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Continental GT Speed

New Continental GT Speed: Bentley’s most performance-focused road car ever revealed

By Lisa Curtiss on 11th April 2021

For those desiring a car that’s the epitome of exquisite luxury and thrilling performance, this latest model from Bentley is the perfect choice. Handcrafted at Bentley’s carbon neutral luxury automotive factory, the new Continental GT Speed is the most dynamic road car in Bentley’s 101 year history and ultimate performance-focused interpretation of the world’s benchmark luxury Grand Tourer.

This new third-generation model builds on a long tradition of Speed variants. Originally introduced with the highly-acclaimed, first generation Continental GT Speed in 2007 – itself inspired by the 3-litre Speed models of the 1920s. The latest GT Speed continues the bloodline by representing the ultimate combination of luxury and performance in a Grand Touring package.

Elegant, yet muscular with a raft of unique exterior detailing, there’s plenty of visual cues to the performance prowess of this exceptional car. Highlights include dark tint grilles, more sculpted sills, Speed badging in chrome and unique 22” Speed wheels in bright silver, with the option of a dark tint or black gloss finish. Jewel versions of the fuel and oil filler caps are standard and illuminated Bentley treadplates.

Bentley Continental GT Speed

As you would expect, the cabin of the new Continental GT Speed is a sight to behold. It’s a showcase of Bentley’s expertise in creating the world’s finest automotive interiors. Handcrafted materials blend with unique trim and badging that are only available in the Speed and can be further personalised, if desired. Stand-out features include a unique duotone colour split handcrafted in hide and matching Alcantara, which is also applied to the steering wheel, and the exterior badging is matched with an elegant Speed icon on the passenger fascia.

Personalisation is important to Bentley customers, and this model offers a plethora of choices including 15 main and 11 secondary hide colours, as well as the use of leather in lieu of Alcantara for the Speed colour split. The centre console can be finished in new dark tint engine turned aluminium, bringing a geometrically perfect machined surface and a beautifully patterned finish. Bentley’s Diamond in Diamond quilting is included as standard, and Speed embroidered headrests distinguish the cabin of this, the most potent Continental GT. There’s a range of veneers starting with piano black veneer as standard. Customers can also choose crown cut walnut, dark stained burr walnut and dark fiddleback eucalyptus at no extra cost, and dark burr walnut, crown cut walnut and koa available as additional options.

As with all Continental GTs, the Speed offers four seats and exceptional grand touring luggage capacity of 358 litres. Packed with exquisite detail, a technologically advanced instrument panel and the acclaimed Bentley Rotating Display, the new driver-focused model widens the Continental GT’s performance credentials.

The new GT Speed is the ultimate performance-focused expression of Bentley’s definitive Grand Tourer, yet maintains the luxury, comfort and usability of its siblings. It is equipped with an uprated version of Bentley’s renowned 6.0-litre W12 TSI engine, delivering 659 PS (650 bhp) – a 4 per cent increase of 24 PS over the current W12 model – whilst maintaining an extraordinary 900 Nm (664 lb.ft) of torque. With exceptional handling, this results in a top speed of 208 mph (335 km/h) and 0-60 mph in 3.5 seconds (0-100 km/h in 3.6 seconds), a reduction of 0.1 second.

Bentley Continental GT Speed

Both engine and transmission have been deliberately calibrated to suit the car’s driver-focused credentials. This is most noticeable in SPORT mode, where the twin-turbocharged W12 has been tuned to keep the engine in the power band longer by up-shifting later, or downshifting earlier. This creates a more eager response to the driver’s throttle inputs. The dual-clutch, eight-speed transmission shift is twice as fast in SPORT mode as in the standard W12 model, in keeping with the Speed’s ethos. This combines with a greater exhaust character during start-up and downshifts.

New electronic all-wheel steering enhances the dynamic nature of the Speed in BENTLEY and COMFORT driving modes. However, this is even more apparent in SPORT mode, as the steering combines with Bentley Dynamic Ride and an electronic limited slip differential for a level of agility unlike any other Bentley road car. Featuring active all-wheel drive, the traction control and torque distribution has been recalibrated in all driver modes to provide a noticeable character shift relative to the standard Continental GT.

For the first time in a Bentley, the latest generation of the Continental GT Speed introduces the use of an electronic rear differential (eLSD). Specifically tuned hand-in-hand with the traction control and active chassis systems, the eLSD provides increased lateral capacity, improved longitudinal stability, enhanced on-throttle adjustability and delivers better traction in adverse road conditions.

Bentley Continental GT Speed

Working alongside these systems are the key chassis technologies that deliver body control and ride comfort with no compromise to one another – namely Bentley’s three-chamber active air suspension with adaptive damping, and Bentley Dynamic Ride – the 48V active anti-roll control system that Bentley pioneered on the Bentayga and third-generation Continental GT. This innovative system features powerful electric motors within each anti-roll bar to resist body roll.

Meanwhile, depending on the mode, the Electronic Stability Control (ESC) System allows the driver to experience an even greater level of freedom before the Speed’s safety systems intervene to correct any anomalies. With the ESC engaged, the car provides reassuring stability over uneven surfaces, abnormal cambers or in inclement weather conditions. With the ESC switched off, the mechanical grip and inherent balance of the GT Speed comes to the fore, allowing a driver-focused experience previously only seen in Bentley’s racing machines. After utilising strong turn-in performance thanks to the All-Wheel Steering and eLSD, on track the driver can choose to balance throttle and steering to deliver effortless, progressive yaw angles.

To complement the extra capability of the chassis, a newly-engineered carbon ceramic brake system has been introduced as an option on the GT Speed. Carbon Silicon Carbide discs provide additional brake bite, with a strong, firm brake pedal feel and excellent brake fade resistance. Ten-piston front callipers and four-piston rears supply incredible braking force – needed when up to 10 MJ of energy are converted to heat in a full stop from top speed.

For more information visit, bentleymotors.com.