Bentley Continental GT V8 S makes U.S. debut at NAIAS

  • 20-Jan-2014 04:24 EST

Bentley lowered the GT V8's suspension by 10 mm (0.4 in) for the GT V8 S and stiffened it to produce a more agile driving experience.

When an ultra-luxury car reaches five-figures in annual sales, that’s an extra reason to take notice of each new model. And at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit last week, Bentley staged the U.S. introduction of an “S” version of its Continental GT V8 grand touring coupe. Also at NAIAS, the company announced 2013 vehicle sales of 10,120 worldwide, a record for the marque. That’s an impressive achievement for the car that once was considered the “lower-priced” spin-off from the Rolls-Royce line. U.S. sales were 3100—almost a third of the total. The GT V8 S is powered by the same 4.0-L V8, but rated at 521 hp (389 kW). That's an increase from the GT V8's 500 hp (373 kW). Engine hardware is essentially unchanged; the increase was the result of calibration changes. The V8 continues to be a twin-turbocharged arrangement, with peak torque of 502 lb·ft (681 N·m) at just 1700 rpm. The engine is mated to an eight-speed ZF close-ratio automatic. A switch to S mode produces a more aggressive throttle strategy and shift schedule, with a 0-60 mph (97 km/h) time of 4.3 s. Top speed is 192 mph (309 km/h). The suspension was lowered 10 mm (0.4 in) and was stiffened to produce a more agile driving experience. A convertible model also is available.

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