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2020 Bentley Continental GT Review: V8 vs. W12

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The latest third-generation Bentley Continental GT is a V8, the most agile Grand Tourer to date with unparalleled levels of luxury and cutting-edge technology.
Bentley Continental GT V8 Side View Review
Taking the Bentley Continental GT V8 out for the day to compare to the W12. Credit: Billionaire Toys

In 2018 Bentley launched its third-generation Continental GT, however, the only option was a Grand Tourer with a big W12 engine. More recently, Bentley has provided customers with the option of owning a twin-turbocharged V8 powered variant.

So how does it compare to the W12 powered model you may wonder? Having previously spent two days with the W12, we were given the opportunity by Bentley Brisbane to take the V8 model out for the day to compare notes…

The Visual Difference

Aside from the quad tipped exhaust pipes and a small “V8” badge on the side fender, the Bentley Continental GT V8 looks no different to its more powerful and older W12 sibling. This is because both cars share almost everything from the same chassis down to Bentley’s uniquely forged body.

Bentley Continental GT V8 Badging
Discrete “V8” badging along the front fenders. Credit: Billionaire Toys
Bentley Continental GT V8 Quad Exhaust Pipes
Elliptical quad-exhaust tailpipes are one of the only features to distinguish the V8 version. Credit: Billionaire Toys

Continental GT Price

There are however important differences, with the foremost one being price. In Australia, the 2020 Bentley Continental GT V8 is priced from $400,900 (plus on-road costs), making it around $21,000 less than the W12 ($422,000 plus on-road costs).

Commanding a price premium of at least $40,000, the convertible Bentley Continental GT V8 comes in at $441,300 plus ORCs, and the W12 convertible costs $473,900 plus ORCs, so all in all the top-shelf Continental GT will set you back well over half a million AUD once on the road.

Bentley Continental GT V8 Interior Driving
Option to upgrade to the rotating display infotainment screen. Credit: Billionaire Toys

Power and Performance

The second difference between the V8 and W12 cars is the most obvious one, the two choices of powerplants – creating a variance in the respective power output, torque, max speed, acceleration, exhaust note, curb weight, and driving range between the two cars.

Powered by the new generation 4.0-litre, twin-turbocharged engine, the Continental GT V8’s engine produces 542bhp and 770nm of torque compared to 626hp and 900nm of torque of the 6.0-litre W12 engine.

The GT V8 reaches 0-62mph in 3.9 seconds with a top speed of 198mph (318km/h), just 0.3 of a second slower than the W12, which has a top speed of 207mph (333km/h) and a 0-62mph time of 3.6 seconds.

Bentley has tucked the V8’s twin-scroll turbochargers inside the “V” of the engine saving space, and the V8 engine provides a 50kg weight reduction from the W12 car’s 2215kg. This weight reduction is felt most at the front end of the GT V8, translating to a slightly more agile driving experience when pointing it in and out of corners.

Bentley Continental GT Driving Day
Grand Tourer built for long drives in comfort and style. Credit: Billionaire Toys

The V8 example we were driving came with the “Bentley Dynamic Ride” option, an innovative 48V Electronic Active Roll Control system that continuously monitors the road conditions and adjusts the anti-roll bars to reduce body movement, optimizing both handling and ride comfort in any situation. While a standard feature on the W12 version, owners will have to add this as an extra option to the V8 model.

Further engine efficiencies are also gained thanks to the variable displacement technology that allows the engine to de-activate four of its eight cylinders in suitable conditions without compromising the drive. Not only more environmentally friendly, it’s sure to save a little on the pocket in fuel costs.

The weight reduction and cylinder deactivation technology ultimately translates to the GT V8 having a longer driving range of 763 km, versus the 662 km of the W12.

Bentley Continental GT V8 Driving Roads
The Continental GT V8 is slightly more nimble when cornering. Credit: Billionaire Toys

Exhaust Sound

Switching the driving mode to “Sport” will give the third-gen GT its loudest exhaust sound with the V8 certainly having a more present and dynamic note than the W12. I would have to say both cars are still quite modest in bringing much of it into the cabin especially with the windows up, but I do feel Bentley has it sitting just where it needs to be for a customer who is buying a car for its exceptional luxury, smooth ride and comfort levels. Besides, there is always an array of exhaust modifications available in the market for those who want something louder.

Bentley Continental GT V8 Sport Model
“Sport” mode is one of the four driving modes of the Continental GT’s. Credit: Billionaire Toys
Bentley Continental GT V8 Quad Exhaust
Elliptical quad-exhaust tailpipes are one of the only features to distinguish the V8 version. Credit: Billionaire Toys

More About The Continental GT V8

Another identifying feature of the GT V8 is an exclusive 20″ ten-spoke alloy wheel design, available only with this model. However, owners also can choose from nine other designs, measuring up to 22″ (the model we drove had the upgraded 21″ tri-spoke rims).

