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 |  Feb 10 2012, 8:01 PM

Bentley turned to the skies to make its new Continental V8 debut one to remember out in Germany. The new 4.0L V8 Continental GT coupe went flying (literally) above downtown Munich thanks to a very sturdy harness and excellent helicopter pilot.

Obviously a marketing and publicity stunt more than anything else, Bentley also needed a way to beat the traffic jams in order to get to the SkyLounge, a glazed bridge between two skyscrapers. The fashionable SkyLounge is where an exclusive Bentley Continental V8 launch party was held with 300 VIP guests, and of course the car was the guest of honor.

“A dramatic car got the debut we felt it deserved and we took a little bit of our inspiration from Bentley’s iconic ‘Winged B’ emblem. On a practical level the helicopter was the fastest way to get to the rooftop podium,” said Klaus Becker, General Manager of Bentley Munich.

Of course the cynic in us has to wonder how badly this could have gone for Bentley if someone had forgotten to tighten something.

Check out the video after the break.

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 |  Dec 12 2011, 7:15 PM

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Set to make their world debut at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show, Bentley has released some photos of their new V8-powered Continental GT Coupe and GT Convertible. Powered by a new 4.0L, twin-turbocharged V8 powerplant with 500-hp, Bentley claims that the new V8 will also deliver 40-percent better fuel economy.

The new V8 Continentals will also sport red-enamelled Bentley badges, originally seen only on performance-tuned Red Label cars. The new V8 was developed in collaboration with Audi, and features a cylinder management system that shuts down four of the eight cylinders at cruising speeds, maximizing fuel efficiency.

The new engine is mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission while the drivetrain is also equipped with stop-start technology to save fuel. Official numbers haven’t been announced yet on the V8-powered GT and GTC, but estimates are coming in at around 25-mpg, which is pretty impressive for a 500-hp luxury sports car.

The exterior of the V8-powered Continental has some styling changes too, with different exhaust tips, black gloss matrix grille, chrome frame and center bar. Both models will come with 20-inch wheels standard, with 21-inchers available as an option while the six-spoke design of the wheels are exclusive tot he V8 variant.

Interior choices include two-tone leather combinations, dark eucalyptus wood veneers and a new cloth headliner. U.S. pricing is expected at the Detroit Auto Show reveal.

GALLERY: Bentley Continental V8

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Click here to see AutoGuide’s complete 2012 Detroit Auto Show preview