Bentley Continental GTC V8S Review
As you may have already read in our article for the W12 variant of the GTC Speed, the Stately Home on wheels that represents the Continental GT and GTC is well accomplished offering excellent performance and exquisite luxury. However, in doing so, with the smooth W12 there was something missing, that concealed the fact you were driving 2 1/2 tonnes of GT car capable of keeping up with many of its peers.
That something was not the performance of the car in itself, but how it felt. You are wafted by the W12. However, this did not appeal to the younger market Bentley are trying to attract, in essence
harking back to the early days of the racing Bentleys enjoyed by early race drivers both on and off the track.
This, could be said, is where the V8S comes in. With a lighter, faster 4l V8 engine, the Continental has developed a bit of personality. With its 520hp power plant taking you from 0-62 4.7s (just as quick as the W12), the difference is noise, and a glorious amount of it
With the W12 you get a lazy grumble as you are propelled forward, however with the V8S you get a full on rasp as you give it the beans. Keeping it in low gears as it climbs the power band you can hear the 4l V8 with all its aggression being forced our the tailpipes with one of the most exciting sounds.
The V8S is not for the gentleman who has made it and looking to relax or retire (that is what the W12 is for). No, the V8S is for someone who wants to drive their GT, enjoy it, be seen and heard, but still appreciate the sumptuous luxury, fantastic build quality, and on road stability of a 4wd Bentley.
Inside and outside, the difference is subtle to the untrained eye. This is all about noise, sensation and performance.
I think you may have already gathered that the V8S sounds good, and the performance is clearly on par with its heavier W12 twin, so what is it like to actually drive then compared to the W12.
For a start there is no escaping the sheer weight of the Bentley. It is a heavy car, and whilst the power plant of the V8S is naturally lighter than the W12, the slight reduction in torque against the W12 is noticeable and when you try to accelerate
hard there is a perceptible feeling as if it is dragging itself out of bed in the morning, but once up it then moves fast, very fast. Oh, and did I mention the noise?
Through corners on twisty roads the V8S is nimble and responsive, the power is there when you need it and it feels solidly bolted to the road. Some of this is again down to the sheer weight of the Bentley Continental GTC, a shade under 2.5 tonnes, whilst the rest is down to the 4-wheel-drive system keeping it smartly in check. In a straight line V8S will hit 191mph (only 5 less than the W12), and at the lower end it feels like it may be quicker than the W12, however moving into license losing speeds the W12 will feel less laboured and more settled whilst the V8S is making all the noise getting there, having to work a little harder too.
Overall, the V8S fills a certain gap in the market and does so rather effectively. Some who would not have bought the GTC before due to its more muted and mature feel, will like the fresher younger feel brought about by the V8S. With the V8S staring a little under £165,000 ( £10,000 more than the V8 and only a little less than the W12) the choice here is really about how do you want to feel when driving it, wafted or excited?
If you would like to find out more about the Bentley Continental GTC, or any other vehicle, please contact JCS Prestige on 01223 911 761, by completing our online enquiry form below.