Bentley Continental GT V8 Cut Crystal Headlights
The 21″ tri-spoke rims are an upgrade and unique to the Continental GT V8 version. Credit: Billionaire Toys

The Continental GT V8 is available in seven standard paint colors, although Bentley has recently announced new colors bringing the range up to 62 different colors to choose from including options like “Candy Red and Royal Ebony By Mulliner” and Candy Red. The model we were reviewing was finished in the non-standard metallic “ice” color, a cool white that glistened in the sunlight slightly without being blindingly bright. Of course, with Bentley’s Mulliner customization program, any color imaginable is a possibility.

Bentley Continental GT V8 Side View
Bentley Continental GT V8 in “Ice” non-standard metallic paint. Credit: Billionaire Toys

This particular model also had the Blackline Specification. This option replaces all of the exterior body chrome details with black painted trim, including the door handles, radiator matrix grille, and exhaust pipes (excluding the Bentley Wing badges and lettering though), which contrasted nicely against the metallic white paint.

Bentley Continental GT V8 Rear Tail-lights
Blackline Specification replaces most of the exterior chrome details with gloss black trim. Credit: Billionaire Toys

Continental GT Options To Consider

Bentley also provides a range of specifications to complement any Continental GT purchase, and when you cast your eye over them, you’ll likely find yourself wanting to add them all. Here are just a few:

Touring Specification: This adds a head-up display, night vision, and adaptive cruise control.

City Specification: This includes autonomous emergency braking, a top-view camera, reverse traffic warning, auto-dimming mirrors, and hands-free boot opening.

Front Seat Comfort Specification: Moving head restraints finished in fine chrome bezel, extending cushions, adjustable side bolsters, ventilation and massage functions.

Mood Lighting Specification: Adds ambient lighting and light intensity adjustment, seven different colors, and matching illuminated treadplates.

Blackline Specification: Replaces all of the exterior body chrome details with a gloss black painted trim including the door handles, radiator matrix grille and exhaust pipes, headlight surrounds, wing vents, but excludes the front and back Bentley badges and lettering which remain in chrome.

Bentley Continental GT V8 Side View
If you can afford it – get every specification. Credit: Billionaire Toys

So Which Continental GT: V8 or W12 ?

To help those finding the decision between a V8 or W12 a slightly difficult one to answer, here is a simplistic final summary of my thoughts, although with one caveat, I’m excluding the convertibles in the consideration:

In my opinion, someone may possibly buy the Bentley Continental GT V8 if they appreciate the specific tones of a V8 engine, or simply like the look of quad exhaust tips vs. the twin singles of the W12. They may also be price-conscious; however, they would have to take into consideration that the price reduction also comes from the elimination of standard W12 features like the 48V Electronic Active Roll Control system and adding these to bring the handling in par with the W12 will start to defeat the savings. The V8 variant also obtains slightly better fuel efficiency and a longer driving range, creating the possibility of slightly more nimble cornering on hills provided the customer has upgraded the V8 model with the Active Roll Control.

On the other hand, someone may consider the W12 if cost were not so much of a concern. This person may only use the GT mostly in an urban environment or long straight flat country roads where nimble cornering is less important. The slightly higher fuel usage and shorter driving range would be offset though, by the extra power, acceleration and torque offered, with some of the non-standard features of the V8 model included as standard on the W12.

Bentley Continental GT V8 Interior Dashboard
Whether it’s a V8 or W12, the Continental GT doesn’t disappoint. Credit: Billionaire Toys

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The New $3.4 million Bugatti Chiron Sport “Les Légendes du Ciel”: Legends of Heaven

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Aviation-inspired Bugatti Chiron Sport “Les Légendes du Ciel” pays tribute to its racing driver from the “golden decade” and their love for flight.
The new aviation-inspired Bugatti Chiron Sport "Les Legends du Ciel". Credit: Bugatti
The new aviation-inspired Bugatti Chiron Sport “Les Legends du Ciel”. Credit: Bugatti

Bugatti’s latest limited-edition Chiron Sport “Les Légendes du Ciel” (translated as The Legends of Heaven) pays tribute to its historic racing drivers of the “golden decade,” many who were accomplished daredevil pilots with a need for speed.

Featuring an aviation-inspired paint color scheme in a matte-grey “Gris Serpent,” with a contrasting high gloss white stripe down the center, the new Bugatti Chiron Sport “Les Légendes du Ciel” takes inspiration from the 1920’s aircraft piloted by Bugatti drivers and is based on the Chiron Sport.

