The sound is just as different. At idle it has a low throb while under hard acceleration it produces a glorious snarl. This is an involving, exciting route into Bentley Continental ownership that clearly demonstrates the balance between total refinement and full-blooded sporting performance.
There are plenty of clues. A dark mesh radiator grille, aggressive lower bumper with three air-intakes, a dark rear valance with its signature figure of eight tailpipes, and a red enamel winged B all tell you this is the new Bentley Continental GT V8, powered by a 4.0-litre V8 engine.
The core difference with the new Bentley Continental GT V8 is the twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8. This engine produces a massive 487lbs/ft of torque at 1,700rpm and 500bhp, which means 0-60 takes just 4.6 seconds and a maximum speed of 188mph is delivered. Muscular and sharp, the new Bentley Continental GT V8’s perfectly judged lines use some serious technology in addition to traditional handcrafting. The knife-edge lines that run down each front wing are created using superforming, where 5,083-grade aluminium is heated to 500 degrees Celsius and shaped around a dye using air pressure. Low, wide and purposeful, the new Bentley Continental GT V8 draws inspiration from great Bentley grand-tourers of the past, but it’s pure 21st century where it counts. The interior uses the finest wood, leather and knurled metal, but in a simple, bold way. Dark Fiddleback Eucalyptus wood veneer has a pure, straight-grained appearance, and leather is offered in a small selection of single colours: Beluga, Newmarket Tan, Porpoise or Imperial Blue. It’s single minded, sporty and unique.
The technology story is not all about the potent V8 engine. Or the new eight-speed transmission designed to deliver lightning quick changes. It’s also about elements such as the compact powerful infotainment system with its 15GB of storage for music that links to iPod, MP3, the in-car six-disc CD changer or an SD card, all through an eight-channel speaker system. There is also a touchscreen navigation system with a 30GB hard disc drive offering rapid access to a whole continent of mapping and optional satellite landscape imagery. On the move, it allows access to your phone contacts via Bluetooth or SIM card and even monitors tyre pressure.