What is it?
This is the uprated ‘S’ version of the already fabulous V8-powered Bentley Continental GT convertible, priced at £152,900 and driven here on UK roads for the first time.
For the V8 S, the twin-turbo 4.0-litre powerplant has had its outputs boosted to 521bhp (up 21bhp on the standard Continental GT V8) and 502lb ft (up 15lb ft), without harming fuel economy or CO2 emissions. That’s still shy of the 552bhp and 516lb ft produced by the related engine in the Audi RS6 Avant and RS7 Sportback, but it’s enough to drop the V8 S convertible’s 0-60mph time by a few tenths to 4.5sec and lift its top speed incrementally to 191mph.
That increase in performance is aided by a 10mm reduction in ride height, revised suspension settings and new aerodynamic lower body trim – a front splitter, sill extensions and a rear diffuser, all in gloss black – which are designed to improve high-speed stability, while tweaks to the steering, eight-speed automatic gearbox and stability control aim to further sharpen up the car’s responses.
As standard, there’s an abundance of shiny black veneer inside the four-seat drop-top’s beautifully crafted cabin, although there are plenty of alternatives if you'd prefer a more traditional Bentley colour combo. The V8 S also comes with a unique set of 20-inch, double-spoke alloy wheels and red brake calipers, although our test car was fitted with optional 21-inch rims and more than 10 grand’s worth of carbon-ceramic brakes.