With upcoming CAFE standards looming, all automakers are scrambling to reduce their fleet’s average fuel economy. The upcoming 2013 Bentley Continental GT V-8 should definitely help out the British brand thanks to its EPA rating of 15 mpg city and 24 mpg highway.
By comparison, the W-12-powerd Conti is rated at 12/19 mpg city/highway, which is on par with the four-wheel drive Cadillac Escalade SUV (13/18). The Conti V-8’s fuel efficiency is even more impressive when you consider that it tips the scales at 5059 pounds, almost 300 pounds more than the 500-hp Porsche Cayenne Turbo that’s rated at 15/22 mpg city/highway.
For a more apples to apples comparison, the V-8-powered Continental GT is more efficient than the Aston Martin Vantage V-8 (14/21) and bests the Jaguar XKR-S on the highway by two miles (15/22). It’s also on par with the much lighter — by 1109 pounds! — 2013 Mercedes-Benz SL550 (16/24).
The relatively economical 4.0-liter twin-turbo V-8 was co-developed with Audi and is similar to the one slated for the upcoming 2013 Audi S8 sedan. Fuel-saving features include direct injection, cylinder deactivation, and a new eight-speed automatic that sends power to all four wheels. It’s also very fast, with a factory-estimated 0-60 mph time of 4.8 seconds, just two tenths of a second behind the W-12.
Will fuel economy be enough to sway buyers from the Conti W-12? Well, the V-8 weighs just 55 pounds less and is expected to be priced 10 percent cheaper. With bragging rights being important at this price point, just to be able to say that you have a W-12 may be worth the sacrifice.