Bentley Continental GT Series Buyers Guide

Ah, the Bentley. The brand we hear every rapper brag about – even if they don’t actually own one. The car that is now standard issue to anyone in Boca Raton who claims Social Security. And most of all, one of my favorite hacks.

Bentley hasn’t been a brand I am known for driving but after owning a few of them in the past five years I have realized what terrific cars they can be, not only as a stunner car but as a daily as well.

You know in buyer’s guides I like to talk about specific models/trims that are more along the lines of hackability then just general knowledge. So in this Bentley Continental edition, I am gonna cover 3 different trims of the Continental: The V8S/W12, Supersports, and the almighty GT3R.

This buyers guide will serve as a three-in-one type of deal, covering each of our usual sections with each trim getting its own run down, though you will find similarities across the board in terms of cost of ownership/common problems/etc.

The first car up we are going to cover is the Bentley Continental V8S/W12.

Bentley Continental GT V8S/W12 Buyers Guide

The Bentley Continental GT is one of the original luxury cars. We have seen them running around from as early as 2003, but we are going to be talking about a certain sector of the second generation in our edition.

The second generation of the Bentley Continental GT came out in 2011, with the V8S trim coming to life in 2014. It came out as the facelift GT version be offered in both coupe and convertible body styles. The twin-turbo 4.0-liter engine was tuned to make 521 horsepower and 502 pounds of torque. The V8S also was given updates to compete with other luxury competitors, like increased agility and body control to match the engine’s higher output. The V8S also has lowered suspension through an aerodynamic front splitter, discrete side sills and rear diffuser in Beluga gloss black, new exclusive 20-inch wheels with open-spoke design, red-painted brake calipers.

The W12 has been around a bit longer, taking its reign from 2011 all the way to 2018. Its larger V-12 6.0 liter twin-turbo engine is able to put out more power than the V8S, of course. Giving the big girl 567 horsepower and 516 pounds of torque. This trim is also able to be purchased in both a coupe and convertible body style.

Driving Experience

Bentleys are tried and true. If the range of buyer can go from retirees to hotshot teenage sound cloud artists, there is a reason. It is comfortable enough to make you think you’re driving on a cloud while still being able to get glances from passers-by. What would make the V8S more visually appealing, in my opinion, is a nice set of wheels that complement whatever exterior color you have chosen to purchase. For example, my Speed was white, so a set of OEM+ looking, chrome wheels highlighted the “money” factor of the car and made it unmistakably beautiful.

The interior of Bentleys is of course tailored to the more luxurious side of life. With comfortable seats and a spacious cabin, no matter if you are riding passenger or back seat, you will enjoy it.

The driver zone is a standard design, but there is no reason for it not to be. This isn’t a race car, it is a cruiser. A large, easy to use, touch screen interface takes up most of the center mount with a PRNDL shifter located directly beneath it. The driver’s dashboard is a mix of old school gauges for gas, speed, RPM, etc and a small electronic info screen located in the dead center.

With the ability to hold 2 to 4 people, and trunk space that actually allows for more than a duffel bag, the GT series is a car that can be used for both a night on the town and a little weekend road trip every once in a while.

Bentley Continental  GT V8S/W12 Common Problems

The Bentley GT series is actually a pretty reliable one as you come into the second and third generations. As the brand has had time to work out the kinks and issues that the first generation was plagued with. However, all machines have their own quirks, and the Bentley Continental GT is not immune to that.

Common problems include:

  • Electric Window Failure: usually diagnosed by the window going up and down while making a hissing sound. This is caused by a failure in the window motors ECU and will more than likely need to be replaced.
  • Suspension Problems: can be diagnosed by the front end of your GT being lower than normal coupled with a notable knocking sound coming from the front of the suspension.
  • Brake Light Failure: easy enough to see. But this may not be a bulb issue and may need to have the whole light unit replaced.
  • Electrical Problems: a lot of owners have reported that lights will trigger on the dash. Such as check engine, check tire pressure, when nothing could be wrong. Best way to fix this issue is to taking it to a shop and letting them run a diagnosis through the software.

Recalls open on the Bentley Continental V8S/W12

  • N/A

Bentley Continental  V8S/W12 Cost of Ownership/Maintenance

The Bentley GT series is covered by Bentley’s 3 years/unlimited mi basic/powertrain warranty. Now while Bentley’s aren’t notorious for maintenance issues, they are sure none for the cost of ownership. Oil changes alone on the GT models can be around $500 and annual services can be up to $1,000-$2,500.

