Bentley Continental GT V8 S revealed with subtle setup tweaks

The Continental GT V8 S has picked up some subtle enhancements, but there are no changes under the bonnet

Bentley has revealed its next Continental derivative, bringing the V8 S back to the range with a suite of subtle chassis and styling enhancements. Unfortunately, if you were hoping for something with a little more dynamic focus and extra grunt, the S doesn’t quite fulfil that brief, as unlike previous iterations of the ‘S’ its changes are largely sourced from the standard V8’s options list.

As such, the twin-turbocharged 4-litre engine is completely unchanged, and produces the same 542bhp as the standard V8, with 568lb ft of torque available between 2000-4500rpm. One new element the S picks up will be a bespoke Sports Exhaust system, which should amplify the V8’s bassy musclecar-like tone, however this does not seem to improve performance times, if anything contributing to a contrary result as Bentley states a 0-100kph time of 4sec dead, which is 0.1sec behind the standard model. 

The slower time is likely due to the extra weight associated with the standard fitment of other hardware that’s usually optional on the base car. Bentley hasn’t released a specific weight figure, but as its lightest the standard V8 tips the scales at 2295kg, a figure we expect will tip over 2300kg in the S. 

The rest of the Continental GT V8 S’s drivetrain components are otherwise identical, with the same combination of its rear-biased all-wheel drive system and eight-speed dual-clutch transmission. The V8 S doesn’t, though, include the Speed’s electronically-controlled limited slip differential, but does come with Bentley’s Dynamic Ride Control system, which mitigates body-roll through active anti-roll bars that are powered from an onboard 48V electrical system. 

As standard, the V8 S will run on a bespoke set of 21-inch wheels, but a fancier set of 22s are also an option. It’ll also run the standard steel brake setup with ceramics an option, and it’ll also have an identical footprint on the road, with 275-section front and 295-section rear Pirelli P Zero rubber on the 22-inch wheel option. 

Styling changes outside are limited to the usually-optional Black Package, but inside there’s a bespoke colour split and the option of Dinamica microsuede across the doors, seats and dash.

If you were hoping that the new V8 S might make more use of the Porsche-derived MSB platform and its more dynamic capabilities, the S might come as something of a disappointment. Without a bespoke powertrain tune, or even a recalibrated chassis tune this might be considered a missed opportunity – unless Bentley has something more interesting in the pipeline that we’re not yet aware of.

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