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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