Matte-grey Gris Serpent with high gloss racing stripe. Credit: Bugatti
Matte-grey Gris Serpent with high gloss racing stripe. Credit: Bugatti

“Bugatti has had close associations with aviation since the company was established more than 110 years ago. Many successful Bugatti racing drivers, such as Albert Divo, Robert Benoist and Bartolomeo ‘Meo’ Costantini, flew for the French Air Force, the French aviator legend Roland Garros privately drove a Bugatti Type 18 to be as fast on the road as in the air,” says Stephan Winkelmann, President of Bugatti. “It is therefore almost an obligation for us today to pay tribute to the legends of that time and dedicate a special edition to them.”

Other small aeronautical details found on the exterior of the Bugatti Chiron Sport “Les Légendes du Ciel” include the small “Les Légendes du Ciel “logo on the front wings, the “Le Bleu-Blanc-Rouge” tricolor in Blue, White, and Red on the front area of the side sills and door entry lights that project the edition logo onto the ground when the doors are opened.

Le Bleu-Blanc-Rouge tricolor on the front area of the side door sills. Credit: Bugatti
Le Bleu-Blanc-Rouge tricolor on the front area of the side door sills. Credit: Bugatti

Bugatti has also chosen to use a fine light brown Gaucho” leather for the entire vehicle interior as a nod to the aircraft’s leather interiors of bygone eras. Further aviation references throughout the interior include the logo “Les Légendes du Ciel” found on the headrests and door panels with a hand-sketched racing scene as well as the special edition numbering “1 of 20”.

Light brown Gaucho" leather is used throughout the interiors. Credit: Bugatti
Light brown Gaucho” leather is used throughout the interiors. Credit: Bugatti

For owners that want a little something extra, comfort seats are offered as an additional upgrade, along with the optional glass roof “Sky View” through which occupants can gaze into the sky like in open-top aircraft of the past century.

Owners can upgrade to the "Sky-view" glass roof if desired. Credit: Bugatti
Owners can upgrade to the “Sky-view” glass roof if desired. Credit: Bugatti

Powered by the same iconic 8.0-liter W16 engine as the Chiron Sport, the new edition delivers 1,500 PS with 1,600-newton meters of torque and is electronically limited to a top speed of 260mph (420 km/h).

Production of the Bugatti Chiron Sport “Les Légendes du Ciel” is expected to begin at the end of this year and will be limited to 20 vehicles in total at €2.88 million (USD$3.4 million) each.

Bugatti Chiron Sport Legendes Du Ciel Side Rear View
Bugatti Chiron Sport Legendes Du Ciel Aerial Side Rear
Bugatti Chiron Sport Legendes Du Ciel Aerial View
Bugatti Chiron Sport Legendes Du Ciel Aerial Rear View
Bugatti Chiron Sport Legendes Du Ciel Grille View
"Le Bleu-Blanc-Rouge" tricolor in Blue, White, and Red on the front area of the side sills
"Les Légendes du Ciel"
Carbon fiber engine bay
Gaucho Leather interior
Bugatti Chiron Sport Legendes Du Ciel Leather Seats
Bugatti Chiron Sport Legendes Du Ciel Steering Wheel
Bugatti Chiron Sport Legendes Du Ciel Door Details
Bugatti Chiron Sport Legendes Du Ciel Console Insert

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McLaren Artura Teased As The Name of New Upcoming Hybrid Supercar

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McLaren has confirmed “Artura” will be the name of its new V6-based high-performance hybrid supercar.
McLaren Artura Hybrid Teaser
McLaren Artura will be UK automaker’s first series-production hybrid supercar. Credit: McLaren

McLaren Automotive has revealed the name for their first series-production hybrid supercar, which will be launched officially next year and named the “Artura.”

Known as a High-Performance Hybrid (HPH), the McLaren Artura is new in every respect and marks the beginning of a new era for the UK based automaker. Building on the experience gained through the development of both the McLaren P1TM hybrid hypercar in 2012 and later the Speedtail Hyper-GT, the Artura is expected to have incredibly quick times if the Speedtail Hyper-GT’s top speed of 250mph (403km/h) is anything to go by.

“Every element of the Artura is all-new,” says Mike Flewitt, Chief Executive Officer of McLaren Automotive. “From the platform architecture and every part of the High-Performance Hybrid powertrain, to the exterior body, interior and cutting-edge driver interface – but it draws on decades of McLaren experience in pioneering super-lightweight race and road car technologies to bring all of our expertise in electrification to the supercar class.”