However, a way around paying a premium for any issues you may encounter with your GT is to have a great independent shop you trust to work on your car instead of the dealer.

If you are out of warranty and drive your Bentley into the dealerships service pay, get ready to pay out of your nose for something as easy to order as spark plugs.

If you need a list of some of ECH’s trusted shops around the U.S here is the link.

Bentley Continental V8S/W12 Model Year Changes

Changes to the Continental GT for 2015 include a new front bumper with a smaller radiator shell, redesigned fenders with a new vent with a metallic ‘B’ adornment, new bright chrome fender badges for the V8 S and W12 models, redesigned boot lid, reshaped and widened rear bumper with full-width brightware, a new rear diffuser design for V8 S and GT Speed, new 20 and 21-inch wheels, three new body colors choices (Marlin (a rich metallic blue), Camel (a soft golden tone) and Jetstream (a light, bright metallic blue), new straight-fluting pattern for 4 seats with Mulliner includes a tightened ‘small-diamond’ pattern on seat upholstery, redesigned driver controls, optional sports-orientated steering wheel, larger gear-shift paddles, new dials and graphics at driver’s instrument panel, interior illuminated by LEDs, center console with a new black gear lever surround, a new hidden storage compartment between rear seats, optional semi-aniline hide for the seat cushions. 2 new leather colors choices (Shortbread, Camel), new Alcantara headlining option (color matched to all 17 of the available interior hide colors) for the GT V8 S, GT W12. Optional onboard WiFi, increased engine power to 590 PS (434 kW; 582 hp) and 720 N⋅m (531 lb-ft) for the GT W12, 6-cylinder deactivation for the GT W12.

Bentley Continental V8S/W12 Options

Aside from what seems to be an endless array of colors for the exterior and just about an equal number of leather choices for the interior, Bentley doesn’t have many one-off options. Rather, they did what BMW is known for and put everything into nice packages.

Best Bentley Continental V8S/W12 To Buy

The best year to buy the Bentley Continental GT V8S/W12 is the 2015 year. Any bugs from the 2014 first run will have been solved and the hackability for this year is more aligned to what we teach here at Exotic Car Hacks. It has depreciated just enough to be able to sit in your garage comfortably and only lose its value by either condition or excessive miles.

Bentley Continental Supersports Buyers Guide

The Bentley Continental Supersports was announced in 2009 by Mr. Jay Leno himself. It would be the first Bentley ever to be able to run on both petrol and biofuel.

The Supersport is built on the same 6.0 W12 engine stasis but has been tuned to make 621 horsepower and produce 590 pounds of torque, and is able to go 0-60 in just 3.7 seconds. This was incredibly impressive for the brand at this time.

This beast is offered in both a convertible and a coupe body style. The Bentley Supersports design is edgier than the classy V8S/W12. It has a more angular body style that features new 20-inch alloy wheels, thicker tires, and an automatic retractable spoiler out of the back. So much of a race car, right?

Driving Experience

The best way to describe driving a supersport is that it Is the more sporty than both the V8S and the W12. There is more power, less weight, and the suspension is unrivaled, the Supersport was even dubbed the best handling Bentley.

The Supersport was gifted with one of my favorite inventions ever, carbon-ceramic brakes, while more expensive to fix, they add such a race dynamic to the vehicle and allows you to stop on a dime no matter what road conditions you are on.

You also feel the difference being behind a Supersport Bentley as the seats aren’t plush and designed for comfort, rather they are carbon fiber bucket seats (you may see the exact same seat in the Bugatti Veyron) designed to help you feel every mile of road you drive on. The backseat is also gone and has been replaced by a carbon fiber pole that goes from side to side on the empty portal.

Interior design is also stepped up featuring diamond-stitched leather and Alcantara seats and carbon-fiber interior options. Helping to give the car a younger and more agile look, a car a 30-year-old would proudly drive while sporting a pair of white pants.

Bentley Continental Supersports Common Problems

The Bentley GT series is actually a pretty reliable one as you come into the second and third generations. As the brand has had time to work out the kinks and issues that the first generation was plagued with. However, all machines have their own quirks, and the Bentley Continental GT is not immune to that.

