Just recently, we read a review of the BMW M850i from Car and Driver which essentially called it a budget Bentley Continental GT. It wasn’t saying that the M850i is anywhere near as luxurious or premium as the Bentley but that the idea was the same — both are big, sporty grand tourers that are meant to be comfortable and luxurious while also providing some driving thrills. Ironically, immediately after that, AutoTopNL posted this side-by-side video of the BMW M850i and the Bentley Continental GT.
Admittedly, these videos were taken at different times, so this isn’t an exact comparison test. However, it does show the differences and similarities between both cars. Both are stonking fast and good looking but the Bentley is more opulent and expensive feeling. What’s crazy is that if you sit in an 8 Series you’ll be very happy with the interior quality and luxury. But when you see it after seeing a Conti GT’s cabin, the 8er looks positively cut-rate. Though, considering their price difference has six-figures, that’s to be expected.
What’s interesting is how similar the two cars are in speed and performance, though. The BMW M850i uses a 4.4 liter twin-turbo V8 making 523 hp and 553 lb-ft of torque, which helps it get from 0-60 mph in about 3.5 seconds, give or take a few ticks. The Bentley on the other hand has a 6.0 liter twin-turbocharged W12 and makes a monstrous 626 hp and 664 lb-ft of torque, which helps the big brute hit 60 mph in a couple of ticks faster than the Bimmer.
Their performance is surprisingly similar, considering the power difference. Blame the extra weight of the Bentley for that. Though, I guess that’s a small price to pay for all of that gorgeous leather, wood and metal work.
The main takeaway here is that the BMW M850i actually is comparable to a Bentley Conti GT in spirit. Sure, the Bentley is a touch faster and more luxurious but they’re both crazy fast, they’re both more than fun enough to drive and they’re both very luxurious. The Bimmer is just the less expensive version. When you see it side-by-side, it starts to make more sense.