McLaren Artura Hybrid Teaser Front On
Powered by a twin-turbocharged V6 petrol engine with electric motor. Credit: McLaren Automotive

The new McLaren Artura is said to sit between the GT and 720S in their lineup and will be built on a new McLaren Carbon Lightweight Architecture (MCLA) platform designed and manufactured at the McLaren Composites Technology Centre. It features a new compact twin-turbocharged V6 petrol engine and when combined with the lightweight High-Performance Hybrid powertrain and electric motor, retains the power and performance of McLaren’s much larger V8 engines.

For daily driving, the McLaren Artura will also run on electric power alone for emission-free urban journeys.

The McLaren Artura supercar will be on sale in the first half of 2021, with McLaren to reveal further details and pricing in the coming months.

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The 2021 Mercedes-Maybach S-Class Is Designed to Be Chauffeur Driven

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The new Mercedes-Maybach S-Class is more luxurious than the standard S-Class sedan and, with the Chauffeur package included, makes it an attractive option for the owner that needs to be driven daily.
Mercedes Maybach Front Side Profile
The new luxurious 2021 Mercedes-Maybach S-Class. Credit: Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes-Benz has unveiled the new top-of-the-line 2022 Mercedes-Maybach S-Class, which sees the wheelbase extended by seven inches (18cm) compared to the standard Mercedes-Benz S Class, and luxurious features like the Executive Seating and Chauffeur Package come as standard.

Designed to combine the Mercedes-Benz flagship model’s high-tech solutions with the exclusivity and tradition of Maybach, the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class was first launched in 2015 and has already sold approx. 60,000 vehicles to date.

Over 60,000 models have been sold since first launched in 2015. Credit: Mercedes-Benz
Over 60,000 models have been sold since first launched in 2015. Credit: Mercedes-Benz

Powered by a 4.0L twin-turbo V8 engine that delivers 496hp and 516lb-ft of torque and paired with AIRMATIC air suspension, the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class provides an ultra-smooth ride and remains popular to this day as a “car to be driven in” thanks to the comfort afforded by the extended rear area and the luxurious upgrades.

Extended wheelbase offers more cabin room than the standard Mercedes-Benz S-Class. Credit: Mercedes-Benz
Extended wheelbase offers more cabin room than the standard Mercedes-Benz S-Class. Credit: Mercedes-Benz

“With the new Mercedes-Maybach S-Class, we are emphasizing the progressive, modern approach of its exclusive product portfolio shortly before the 100th anniversary of Mercedes-Maybach automobiles,” says Dirk Fetzer, head of Mercedes-Maybach product management. “As they did then, today’s customers have high expectations of their exclusivity and individuality, elegant design and first-class standard of finish, all based on the latest technology. Especially with respect to comfort, safety and design, the new Mercedes-Maybach S-Class has unique selling features in the hotly contested luxury segment.”

Easily recognizable by the front chrome radiator grille marked “MAYBACH” and the distinctive bonnet with its chrome fin and wider rear doors, the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class has an elegant appearance, which can be further customized with the option of a two-tone paint finish. Other optional extras include electrically operated comfort rear doors.

The front chrome radiator grille of the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class. Credit: Mercedes-Benz
The front chrome radiator grille of the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class. Credit: Mercedes-Benz

The interior of the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class is essentially based on the new interior design of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class and shares the same sculptured appearance of the dashboard, center console, and armrests. Owners have the option of adding Ambience Lighting that features throughout the interior cabin.

Optional ambient lighting can be adjusted to suit the driving mood. Credit: Mercedes-Benz
Optional ambient lighting can be adjusted to suit the driving mood. Credit: Mercedes-Benz

In the latest model, the infotainment system MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) is even more personal and intuitive to use. On request, the MBUX Interior Assist can also be equipped in the rear of the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class.

MBUX Interior Assist recognizes the intentions of occupants and assists where needed. credit: Mercedes-Benz
MBUX Interior Assist recognizes the intentions of occupants and assists where needed. credit: Mercedes-Benz

Designed to recognize the intentions of the occupants of the vehicle, MBUX Interior Assist recognizes eye-direction, hand gestures, and the body language of the occupants to assist with automatic vehicle functions as the situation requires. The Mercedes‑Maybach S-Class can also recognize movements and gestures by the rear occupants with the help of 3D laser cameras in the roof liner. For example, the belt extender for the outer rear seats automatically offers up the seat belt when MBUX Interior Assist recognizes the occupant’s intention to reach for the belt by hand movements.

Luxurious rear seating so that passengers are comfortable whether working or resting. Credit: Mercedes-Benz
Luxurious rear seating so that passengers are comfortable whether working or resting. Credit: Mercedes-Benz

Deliveries of the new Mercedes-Maybach S-Class are expected to begin mid-2021, although no pricing has been announced.

Mercedes Maybach Rear Seats
Mercedes Maybach Seats
Mercedes Maybach Driving

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