Common problems include:

  • Electric Window Failure: usually diagnosed by the window going up and down while making a hissing sound. This is caused by a failure in the window motors ECU and will more than likely need to be replaced.
  • Suspension Problems: can be diagnosed by the front end of your GT being lower than normal coupled with a notable knocking sound coming from the front of the suspension.
  • Brake Light Failure: easy enough to see. But this may not be a bulb issue and may need to have the whole light unit replaced.
  • Electrical Problems: a lot of owners have reported that lights will trigger on the dash. Such as check engine, check tire pressure, when nothing could be wrong. Best way to fix this issue is to taking it to a shop and letting them run a diagnosis through the software.

Recalls open on the Bentley Continental Supersports

  • N/A

Bentley Continental Supersports Cost of Ownership/Maintenance

The Bentley GT series is covered by Bentley’s 3 years/unlimited mi basic/powertrain warranty. Now while Bentley’s aren’t notorious for maintenance issues, they are sure none for the cost of ownership. Oil changes alone on the GT models can be around $500 and annual services can be up to $1,000-$2,500.

However, a way around paying a premium for any issues you may encounter with your GT is to have a great independent shop you trust to work on your car instead of the dealer.

If you are out of warranty and drive your Bentley into the dealerships service pay, get ready to pay out of your nose for something as easy to order as spark plugs.

If you need a list of some of ECH’s trusted shops around the U.S here is the link.

Bentley Continental Supersports Model Year Changes

Since the Supersport was a limited production car, there were no changes made to the car in the 3 years it ran in production (2010-2012).

However, a revival came in 2018, giving us the car we loved back just before the turn of the decade. The same W12 engine we loved so much is back and suped-up to make this latest and greatest put out 700 horsepower and 750 pounds of torque. That means that Bentley has now produced a car that will smoke a Corvette… which car do you think grandpa will want now?

Still with a sportier feel than your average GT series, the new 2018 Supersports will feature a completely redesigned front with a new elongated bumper, hood (featuring air intakes on the hood now), and new sills to mark its name. The interior has also aged like fine wine, capable of giving you numerous different bespoke style options, making the Bentley more a work of art than a cruiser.

Still with a sportier feel then your average GT series, the new 2018 Supersports will feature a wheel-mounted paddle-shift, carbon-ceramic brakes, 21-inch forged alloy wheels, optional titanium exhaust system, updated version of the torque vectoring system from Continental GT3-R, dynamic system brakes, lowered and stiffened dynamic suspension, front and rear bumper designs incorporating a carbon-fiber splitter and diffuser, new side sill extensions and bonnet vents in carbon-fiber, gloss-black front wing vents, rifled exhaust tailpipe, dark-tint headlights and taillights, optional aerodynamically balanced rear spoiler and front splitter combination for coupe, multi-layer hood for convertible, neck warmer for convertible, tri-tone interior option, new diamond-quilted design at seats and door side panels with Alcantara upholstery, a choice of 11 veneers and technical finishes (including chequered Supersports carbon-fibre fascia panels), new Supersports emblem stitching, bespoke Supersports steering wheel and unique gear-lever with Alcantara accents.

Bentley Continental Supersports Options

Designed as an upper-level tier of the GT series the Supersport comes with a set of pre-determined options like wheel size, however, the interior can still vary from car to car. Some cars don’t possess the carbon bucket seats and have the regular GT comfort seats in stead. Some cars don’t have the carbon fiber interior trim. Some cars have different colored interior with a variety of cross stitching, but all in all, the Supersports are pretty uniform in design.

Best Bentley Continental Supersports To Buy

The best year to buy the Bentley Continental Supersports is the 2010-2012 years, and yes we know those are the only three years of production. Just keep in mind that some of these cars are nearing nearly a decade old at this point, so NEVER FORGET to PPI a Supersport before you purchase it. Spend the $300 and thank me later when you save yourself from $7,000 in repairs.

If you want to know more of my own thoughts, having owned a Supersport personally, check out the case study here.

Bentley Continental GT3-R Buyers Guide

This has to be one of the coolest cars I ever put into my garage. It was short-lived as I was able to sell her and make a nice profit, but I thoroughly enjoyed getting to drive this rare gem ever so often.

The GT3-R was released in 2014 at Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. It was inspired by Bentley’s race car, the GT3. It is lightweight, having lost 220 pounds form the V8S chassis it was built on. It’s capable of making 572 horsepower and 516 pounds of torque.

