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Detroit Auto Show: Bentley Debuts High-Performance Continental Model

Bentley Continental GT V-8 S - H 2014
AP Images
The Bentley Continental GT V-8 S

After record sales in the U.S., the automaker moves to consolidate its gains while readying an SUV.

DETROIT – In a move toward expanding its reach in the ultraluxury category, Bentley gave its Continental GT V-8 S model its U.S. premiere at the North American International Auto Show.

The new model is a high performance variant in Bentley's game-changing Continental line, which, with the Flying Spur, reinvigorated the brand and made it a plausible purchase for status-conscious Hollywood players acutely attuned to hitting the valet station in the wrong car.

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The model is meant to expand Bentley's lineup, which includes the Continental, Flying Spur and top-of-the-line Mulsanne, while it readies clean-sheet designs like its long-gestating SUV, expected in early 2016.

According to CEO Wolfgang Schreiber, Bentley sold more cars than ever in 2013. Sales increased 28 percent in the U.S, its biggest market, with 3,140 cars sold.

"One in four cars in the luxury market is a Bentley," Schreiber said.