Bentley has updated its continental GT line for the 2013 model year, revealing the new luxury coupe at the 2012 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The new 2013 Bentley Continental GT V8 signals a new focus for the Bentley marque, a move away from the gas-guzzling W12 engine for a refreshingly restrained V8.

Now most of us wouldn’t consider a V8 to present a significant improvement in fuel economy, but at cruising speeds the Continental GT will shut down four of eight cylinders for higher-efficiency driving. That four-cylinder mode will provide 23 MPG driving (laughable for most of us, but not if you’re buying a performance car like this) and can extend this Bentley’s range to 500 miles on a tank of gas.

Even with the smaller engine, the new Bentley Continental GT V8 can hit 60 mph from a standing start in less than five seconds. Its exterior is still a Bentley kind of beautiful, and the interior is elegant and refined. The next step in this new direction is likely a hybrid Bentley, a concept Bentley is reportedly exploring as we type.

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