited-edition-revealed-amongst-range-wide-updates
Honda Civic Type-R

Honda Civic Type R Limited Edition revealed amongst range-wide updates

Our hopes have been addressed and more, as Honda launches two more Civic Type R versions at the top and tail of the range
20 Feb 2020
Visit/porsche/cayman/202238/porsche-cayman-gts-40-2020-review-a-cut-price-cayman-gt4
Porsche Cayman

Porsche Cayman GTS 4.0 2020 review - a cut-price Cayman GT4? 

The 2020 Porsche Cayman GTS 4.0 regains its flat-six and therefore top-billing in the class. It’s a brilliant package for those whom a GT4 is a bit to…
16 Feb 2020
Visit/bmw/3-series/202267/new-bmw-m340d-xdrive-saloon-and-touring-revealed-with-516lb-ft-of-torque
BMW 3 Series

New BMW M340d xDrive Saloon and Touring revealed

BMW has released its range-topping black pump 3-series models, with a predictably impressive torque figure
20 Feb 2020
Visit/hyundai/201819/hyundai-i30-fastback-n-versus-the-nurburgring
Hyundai i30 N

Hyundai i30 Fastback N versus the Nurburgring

We brought the Hyundai i30 Fastback back to its spiritual home in Germany's Eifel mountains, where there is a racing track you might well have heard o…
7 Oct 2019