Bentley adds higher performance with Continental GT V8 S

Bentley CEO Wolfgang Schreiber said the Continental GT V8 S is a car for V-8 customers who want more.

DETROIT -- Bentley introduced the Continental GT V8 S, a higher performance version of its luxury grand touring car making its debut in North America.

The new GT V8 S, available as a coupe or convertible, delivers more power than the Continental GT's base 4.0-liter, twin-turbocharged V-8. The S version makes 521 hp and 502 pounds-feet of torque.

The ZF eight-speed automatic transmission offers an S mode that sharpens the throttle response and holds shift points longer. The GT V8 S has a top speed of 192 mph with 0-60 mph acceleration time of 4.3 seconds.

The addition gives the Continental range four models in North America and slots just above the GT V8 version. Beyond that is the Continental GT W12, with its 12-cylinder engine. The top of the range is the 205-mph Continental GT Speed.

Bentley CEO Wolfgang Schreiber said the Continental GT V8 S is a car for V-8 customers who want more.

"I am delighted to bring this car to our biggest market for the first time, in this sustained period of growth for the Americas," he said. "This region's strong performance played an important role in making 2013 a record year."

In a brief addition to his prepared remarks, he said the price of the new version varied by market. "But in the U.S. market, it's about $185,000."

Bentley has two nameplates above the Continental GT in its lineup. It bills the Flying Spur as the world's fastest four-door sedan. The top of the line is the Mulsanne.

The automaker's global sales jumped 19 percent to a record 10,120 units in 2013, its fourth straight volume increase. Bentley said the Americas remain the brand's biggest market, with 3,140 sales in 2013, up 28 percent.

You can reach Jesse Snyder at jsnyder@crain.com -- Follow Jesse on Twitter: https://twitter.com/spartyjesse



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