Bentley builds a 326km/h luxury bruiser
Bentley’s new Continental GT Speed is its most powerful production car ever and the first to top 200mph (322km/h).
It’s designed for drivers who place a high value on outright performance and agile handling.
Bentley’s revised Continental GT and new GT Speed models have wider, lower air intakes and more upright radiator grilles that provide increased airflow to the more powerful GT Speed.
The Speed’s 600bhp (449kW) W12 engine develops 15 percent more torque and nine per cent more power than the standard Continental GT.
Its engine efficiency is optimised by the use of lower friction, lighter-weight components and a new engine management system.
The changes give a top speed of 202mph (326km/h), a zero to 60mph sprint time of 4.3 seconds (0-100km/h in 4.5s) and effortless overtaking capability. It will accelerate from 80 to 120km/h in 3.0 seconds.
The Speed GT will sprint from standstill to 160km/h in 10.2 seconds.
The ZF 6HP26 six-speed automatic gearbox can lock up its torque converter during normal driving conditions, replicating the immediacy of a manual transmission while maintaining the smoothness of an automatic.
A manual override function allows clutchless manual changes using the gearlever or steering wheel paddles.
Complementing the Continental GT Speed’s high performance is its unique chassis tune that delivers tauter handling and improved agility.
The Speed GT has a lower ride height, uprated spring/damper settings and uprated anti-roll bars as standard.
It has new, wider 9.5J 20-inch wheels fitted with bespoke Pirelli P-Zero performance tyres.
Self-levelling air suspension that constantly monitors and adjusts the ride height and damping according to road conditions is fitted to both models, though the GT Speed sits 10mm lower at the front and 15mm lower at the rear.
Both the Continental GT and GT Speed get changes to the rack and pinion steering system’s hydraulics to reduce friction and improve steering feel.
Bentley has improved steering response by retuning the speed-sensitive Servotronic system, and using solid-mounted front subframe and stiffer rear bushings.
A Dynamic mode has been introduced on the uprated Bosch 8.1 ESP system with more progressive intervention to cater for the more spirited driver.
The standard ventilated front discs have a 405mm diameter and are 36mm thick. Ventilated discs are also used at the back with a diameter of 335mm and a thickness of 22mm.
Fade-resistant carbon ceramic brakes are available as an option. Subtle design touches, including a dark-tinted front grille and larger sports tailpipes, reinforce the sporting character.
The GT Speed’s cabin is based on the Mulliner Driving Specification (an added cost option on the standard GT).
It includes a choice of veneers (Burr Walnut, Dark Stained Burr Walnut and Piano Black), indented hide headlining, a sports alloy gearlever, and a three-spoke multi-function sports steering wheel.
Customers have a choice of 16 standard paint colours and 17 premium grade leather colours.
The car has drilled alloy sport foot-pedals, knurled chrome/hide gearlever, diamond quilted leather seat facings, doors and rear quarter panels.
Both the new GT Speed and the 552bhp Continental GT engines benefit from internal efficiency improvements to deliver reduced fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.
The revised Continental GT retains its top speed of 198mph (318km/h), with a 0-60mph sprint time of 4.6 seconds (0-100km/h in 4.8s).
Bentley boss Dr Franz Josef-Paefgen says the new GT Speed, “with its harder-edged character and sportier driving experience”, builds on the success of the standard Continental GT.
Both models are available to special order.