2013 Bentley Continental GT V8

Fuel-economy figures for the 2013 Bentley Continental GT V-8 and GTC V-8 convertible have been released, and the car’s downsized engine delivers better fuel efficiency than that of the twelve-cylinder Conti. The GT and GTC V-8 are new for 2013, and both get a 500-hp, twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V-8 engine instead of the normal Continental’s 567-hp, twin-turbo 6.0-liter W-12.

Besides giving up two liters of displacement to the W-12, the V-8 also gets cylinder deactivation, direct injection, and two additional cogs—for a total of eight forward speeds—in its automatic transmission. These changes result in roughly 25-percent-better fuel economy for the GT and GTC V-8 compared with their twelve-cylinder counterparts. Better still, despite being down 67 hp relative to the W-12, after driving the new GT V-8 we didn’t detect much of a performance sacrifice from the lower cylinder count.

  • Comparison Test: 2010 Bentley Continental Flying Spur Speed vs. 2011 Rolls-Royce Ghost
  • First Drive: 2013 Bentley Continental GT V8
  • First Drive: 2012 Bentley Continental GT

Starting with the GT V-8 coupe, the downsized engine helps it manage a decent 15 mpg in the city and 24 on the highway; improvements of 3 and 5 mpg over the W-12 model, respectively. The GTC V-8’s mpg figures rise by the same amounts, to 14/24. Despite the relatively big jump in efficiency, the GTC is still subject to a $1000 gas-guzzler tax. It also is worth mentioning that the twelve-cylinder Continental GT and GTC can drink E85 in addition to premium fuel; the V-8 cars run only on premium. However, those cars’ mileage is even worse on E85 than on normal gas, dropping to 8/14 mpg city/highway in the GT coupe and a dismal 8/13 mpg in the droptop GTC.

Besides saving drivers some money at the pump—clearly important to those cost-conscious, thrifty Bentley customers—the GT and GTC V-8 cost about 10 percent less overall than the W-12–powered Continentals. So there’s that.

By Alexander Stoklosa