The old saying “there is no replacement for displacement” has been rendered obsolete by modern technology. It’s especially true when you take into account the engine is only part of the performance equation as the gearbox also plays a major role. We could say the same thing about weight, and in this particular case, the type of all-wheel-drive system.
Carwow lined up the BMW M8 Competition against the Bentley Continental GT in the W12 specification to see which of the two posh coupes is quicker in a straight line. With 625 horsepower on tap, the twin-turbo V8 4.4-liter engine of the Bavarian luxury gran tourer has a handicap compared to the mighty 6.0-liter behemoth of the model from Crewe. The gap in torque is even bigger, 750 Nm (551 lb-ft) vs 900 Nm (662 lb-ft).
At 1,900 kilograms (nearly 4,200 pounds), the BMW is not a light car by any stretch of the imagination, but the opulent Bentley with all of its thick sound insulation and fancy equipment tips the scales at almost 2,200 kg (4,850 lbs). On the flip side, the Continental GT has a dual-clutch automatic transmission compared to the torque converter of the M8 Competition.
Although neither was engineered for drag racing, Carwow was curious to find out which bruiser would triumph in a duel. Let’s keep in mind you could buy two M8s with the money spent on that Continental GT Speed. When it comes to putting the proverbial pedal to the metal, the two cars were neck and neck in the first part of the drag races, but the BMW had a slight edge in the latter half of the duels.
In the first rolling race from 50 mph (80 km/h) to the half-mile mark, both cars had the auto settings for the transmission. It’s easy to see the M8’s gearbox kicked down much quicker than the Bentley’s, allowing the BMW to take an effortless win. The rolling race was repeated with the gearboxes in manual mode and the Continental GT was able to keep up, but only temporarily. It was yet another win for the M8 Competition Coupe.
The subsequent rolling race from 30 mph (48 km/h) had a different outcome as the Bentley was much quicker at the start, giving it an advantage big enough the BMW wasn’t able to cancel. Perhaps the most spectacular part of this duel was at the end with the M8’s glowing discs under hard braking.
Speaking of which, the final comparison was a brake test from 100 mph (161 km/h). The result might come as a surprise since the heavier car needed less road to come to a full stop. Despite carrying around an extra 300 kg (662 lbs), the Continental GT Speed was the first to come to a halt.
Source: Carwow / YouTube