2013 Bentley Continental GT

The "B" on this V8 couldn't be further from a scarlet letter.

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Story: Will Sabel Courtney

Know that old saying “The best things in life are free”? It’s time to stick the words “some of” on the beginning of that sentence. Because while sunshine, true love and fresh air may all cost nothing and make you feel great, the Bentley Continental GT proves that it’s very, very possible to buy yourself a big chunk of happiness.

And thanks to the new V8 model, that expensive piece of joy can be yours for a little less than it used to cost.
Dropping four cylinders off the top-of-the-line Conti’s W12 motor robs the big Bentley of around 67 horses, but unless you’re used to driving F-22 fighter jets, you won’t find the Conti V8 lacking in thrust. Between the twin-turbo motor, the all-wheel drive and the tightly geared eight-speed automatic, this 5,000-plus-pound whip launches like a Kentucky Derby colt. And the music it makes in the process…the engine roar this car delivers when it’s stuntin’ is the kind of sound that makes car guys stand up and salute half a mile away.

Not that you’ll care what they think, because you’ll be relaxing in the illest interior this side of Air Force One. Given the amount of leather covering pretty much everything, it’s hard not to wonder how many cows were sacrificed to bring such luxury to life, or how many trees were chopped down to provide all the wood in there. If you’re worried all the leather, wood and other noise-absorbing materials will leave you feeling too peaceful, be sure to check the box for the optional 14-speaker Naim stereo—but don’t dare turn it up past halfway, unless you like playing Russian roulette with your eardrums.

In fact, the GT has the perfect sort of interior in which to kick back, relax and soak up a long trip—which works out nicely, because that’s exactly the sort of driving the Continental excels at. People who buy Bentleys presumably fly first class (if they don’t have their own jet, of course), but with a car like this, we don’t know why you wouldn’t skip the airport and hit the highway instead. What’s a few thousand miles between you and the greatest road-trip car ever made?

Specs:

Damage: $170,000 (estimated)

Power: 500hp, 487 lb.-ft.

0-60: 4.6 secs.

Gas Cash: 15 city, 24 hwy

Miles Driven: 150

Interior: The rear seats are actually surprisingly roomy—so why not bring three girls home with you from the club?

Exterior: The V8 model sets itself apart from the pricier W12 version with wedge-shaped air intakes in the lower grille, which also make the V8 look more aggressive than its cousin.

Floss Factor: It’s a Bentley; that “B” badge might as well stand for “Baller.”

Flaw Factor: The Continental GT has become almost too popular among the rich and famous, so there’s a small chance people might assume you’re a Kardashian.