Bentley has pulled the covers off the new entry-level option in its coupe line-up, revealing the long-expected Continental GT V8. The carmaker has also confirmed that the GTC convertible V8 will debut alongside the Coupe at next month's Detroit Auto Show.
In the big coupe, the 4.0 litre V8 engine delivers 373kW (500hp) at 6000rpm and 660Nm of torque between 1700 and 5000rpm.
Mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission, Bentley says the Continental GT V8 will deliver a "sub-five second" 0-100km/h time, on its way to a top speed of 290km/h.
Until now, the Continental GT has been available with a 6.0 litre W12 engine only, producing 430kW and 700Nm of torque and a claimed 0-100km/h time of 4.4 seconds.
Both the GT and GTC V8 models are equipped with an all-wheel-drive sytem, utilising a Torsen differential and a 40:60 rear-biased power split.
"With the new 4.0 litre V8 engine we are widening the appeal of the latest generation of Continentals, introducing a completely new driving experience," Bentley boss Wolfgang Durheimer said.
"The new engine will have all the exhilarating power, drama and performance you would expect from a V8 engine sporting the famous Bentley wings, effortlessly delivered with our characteristic 'wave of torque'."
The addition of the new engine to the line-up will give Bentley a boost in meeting Europe's fleet-average emissions laws, while opening the big coupe and convertible up to buyers that had steered away from the model's AU$405,700 price tag.
Watch for Australian details and pricing to surface after the new V8 Continental GT range appears at Detroit next month.