Bentley has revealed its new Continental GT Speed, which the British brand bills as the “most dynamic road car” in its 101-year history.
Part of the “Speed” treatment includes a shot in the arm for the twin-turbocharged 6,0-litre W12 engine, which now makes a heady 485 kW (up from 467 kW). Peak twisting force is unchanged at 900 N.m, again directed to all four wheels. The result is a top speed of 335 km/h (up two units) and a sprint from zero to 100 km/h in a claimed 3,6 seconds (an improvement of one-tenth of a second).
Bentley says both the four-seater grand tourer’s engine and transmission have been “deliberately calibrated” to suit the car’s driver-focused credentials. In Sport mode, for instance, the eight-speed dual-clutch transmission up-shifts later and downshifts earlier. Indeed, the automaker says the gearbox is “twice as fast” in Sport mode as it is in the standard W12 model.
What else sets the Speed model apart? Well, it gains a fresh, “more active” electronic all-wheel steering system as well as an electronic limited-slip differential (the first time an eLSD has been used on a Bentley). The traction control and torque distribution systems (more torque is sent to the rear axle in Sport mode), meanwhile, have also been recalibrated.
The Crewe-based firm says the new eLSD provides “increased lateral capacity, improved longitudinal stability, enhanced on-throttle adjustability and better traction” on less-than-ideal surfaces. The electronic stability control system, meanwhile, allows the driver to experience what Bentley terms an “even greater level of freedom” before the safety nannies intervene.
A carbon-ceramic braking system (saving more than 33 kg of un-sprung weight) will be offered as an option on the GT Speed, complete with ten-piston front callipers and four-piston rears. Bentley’s three-chamber active air suspension (with adaptive damping) is standard, along with the 48 V active anti-roll control system the debuted on the Bentayga.
How will you identify the GT Speed out on the road? Well, the flagship model gains a “dark tint” grille and lower bumper element, as well as “more sculpted” sills and “discreet” chrome badging on the front fenders.
A set of 22-inch Speed wheels is also included, standard in bright silver with the option of a dark tint or black-gloss finish. “Jewel” versions of the fuel and oil filler caps are likewise standard, as are illuminated treadplates.
Inside, the GT Speed boasts a model-specific two-tone colour split (though various options will be available) handcrafted in hide and matching Alcantara. The passenger-side facia gains a Speed icon, with Bentley’s diamond quilting is included as standard.