These are the new Bentley Continental GT V8 S models, which feature more powerful versions of the company’s eight-cylinder engine as well as retuned suspension and steering.
The S models – coupe or convertible versions are available – take the V8’s power output from 500bhp up to 521bhp, and increase torque from 486lb ft to 502lb ft. The GT V8 S coupe’s 0-62mph time is 4.5 seconds (0.3 seconds faster than the standard V8), and its top speed increases to 192mph.
The GT V8 S models get the same cylinder shut-off technology as the standard V8 – four cylinders are deactivated when cruising to reduce fuel consumption, and kick in again when more power is required.
The exterior changes are subtle. There’s a thin black front splitter and side sills, as well as a thicker rim around the rear diffuser. The S models get the same twin chrome exhausts as the standard car, with the tailpipes shaped in a figure-of-eight to signify the engine under the bonnet.
Beneath the bodywork, the chassis has also been tuned to a firmer set-up. The ride height is 10mm lower and the bushes and anti-roll bar are much stiffer. Bentley has fettled the stability control system to allow more wheel slip before the safety system kicks in, too.
The V8 S models can be ordered with the optional Mulliner pack, which swaps the unique 20-inch alloys for Black Edition 21s, and adds a jewelled fuel filler cap and diamond-quilted leather in the cabin. A louder sports exhaust is also available.
The Bentley Continental GT V8 S coupe is priced from £139,000 and the GT V8 S Convertible from £152,900. Order books open in October and the first customer deliveries will begin early next year.