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Bentley Continental GTC V8: A look at what makes a flying B so special

It's no secret that Bentley makes very special cars, but what goes into making them so? We took a Continental GTC V8 and investigated.

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It doesn't take a mastermind to realise that the Bentley Continental GTC V8 is a very special car. It's a Bentley, after all, and Bentley is a brand that exhudes quality, refinement, heritage, and luxury. What makes its cars quite so special, though, is really quite something.

Y'see, to make a Bentley look and feel as you'd expect, there are various processes to be gone through.

Everything you see, touch, experience, and smell has far more work go into it than you could possibly imagine.

Let's take the paint job: it's an 11-day job from the initial coatings until you end up with the Bentley mirror shine.

Then the wood in the interior, that's no small job, either. Over a month a thin piece of veneer turns into a smooth, beautiful slice of wonderfulness you see in the finished product.

So your paint is shiny, your wood polished to within an inch of its life (no giggling at the back), but what about where you sit? There's a story there, too. Did you know that Bentley uses bull hides, rather than cow hides? Bull hide is tougher and produces better-quality leather. Bentley also makes sure its bulls (currently sourced from Bavaria) are brought up in fields without barbed wire fencing, in case they get a nick in their hides. Once the leather is treated and sent over to Bentley, it's scanned for further imperfections and sliced so only the finest cuts of beef are sewn together to keep your bum comfy. It's quite incredible.

The GTC V8 we drove was, as expected, rather lovely. The V8, a new engine for the Continental, pushes out 500 bhp thanks to two turbos. It also sounds utterly, utterly incredible. It turned heads wherever it went and was remarkably comfortable in the process.

What makes a Bentley so special? Why, that'll be everything.

Engine 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8
Power 500 bhp
Torque 487 lb. ft.
0-60 mph 4.7 seconds
Top speed    187 mph