Bentley Continental GT V8 S Coupe, motoring review: The NHS should prescribe this car as a cure for depression
ENGINE CAPACITY 4 litre V8
POWER OUTPUT (BHP) 521
TOP SPEED (MPH) 192
FUEL ECONOMY (MPG) 26.8
CO2 EMISSIONS (g/KM) 246
Here's the (philosophical) thing. If the 12-cylinder Bentley Continental GT did not exist, would we have to invent it? Would folk (well, wealthy folk) feel that the V8 version was in any way missing anything? After all, there are no V12 Jaguars any more, and no-one goes around whingeing that the XJ limo or XK sports car are four cylinders short of a picnic.
Just as no-one, I suppose, ever thought that a Reliant Robin should have an extra wheel. Actually, they did, back in the day, and so Reliant made a four-wheeler for a while, called the Kitten. Would Hitler have been better with a full complement of testes? I think David Hume said something about all of this, but it is a long time since I studied philosophy.
Anyway, driving the eight-cylinder version of the Bentley GT, I certainly did not feel short-changed. In engineering terms, there is more than sufficient torque, and this V8 power plant has had a twin turbo clamped to it, and is tuned so that its performance pushes at the limits of the laws of physics. The Bentley's only real flaw is its very long doors, possibly the heaviest on the market, which make it virtually impossible to get out of if you park it on a steep hill. Gravity, you see.
Turning now to history (see what I'm doing here?), there is no tradition of 12-cylinder Bentleys, and all Bentleys from 1959 to the turn of the millennium used a legendary Rolls-Royce V8, from the days when the two brands shared ownership and much else. For those interested in Business Studies, the V8 delivers almost everything the W12 does, for a substantial discount – about £12,000, which will get you a jolly Fiat 500 on the side.
Driving it, even just sitting in it, is a life-affirming experience, as all modern Bentleys are. The late actor Ian Carmichael, (you might recall him in I'm All Right Jack) once wrote in his memoirs that if he ever needed to cheer himself up after a movie had flopped he bought himself a new Rolls-Royce. That would still do the trick, I should imagine, and so would a new Bentley GT. In medical terms, and as a cure for depression, they should prescribe it on the NHS (though I guess Nice might veto it).
So thank you, Bentley, for your latest innovation. It's been an education.
Life & Style blogs
Persistent heartburn 'could be a sign of cancer', new survey warns
Losing appetite as you age? Try adding umami flavour to restore the 'joy of taste'
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
Apple stopped a fingerprint scanner from appearing in Google’s Nexus 6
SAG Awards 2015: Best and worst gowns on the red carpet
Nigel Farage: NHS might have to be replaced by private health insurance
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
George Galloway condemns 'racist, Islamophobic, hypocritical rag' Charlie Hebdo at freedom of speech rally
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
- 3 The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
- 4 Phil Neville backtracks on Tomas Rosicky 'I'd smash him' comments from Match of the Day 2
- 5 British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
£90 - £140 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: On behalf of a successful academy i...
£45000 - £50000 per annum: Investigo: My client, a global leader in providing ...
Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: WEST LONDON - An excellent new opportunity wit...
£8 - £10 per hour: Recruitment Genius: A Florist Shop Manager is required to m...