Back In 2010, the Bentley team from Crewe delivered the fastest, most powerful Bentley ever produced with a top – the extreme Continental Supersports Coupe. The following year, Bentley followed by introducing the ultimate in fresh air motoring – the Continental Supersports Convertible. Now the 2014 model year serves up the Bentley Continental GT V8 S Convertible – a gorgeous 500 plus horsepower droptop.
|STATS||Starting Retail Price||As Tested Price||HP / Lb-Ft|
|2014 Bentley Continental GT V8 S Convertible||$216,200||$250,665||521 @ 6,000 rpm /502 @ 1,700 rpm|
|EPA Rating||As Tested MPG|
|Rating: BUY IT!||14 mpg city / 24 mpg highway||Not tested|
Essentially, the Continental GT V8 S Convertible employs the same basic mechanicals as its Coupe counterpart, while adding rollover protection and torsional body stiffening in the form of strengthened “A”-pillars, sills and underfloor cross bracing.
The convertible hood (or top in U.S. speak) accounts for the obvious differential from the coupe. The top features a low stack height when lowered made possible by a drop in the rear suspension setup. Top operation is controlled by a single switch that allows the top to be lowered (or raised) in 25 seconds even when the vehicle is moving at a vehicle speed of up to 20 mph.
Now, back to the mechanicals… Power for the 2014 Bentley Continental GT V8 S Convertible comes from a 6.0-liter, twin turbo V8 that is capable of propelling it from 0-60 mph in a scant 4.5 seconds. The potent V8 produces 521 brake horsepower at 6,000 rpm, while generating 502 pound feet of torque in at 1,700 rpm. The engine is positioned longitudinally up front and is coupled to an 8-speed automatic transmission with wheel mounted paddle shifters that deliver shifts in 93 milliseconds. Top speed for the Continental GT V8 S is limited to 191 mph.
In terms of styling, the appearance falls into the elegantly gorgeous category. The exterior is contemporary but exquisite. The front fenders are gracefully rounded with quad projector-style headlamps flanking the one-piece integrated grille/bonnet with a central character line, hood side grilles and winged Bentley logo. Beneath the mesh grill which is executed in the unique black chrome-like finish, is a wide lower horizontal air intake with vertical outboard air intakes, which also feature the black mesh inserts. The windshield is sharply raked, and there is no “B” pillar, due to the convertible configuration.
Moving to the interior, the front sport seats are based on a carbon fiber shell and are highly supportive covered in leather with quilted seating surface inserts featuring stitching to match the base leather color. Carbon fiber accents abound, complemented by chrome trim. The pedals are done in aluminum, and there is a purposeful “dead” pedal. The Bentley winged logo graces the three-spoke, leather-wrapped steering wheel, along with embossed logos in the seatbacks. The Breitling chronometer adds a nice touch as well.
My test 2014 Bentley Continental GT V8 S Convertible wore an elegant Ice metallic exterior coat, with a Black cloth top. The interior was a combination of Hotspur and Beluga leather, with carbon fiber and chrome trim accents. The base price was set at $216,200. While the price as tested after adding for options, came to $250,665. before tax and license. Total option cost came to $30,740 and included: the metallic paint $4,395, Driving specification with Colour specification $14,845, deep pile overmats $410, Massage seats and seat ventilation for front seats $900, storage case for the center console $615, wind deflector $545, CD changer $640, power boot opening and closing $3,920, Convenience Specification $3,920, Neck Warmer $1,035, Sports exhaust $2,480, Destination charge and Gas Guzzler tax.
SUMMARY: The 2014 Bentley Continental GT V8 S Convertible provides the best of both worlds in a phenomenal and wickedly fast open air grand touring automobile that rips at the pavement when nailed, while managing to evoke a graceful and stunningly beautiful aura. Not everyone will be able to own one, and even those who are fortunate to acquire stewardship, won’t necessarily be able to successfully master the car’s performance capability to the fullest level.
Once one slides behind the steering wheel into position in the highly supportive sport seats, and faces the deeply recessed analog gauges, the reality that this is no ordinary ride takes over – it is truly something special, and should there remain even the slightest modicum of doubt, nail the throttle, and any possible misgivings are instantly eliminated. The ride quality is superb – a harmonious blend of both firm and compliant. Handling attributes are simply amazing for a vehicle with the mass of the V8 S– it is extremely athletic and nimble, delivering instantaneous response to one’s inputs at will.
The Bentley Continental GT V8 S is a head-turner and traffic-stopper. It is without doubt, one of the most beautiful automobiles produced today, and is most worthy of its performance heritage. It is both fast and smooth, accelerating rapidly, handling nimbly and enveloping its occupants in total luxury. The seats are somewhat on the firm side, but are exceptionally supportive.
On the TFLcar scale of:
- Buy it!
- Lease it!
- Rent it!
- … or Forget it!
I give the 2014 Bentley Continental GT V8 S Convertible a resounding Buy It! if you happen to have a cool $quarter Million lying around for a high-performance luxury ragtop.
Check out TFLcar racing a W12 Bentley Continental Convertible on a frozen Rocky Mountain lake and with the top down.
SPECIFICATIONS: 2014 Bentley Continental GT V8 S Convertible
Base Price: $216,200.
Price as Tested: $250,665.
Engine Type and Size: 4.0-liter DOHC, 32-valve, twin turbcharged V8 with two parallel twin-scroll turbochargers, indirect intercooling and Direct Injection with four cylinder and fuel deactivation at light load.
Horsepower (bhp): 521 @ 6,000 rpm
Torque (ft./ lbs.): 502 @ 1,700 rpm
Transmission: Eight-speed automatic with torque converter.
Drive Train: Longitudinally mounted front engine / Permanent all-wheel drive.
Suspension: Front – Four-link double wishbone with anti-roll bar, revised damping and 70% increase in bushing stiffness.
Rear – Trapezoidal multi-link with anti-roll bar (54 % stiffer than GT V8).
Brakes: Power-assisted four-wheel vented and cross-drilled cast iron discs (Carbon Silicon Carbide optional) with ABS, EBD, HBA, Aquaplane detection and two-mode ESP.
Tires: Pirelli P-Zero 275/35 ZR21 mounted on 7 -spoke Black Limited Edition alloy wheels with machined face.
Wheelbase: 108.1 inches
Length Overall: 189.2 inches
Width: 76.5 inches without mirrors ( 87.7 inches with).
Height: 55.2 inches
Curb Weight: 5,445 lbs.
Turning Circle: 37.1 ft.
Fuel Capacity: 24.0 gallons
EPA Mileage Estimates: 14 mpg city / 24 mpg highway
Drag Coefficient: 0.32 with roof up.
0-60 mph: 4.5 seconds – Top speed=191 mph.
Review by Arv Voss, Auto Impressions