Bentley Continental

Two engines are offered in the Continental for 2021, though both send power to all-four wheels via an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. The Continental V8 is powered by a 4.0L twin-turbocharged unit making 542 horsepower, enough to sling the coupe to 60 mph in a claimed 3.9 seconds. Bentley claims a top speed of 198 mph with the V8. For those wanting more performance, 6.0L turbocharged 12-cylinder engine is also offered, making 626 horsepower, allowing the Continental GT to reach a claimed top speed of 207 mph. Both engines are available in the Coupe or the convertible and being a grand tourer, Bentley have equipped the Continental with a very large gas tank. Owners of the V8 coupe should be able to go more than 500 miles between trips to the gas station while cruising on the highway.

The Bentley Continental comes in three distinct trims for both the convertible and coupe version: base V8, base W12 and Speed.

The base V8 and W12 trim come standard with many of the same features and equipment. The ultra-luxury SUV comes with heated front and rear leather seating, Alcantara headliner, power folding heated mirrors with tilt function, leather steering wheel and remote keyless entry with push button start. The Continental's infotainment system comes stocked with 12.3-inch touchscreen, 650-watt 10-speaker sound system, satellite radio, Bluetooth and Apple CarPlay.

The Speed trim adds many more premium features to the line-up. Speed Continentals come standard with 22-inch wheels, an active suspension with an active anti-roll system, and sport pedals.

Prospective buyers shopping for a new Bentley are treated to an incredible wealth of options to make their car feel bespoke, unique and personalized. The Continental is no exception with a huge number of color, wheel, interior and trim options. For instance, while most cars are available in two or three shades of silver, there are no fewer than thirteen different silvers available on the Continental.

The customization just goes on from there. Buyers are treated with a selection of wheels ranging from 20-inches, up to 22-inches in a variety of silver and black styles. Interior leather is two tone by default with around fourteen different colors available. Of course, exactly how the cockpit is divided up between those two colors is up to the customer; they can pick one of five different options. Nine different veneers are offered for the dashboard and surrounding interior, including walnut, carbon fiber, eucalyptus and ash options, while contrasting stitching on the seats can also be ordered in several different styles.

There are of course, plenty of option packages. A Touring Specification adds lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control, night vision and a heads-up display. City Specification comes with a top view camera, traffic sign recognition, pedestrian warning, a hands-free trunk, auto dimming mirrors and a reversing traffic warning system. Mood Lighting Specification adds extended interior lighting, while a Front Seat Specification package adds fancier seats with chrome bezels and a massager. Stereo options include a Bang & Olufsen sound system that comes with sixteen speakers and 1500 watts of power, though true hi-fi nerds will instead spring for the Naim sound system with twenty speakers, a twenty channel amplifier and 2200 watts.

Editors' First Take

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Here's a little life hack for all you hifalutin Bentley buyers: Get the V8 engine. It was true of the last-generation Continental GT and Flying Spur, and it's true now of the Bentayga SUV. Bentley's less-expensive V8 models are simply more satisfying to drive, and don't sacrifice one hand-crafted inch of style or substance.

Perhaps the best example of Bentley's V8 goodness is found here, in the 2020 Continental GT. The 626-horsepower, W12-powered Continental is already a goddamn delight. But the lighter, more eager V8 loosens the GT's collar, turning this grand tourer into an athlete that's far more eager to please.

The V8 engine is a familiar one: Bentley's twin-turbocharged, 4.0-liter unit, which makes a stout 542 horsepower and 568 pound-feet of torque. Working with a buttery-smooth, eight-speed automatic transmission, the GT V8 Coupe can accelerate to 60 miles per hour in a scant 3.9 seconds. The GT V8 Convertible does this same sprint in 4.0. Regardless of body style, the GT V8 is three-tenths of a second slower to reach 60 mph than the W12-powered variants.

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