The Bentley Continental GT V8 S throws tradition out the doorHow much difference can one small letter make? XCAR finds out what the S in Bentley Continental GT V8 S really stands for.
[MUSIC] [MUSIC] [MUSIC] I've always admired the way that Bentley does performance. It takes a giant engine and shoves it in a comfy squishy beautifully made car and sends it Off into the world. Some of them have even topped 200 miles an hour but I've never viewed a Bentley as a super car. They're more a stunningly made armchair with a giant V8 or W12 under the cushion. A Bently is spoofy craftsmanship. The Bently then is a car for the driver who cares not for overt show but understated go. Because this Bently isn't like its siblings. It's a V8 S. And the S adds a little edge. One that might upset those of a traditional sensibility. [NOISE] The regular V8 Continental GT is a fine machine. It's 500 horses or for more power than you could possibly know what to do with and it's exhaust is just the right side of antisocial. It's a concession to hooliganism if ever there was. [INAUDIBLE] the S10 is it's angrier sibling. The one that was picked on in school, so it feels like it has a little bit more to prove. To make its point, it's ten millimeters lower than the regular car, has stiffer springs, adjusted damping and fiddled with [INAUDIBLE]. It's got the option to have some truly massive ceramic brakes. And it's got an angry front splitter, sills, and rear diffuser. Its steering is now more suited to some very unBentleyish driving as well. [MUSIC] There's more power here. 521 horsepower. That's 21 more than you get,. In a regular V8. There's also more torque, not that you need it, there's now 502.pound-foot. Its HbzF gearbox has been fiddled with as well, so now it'll cling on to gears for longer. The extra power and tweekery means the north of 60 takes 4.3 seconds and its top speed is 192 miles an hour and it does that despite weighing 2295 kilo. That kind of thing doesn't really add up in your head. It's like doing the hundred meters in ten seconds with a hippo strapped to each knee. Odd, but very impressive. There is one more [INAUDIBLE] piece lurking within the V8S. That's the fact that it will apparently do 26.7 miles to the gallon. Won't really. And it emits 246 grams per kilometre, of carbon dioxide. Now, for a car this fast, and this big, that's quite impressive. That's all downlow to this engine. It's a fully, it's a turbo-charged unit, the same one you'll find in the Audi RS 6, for example. And that's got a neat,. This thing in it, it's got cylinder shut-off. So when you're cruising it will turn off four of the cylinders, until of course you plant your foot. Then all eight of them spring into life and you use all of the fuel, but still, it's smart. So far this Bentley appears to be distinctly un-Bentley, but at the same time it harks back to its DNA. Images of the Bentley boys ragging their cars to their limits to Bentley's new GT3 racer spanking around a racetrack all fit here the V8S appears to be just that little bit more than the other cars in the range allow me to explain every other Bentley I've driven has been punishingly fast the V8 made a very nice noise. But there's always something very much like a Bentley. And what that means is that everything has been very soft, very squishy, very comfortable, very geared towards relaxation, having a calm, luxurious drive. But when you want to, you can just twitch your right foot and you'll fire yourself off into the distance. Whereas here there's just a little bit extra. There's more going. Going on. You don't feel like you're hefting around too much. You're not wrestling with this giant beast. It dances with you. It plays with you. It, it indulges you, as you'd hope it would. [MUSIC] I said at the beginning I don't really think of Bently as a supercar. And I'm gonna stick to that. I do think it is a beautifully upholstered way of going incredibly quickly. However, this feels more like a sports car than any Bentley I've ever driven. This is the closest link you can get to their racing car, the GT3. The mental thing has been. Kicking **** all over the world but is this a grand tour with some sports car bits on it, or is this now a sports car with some grand tour uses? It's found that middle ground, that balance between being really good fun. But also you don't have to turn it off. You don't have to press any buttons for it to, be the relaxing Gt you want a Bentley to be. You just simply, treat it as such. And like the regular V8, its noise, power, and loveliness made me go all tingly, but, I did find its drive incongruent. Where it has the pace of something pretty mental, even in the hardest suspension setting, it felt a little soft. Great for most people, but I'm so awkward it put me off of it a bit. This though. [MUSIC] [NOISE] This is a fantastic bit of kit, the SC doesn't mean you have a bit more power, and away you go, no it means you get a better drive. Still very much [MUSIC] A Bentley drive, but a more engaging, sharper one. Until the inevitable super sports appears, this is the best handling Bentley you can throw money at. And as usual for a Bentley, a decently made one at that.