Other changes that are found in the GT3-R are Other changes include Bentley’s first hand at torque vectoring for each of the rear wheels, shorter gearing, recalibrate control software, all-new titanium exhaust, forged 21-inch alloy wheels in gloss black, sport-focused Electronic Stability Control program, Carbon Silicon Carbide (CSiC) braking system, front calipers in green, Alcantara and leather interior upholstery; bespoke  carbon-fiber sport seats, upholstered steering wheel and gear shifter, centre console and fascia panels in carbon fiber, carbon fiber door casings with diamond-quilted Alcantara inner panels, rear cabin with a carbon fiber surround and upholstered in leather and Alcantara, contrast stitching throughout the seats and diamond-quilted areas; GT3-R badging on just about everything; carbon fibre fixed rear wing and boot lid, and bonnet with two vents.

Driving Experience

The GT3-R truthfully drives just like a luxurious race car. It’s pick up is incredibly and handling is on another planet. The exhaust note is exciting and the way the car handles makes you feel like you’re in one of the finest race cars that has ever been crafted, and it’s incredibly comfortable as well.

Much like the Supersport, the GT3-R does not come with a back seat, so don’t think of making this your daily if you have kids.

The GT3-R is the perfect Bentley for someone who wants the luxurious look but the sporty drive. It’s handling is precise and firm, the interior is a work of art, and the exterior is something that will get you looks from adults and children alike.

Bentley Continental GT3-R Common Problems

The Bentley GT series is actually a pretty reliable one as you come into the second and third generations. As the brand has had time to work out the kinks and issues that the first generation was plagued with. However, all machines have their own quirks, and the Bentley Continental GT is not immune to that.

Common problems include:

  • Electric Window Failure: usually diagnosed by the window going up and down while making a hissing sound. This is caused by a failure in the window motors ECU and will more than likely need to be replaced.
  • Suspension Problems: can be diagnosed by the front end of your GT being lower than normal coupled with a notable knocking sound coming from the front of the suspension.
  • Brake Light Failure: easy enough to see. But this may not be a bulb issue and may need to have the whole light unit replaced.
  • Electrical Problems: a lot of owners have reported that lights will trigger on the dash. Such as check engine, check tire pressure, when nothing could be wrong. Best way to fix this issue is to taking it to a shop and letting them run a diagnosis through the software.

Recalls open on the Bentley Continental GT3-R

  • N/A

Bentley Continental GT3-R Cost of Ownership/Maintenance

The Bentley GT series is covered by Bentley’s 3 years/unlimited mi basic/powertrain warranty. Now while Bentley’s aren’t notorious for maintenance issues, they are sure none for the cost of ownership. Oil changes alone on the GT models can be around $500 and annual services can be up to $1,000-$2,500.

However, a way around paying a premium for any issues you may encounter with your GT is to have a great independent shop you trust to work on your car instead of the dealer.

If you are out of warranty and drive your Bentley into the dealerships service pay, get ready to pay out of your nose for something as easy to order as spark plugs.

If you need a list of some of ECH’s trusted shops around the U.S here is the link.

Bentley Continental GT3-R Model Year Changes

The GT3-R was a one year, limited production car and due to that there are no model year changes.

Bentley Continental GT3-R Options

Designed as an upper-level tier of the GT series the GT3-R comes with a set of pre-determined options. Even the exterior colors are set in stone, only ever finding these cars in black or white. And all the green you see everywhere, that’s thanks to the heritage of the car. British racing green, baby!

Best Bentley Continental GT3-R To Buy

The only year this car was produced is 2015, hence making it the best and only year to buy this car. Remember, this is also a car that contains a bit of scarcity as there are only 99 made for the U.S. Is this car projected to be a hot hold and appreciate like the LaFerrari did? Not necessarily. But hey, times change and you never know who is willing to buy until you’ve got one to sell.

If you want to know more of my own thoughts, having owned a Supersport personally, check out the case study here.

Conclusion

If you weren’t a fan of Bentley’s before this buyers guide, I hope you are now. These cars are incredible. They are some of the last mass-produced luxury cars with heart. And no matter if you are looking for a car that is perfect to cruise by the ocean with the top down listening to Frank Sinatra, or if you want a street-legal race car who’s interior quite frankly blows Lamborghini out of the water, Bentley has a model for you.

Pejman Ghadimi
 

For the past 10 years Pejman Ghadimi has used this system to buy and sell over 85 personal luxury and exotic cars. His strategies has helped thousands of people buy the exotic cars of their dreams for up to 80% off retail price in as little as 90 days. Click here to learn how you can too.

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