The Bentley GT V8 S marks a return to Bentley's sporting roots, and our sleek Onyx black model is a wonderful example of the marque's subtle changes to its flagship racehorse. Although the Continental GT's facelift only involves minor visible tweaks, it's the attention to detail and diligent reworking of every single aspect of the car which makes this new model so spectacular. In many ways, the name Bentley speaks for itself, and all the refinement, luxury and sheer power you'd normally expect from the marque is present and correct. The fact that it's convertible, moreover, means that you can access an added dimension of pleasure from this outstanding vehicle.
This 2015 convertible Bentley Continental GT S contains a four litre twin-turbocharged V8 engine that has been tweaked to produce an extra 21 horsepower, giving it 521 horsepower overall. This refinement has contributed to this Continental, which weighs in at almost 2,500kg, now being able to achieve 0-62MPH in just 4.7 seconds, which is 0.3 seconds faster than the previous model.
The engine has also benefitted from some tinkering by the clever Bentley engineers in Crewe. The car boasts a unique power, performance and economy thanks to its use of variable displacement, in which four of the eight cylinders shut down when cruising, reduces fuel consumption without any loss of refinement. When more power is required, the engine switches back automatically and seamlessly to the full eight cylinders. Not only is this great for performance, but Bentley exhaust engineers have also put great amounts of effort into ensuring the half cylinder mode still produces a great V8 sound, whilst under acceleration all eight cylinders give you a wonderfully throaty growl.
The suspension also received a huge amount of attention - an 18 month programme, in fact. The Bentley Continental GT V8 S has lowered sports suspension (by 10 mm), which is complemented by increased spring rates (45% front, 33% rear) and revised damping for a more engaging and responsive drive. Bush stiffness's were increased by up to 70%, while the rear anti-roll bar is stiffened by 54% over the standard GT V8 models for improved body control and turn-in.
To ensure the driver's experience is markedly improved, Bentley have added the Electronic Stability Control system, which allows increased wheel slip at higher speeds and creates an opportunity for confident drivers to fully explore the car's increased power. Speaking of the power, it's delivered via a close-ratio ZF 8-speed automatic transmission, which provides seamless acceleration and power delivery to this all-wheel drive car. You can even switch to S mode via the gear selector to benefit from sharpened throttle response, while gears are held for longer with faster shifts.
This car is a real joy to behold, with flowing lines and the stolid beauty that defines a Bentley. The Onyx colour and sparkling finish put the cherry on this automotive cake, and ensure that all eyes will be on you as you drive. The car's feature lines are highly defined, thanks to Bentley's advanced body construction techniques, while there is a modern edge to the sculpting which emphases both Bentley's evolution and the car's sportier edge.
Furthermore, you'll immediately be able to tell this Bentley Continental GT is the S specification thanks to the S badges on the wings. Beyond that, though, you get the elegant coachwork for which Bentley is renowned, and many nods to previous cars that have inspired the Continental GT V8 S we have for hire.
Thanks to the lowered suspension, the car has a more sleek and purposeful stance, complemented by unique, lower-body styling including a sharp front splitter, discrete side sills and subtle rear diffuser finished in Beluga gloss. The black gloss radiator grille with single chrome divider bar and 'figure of eight' exhaust tail pipes instantly signify the powerful V8 engine. These features also benefit aerodynamics by reducing front-end lift and provide greater stability at higher road speeds.
The signature 20-inch wheels are unique to the 'S' models with an open-spoke design that reveals distinctive, red-painted brake calipers. Subtle 'V8 S' badges are applied to each front fender, and as with the other members of the Continental V8 family, the famous Bentley Wings badges feature a red centre.
Although the car's interior has all the traditional elements you'd expect from a Bentley, it's also very modern in feel, allowing you to experience the best of both worlds. In fact, step into to the soothing Linen-coloured interior of the Bentley GT V8 S we have for hire and you'll discover a tranquil, luxurious space that you might never want to leave.
The seats are covered in soft-touch leathers with narrow seat fluting, which have been hand-crafted at Bentley's workshops in Crewe. The wood veneers, polished metals and deep-pile carpeting are all also from the marque's Crewe workshop, allowing them to ensure that only the finest quality materials make it into the cabin.
On the dashboard, you'll notice a brand new Breitling clock. This is coupled with revised dials and larger paddle shifters for the eight speed gearbox. The gearshift leaver itself has been given knurled chrome detailing, which provides a perfect contrast to the Piano Black veneers which are sanded and lacquered up to 18 times to produce a truly flawless finish. Discreet 'V8 S' badges are displayed on each sill tread plate.
The driver will also benefit from an 8-inch touchscreen coupled to Bentley's advanced infotainment system and a 30GB hard drive. The Naim for Bentley audio system ensures you have high quality sounds throughout your journey.
This is a beautiful car for all special occasions, and in particular chauffeur driven hire for big days such as weddings. Nothing can compete with the beauty of a bride on her wedding day, but this exquisite car will at least provide a handsome background for photographs!
This is also a driver's car, and if you're looking for a spectacularly enjoyable way to tour the country, or even the continent, then our Bentley Continental GT V8 S is a brilliant option.
The Bentley Continental GT S price is around £170,000, so if you're looking for a way to enjoy this beautiful car without the price tag - not to mention the costs of maintenance an storage - then simply hire our model and experience all of the benefits without a dented bank balance.