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 |  Feb 20 2012, 1:00 PM

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The new Bentley Continental GT and GTC V8 still doesn’t have a scheduled release date, but that hasn’t stoped the British automaker from releasing more photos of the two upcoming models to whet our appetite.

The new V8-powered Continental features a 4.0L, twin-turbo engine with 500-hp and 487 lb-ft of torque with an eight-speed automatic transmission. With the new V8 engine, the GT reportedly can get up to 33-mpg on the highway, which is extremely impressive for a vehicle with 500-hp.

On the outside, the V8 model will have slightly different exterior features than its W12 counterpart including a glossy black grille with chrome frame and center bar, a red enameled Bentley “B” badge, and a black mesh three-segment front bumper.

Even though US pricing still hasn’t been announced, the UK buyers will be paying a base price of around $196,215 (£123,850) while the rest of Europe has a starting price of around $179,000 (€136,000) based on today’s conversion rates. We expected American pricing to be closer to $175,000 than $200,000.

GALLERY: Bentley Continental GT and GTC V8

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 |  Jan 10 2012, 11:09 AM

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Very few car companies can lay claim to have a twin-turbo charged, 500-hp, V8 as their entry level vehicle, but Bentley can.

At the 2012 North American International Auto Show, the Bentley Continental GT V8 made its World premiere. While the original W12 version continues in production, this new V8 will be offered at a lower price point to combat the very best super-coupes from its German rivals.

The GT V8 looks very similar to any other Continental GT, both inside and out, so essentially this is a powertrain story. The power comes courtesy of a 4.0-liter, twin-turbo, V8. Maximum output is 500-hp and 487-lb/ft of torque. Like all previous Continental GT’s, the new V8 model also features all-wheel drive. The only transmission on offer is a close-ratio, 8-speed automatic with paddle shifters.

The performance numbers as you’d expect are pretty impressive. 0-60 mph sprint takes just 4.6 seconds, while top speed is a remarkable 188 mph.

Perhaps even more impressive is its fuel economy. On a highway cruise, this GT V8 can achieve 33-mpg. It can manage that because of its cylinder-deactivation system. So when you’re simply cruising, it will shut down four of its cylinders. So this Bentley can actually run for 500-miles on a single tank of petrol. Could this be a sensible Bentley!

2011 was a great year for this British manufacturer, recording their second-highest year of sales in its history, with 7003 cars delivered globally, of which 1876 units found homes in America.

With this new entry-level GT V8 (No prices given, but expect those to be over $150,000), and also the GTC V8 convertible going on sale this year, Bentley sales might surpass all their previous records.

GALLERY: 2013 Bentley Continental GT V8

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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

 |  Jul 31 2011, 11:15 AM

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Joining Bentley‘s 6.0L twin-turbo W12 powerplant in the near future is a rumored 4.0L V8 that will be more efficient with lower emissions. And now it seems that Bentley will officially unveil the new V8 to the public at next year’s Detroit Auto Show, which will be a nice followup to the refreshed GTC that is planned to be shown at Frankfurt this September.

According to Consumer Search, the lighter engine in the front bay will give the Continental GT a sportier feel while the exhaust will emit a very satisfying note.

Specific details on the new turbocharged V8 have yet to be released, but it is certain to deliver significantly fewer thrills than the twin-turbo W12 engine now in use. But paired with what is expected to be a significantly lower price, this new offering should deliver a healthy sales spike for the British brand.

GALLERY: 2011 Bentley Continental GT

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[Source: Consumer Search]

Click here to read AutoGuide’s 2011 Bentley Continental GT review