2013 Bentley Continental GT V8 rated by EPA at 15 mpg city and 24 mpg highway

Article by Christian A., on May 16, 2012

Automakers are working aggressively to improve the average fuel economy of their fleets as CAFE standards are expected to soon take effect. One of the models that Bentley is relying on to boost its average is the 2013 Bentley Continental GT V8, which has an EPA rating of 15 mpg city and 24 mpg highway. It’s superior to the W-12-powerd Conti, which has ratings of 12/19 mpg city/highway.

This makes it comparable to the four-wheel drive Cadillac Escalade SUV with ratings of 13/18 mpg city/highway. The fuel efficiency of the Conti V-8 is more notable considering that it weighs 5059 pounds, nearly 300 pounds heavier than the 500-hp Porsche Cayenne Turbo, which has a rating of 15/22 mpg city/highway.

When compared to its peers, the V-8-powered Continental GT offers a higher fuel economy than the Aston Martin Vantage V-8 (14/21) and it is better than the Jaguar XKR-S on the highway by two miles (with a rating of 15/22). It’s comparable with 2013 Mercedes-Benz SL550 (16/24), which weighs 1109 pounds less. Audi had co-developed the more efficient 4.0-liter twin-turbo V-8. This is actually similar to the engine expected to be used on the 2013 Audi S8 sedan.

The features that improve its fuel economy are direct injection, cylinder deactivation, and a new eight-speed automatic that distributes power to its four wheels. In addition, it’s very quick and is capable of accelerating from zero to 60 mph in 4.8 seconds, only two tenths of a second behind the W-12.

The question now is whether its fuel economy would be convincing enough to turn away consumers from the Conti W-12. The V-8 is about 55 pounds lighter and is likely to be priced 10% less. Of course, owning a W-12 would already give you enough bragging rights to make it worth it. 

The Bentley Continental’s new V8 engine is going to be available in two variants: the Continental GTC and the Continental GT. These models boast a potent and muscular character, and are distinguished by black gloss matrix grille complete with chrome frame and a center bar, a black matrix 3-segment lower front bumper that is divided by body-colored strakes, and a red enamel Bentley 'B' badge.

At the rear, you can see unique chromed ‘8’ exhaust tailpipes, a red enamel 'B' badge that emphasizes the new V8s’ sporty and contemporary identity, and a dark lower valance.

Both V8 models come with standard 20” alloy wheels, with an optional 21” 6-spoke design available in dramatic Diamond Black or Diamond Silver finishes. The Diamond Black is exclusive to the Bentley Continental V8, though.

The cabin interior features an Eliade cloth headlining, as well as modern Dark Fiddleback Eucalyptus veneers, an optional 2-tone leather color split, and a short center console. All of these features continue the models’ fresh, sporting design theme.

In addition, the two new models are going to be offered under the flagship 6-liter, 12-cylinder-engined GT and GTC. Both GT and GTC offer silken refinement combined with the ultimate power of their twin-turbocharged W12 Continental engine, which delivers 631bhp.

Powertrain

The new v8 engine being fitted by Bentley inside the Continental GT coupé and the GTC convertible makes a sound that is so recognizable it makes it easy to tell it apart from the other models of the brand. In addition to being twin-turbocharged, the new 4.0-liter V8 engines comes with variable displacement.

And by putting in the highly advanced engine management system, it ensures that when running on light throttle load, the shift to V4 from V8 is seamless and even imperceptible. Other features of the new engines are the thermal management, low friction bearings, and the high pressure direct injection. The engine even comes with a charging system that allows for energy recuperation. Furthermore, greater efficiency is achieved with its advanced turbo charger.

When it comes to the high luxury sports car segment, the new engines offer high standards in relation to the power-to-emissions ratio. Maximum output is 373 kW (507 PS. 500 bhp) and available at 6,000 rpm.

Torque meanwhile peaks at 660 Nm (487 lb.-ft.) and can be obtained from a wide revolution range starting from 1,700 rpm and all the way to 5,000 rpm. Indeed, these figures prove that the new engine can deliver on the graceful power delivery and exciting performance expected from the company. When the engine is paired to the automatic 8-speed transmission which has a close-ratio, this results in a maximum speed of 290 km/h (180 mph) with acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h (0 to 60 mph) in nearly 5 seconds.

Aside from the performance, the V8 engine also ensures that the models are able to achieve remarkable levels when it comes to fuel efficiency and CO2 emissions. This allows the company to fulfill its promise of helping the environment by creating new powertrains that could exhibit enhancement in both the fuel efficiency and the CO2 emissions by 40%.

Bentley disclosed that the official and full figures will be presented by the early part of 2012 though initial estimates shows that on a single full tank of fuel, the engine allows a travel of 800 km (500 miles).

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