What Is It?
The all-wheel-drive 2014 Bentley Continental GT V8 S is a higher-performance version of Bentley's bread-and-butter luxury coupe, with a GT V8 S Convertible also on offer. Featuring essentially the same 4.0-liter V8 engine as the regular Continental GT, the GT V8 S gets a more energetic tune that pumps out 521 horsepower and 502 lb-ft of torque. Those are increases of 21 hp and 15 lb-ft, respectively, over what the base GT tune provides. The sprint to 60 miles per hour takes just 4.3 seconds in the V8 S coupe, while the top speed is 192 mph. As for the regular GT, it needs 4.6 seconds and quits at 188 mph -- so there is a measurable difference here.
Such a modest bump wouldn't be headline news in itself, but the GT V8 S offers other significant enhancements. The sport-tuned suspension sits 10 millimeters lower on unique 20-inch wheels, while stiffer springs, a larger rear anti-roll bar and revised damping should yield more responsiveness on the road. The recalibrated steering system is said to offer more precision and feedback, aided by tweaked toe and camber settings. Black gloss exterior trim and a subtle body kit round out the exterior changes, while the cabin is treated to a contrasting-color center stripe on the leather roof liner.
$194,600, which represents a hefty hike over the GT's $182,800 entry fee. Then again, when you're starting that high, another $11,800 probably won't break the bank.
When Can You Get It?
Add It to Your Shopping List Because...
You want a faster, more focused Continental GT without springing for the GT W12 with its gargantuan 12-cylinder engine. The 2014 Bentley Continental GT V8 S performs virtually as well as the W12, and it handles even better because it has less weight to contend with.
Other Cars to Consider
Jaguar XJR -- It has four doors, of course, but if you're looking for British luxury and performance (and don't mind saving a bundle of cash, too), the 550-hp XJR is a real thrill ride.
Used Mercedes-Benz CL-Class -- The outgoing CL-Class has long been one of the most dignified coupes on the road, and its available V12 power makes it more than a match for the GT V8 S.