We understand the Bentley folks are pretty quick to point out the newest 2013 Bentley Continental GT‘s fuel economy ratings. And we ask— what is the world coming to?
Bentley is of course talking about its new 4.0-liter eight-cylinder engine, and granted, when you compare it to the 6.0-liter W-12 in that same Continental GT, it is a noteworthy adjustment. The eight-cylinder Continental GT returns 15 city and 24 highway mpg, compared with the near industry-worst 12 city and 19 hwy of the twelve-cylinder Bentley. But, are owners of the uber-luxurious brand suddenly concerned about saving at the pump? Unlikely. So, is it the environment? Strike two. Yet Bentley must have felt the pinch, what with other ultra-premium makes faring far better in fuel economy ratings. All that aside, how does the new eight-cylinder’s efficiency stack up?
We checked up on some of the large, fancy models sporting V-8′s in the 2012 Mercedes-Benz S550, the 2012 Audi A8 and the 2012 BMW 750Li, and found Bentley may have a reason to boast. The Mercedes-Benz S550 employs a 4.7-liter V-8 which gets 15 in town and 25 on speedy roads, only one highway mile better, and the same city figures as the Bentley’s eight-cylinder. The 4.4-liter V-8 in the BMW 750Li gets 14 city, but fares a couple miles worse on the highway at 22. That leaves us with Audi, the only automaker that actually achieves better fuel economy than Bentley with a comparable 4.2-liter V-8, achieving 18 in town and an impressive 28 on the highway. The 2012 Lexus LS 600h, the Japanese luxury automaker’s top-of-the-line sedan, is a hybrid V-8, and it still only nets 19 and 23 mpg, respectively. We still wouldn’t point out Bentley’s fuel economy if we were them, and owners will likely fall a little short of those figures, but it is an improvement over what Bentley owners are used to. Then again, it’s two-thirds the size of W-12 engine.