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by Tim Beissmann

The quicker, sleeker and more responsive Bentley Continental GT V8 S has been revealed ahead of its unveiling at next week’s Frankfurt motor show.

Available in coupe and convertible body styles, the new Continental GT V8 S is based on the ‘entry-level’ GT V8 and plugs the gap in the line-up between it and the high-performance Continental GT V12.

The Bentley Continental GT V8 S boasts an uprated version of the standard luxury sports car’s twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre direct injection V8 petrol engine, with power rising to 389kW at 6000rpm (up 16kW) and torque stepping up to 680Nm at 1700rpm (up 20Nm).

The added power and torque helps the GT V8 S slice three-tenths off the 0-100km/h acceleration time of the GT V8, with the coupe stopping the clock in 4.5 seconds and the convertible two-tenths adrift at 4.7sec.

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Drive is distributed to all four wheels via an eight-speed ZF automatic transmission. Selecting the gearbox’s Sport mode sharpens the throttle response, holds gear longer and cuts shift times.

Retaining the standard Continental’s aluminium double-wishbone front and multi-link rear self-levelling air suspension, the Continental GT V8 S gets a revised tune with increased spring rates, revising damping, stiffened bushes and anti-roll bars, and a 10mm-lower ride height.

The steering, continuous damping control and electronic stability control systems have all been recalibrated in the pursuit of delivering improved precision and feedback, increased handling performance, and reduced intervention, respectively.

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Bentley says the unique front splitter, side sills and rear diffuser of the GT V8 S benefit aerodynamics by reducing front-end lift and providing greater stability at high speeds.

Other distinguishing features include the black gloss radiator grille, figure-eight exhaust outlets, exclusive 20-inch alloy wheels, red-painted brake calipers, and subtle ‘V8 S’ badges. The optional Kingfisher Blue and Monaco Yellow paint colours are signature hues of the GT V8 S.

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The V8 S gets a unique contrast centre stripe along the length of the leather-trimmed roof liner, which is available in one of 17 different hide colours. A host of other handcrafted wood veneers, polished metals and deep-pile carpets can be selected to create a personalised cabin.

Deliveries of the Bentley Continental V8 S commence in early 2014.

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