Bentley Continental GT Speed

From Bentley press:  For the new model year, both the Continental GT and the Continental GT Speed coupes benefit from an extensive range of new standard and optional features, including an upgraded Park Distance Control, innovative Adaptive Cruise Control, an iPod Interface, a ‘Naim for Bentley’ premium audio system and special 20-inch alloy sports wheels.

Both models receive new graphics for the Park Distance Control which are displayed on the Infotainment screen. Areas to the front and rear of the car are divided into nine zones and within these zones orange bars indicate the distance to obstacles. As the car moves closer to an obstacle, the corresponding bar will move closer to the car image on the screen.

Among the new options include Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) which uses radar to monitor traffic and adjusts the car’s throttle or brake to maintain a ‘time gap’ to the vehicles ahead, depending on local traffic conditions.

To enable customers to play their favourite music through the car’s audio system, the new optional iPod Interface links to the Infotainment system. Supplied with connectors for iPod, USB, Mini USB and a 3.5mm AUX jack, the system includes a 12 volt power outlet for charging purposes.

The optional ‘Naim for Bentley’ system for GT includes a tailor-made dual-channel Sub Woofer with sound ports between the rear seats and delivers the world’s best in-car sound stage. Created in partnership with Bentley by Naim Audio, a UK-based high end hi-fi manufacturer, this system features 15 speakers and an 1100 Watt amplifier, plus eight individual DSP modes to reproduce true emotions and a ‘live’ concert-like experience.

For the Continental GT, 20-inch, two-piece, seven-spoke alloy sports wheels are available with the optional Mulliner Driving Specification – clearly differentiating these models from other GTs.

The GT and GT Speed will also be available in three new standard exterior colours (Havana, White Sand and Onyx), and with two new standard interior hide colours (Imperial Blue and Linen.

The Continental GT Speed is the most powerful production Bentley ever and the first to top 200 mph (322 km/h). A potent addition to the company’s highly successful Continental series, the GT Speed extends the appeal of the Continental GT coupe to driving enthusiasts who place a high value on outright performance and agile handling.

The exterior style of the Continental GT and GT Speed models is defined by their wide, lower air intake and upright radiator grille that also provide increased airflow to the more powerful GT Speed’s engine. Its 600 bhp (610 PS) W12 engine develops 15 percent more torque and nine percent more power than the standard Continental GT, while engine efficiency is optimised by the use of lower friction, lighter-weight components and a new engine management system. The resultant performance is exceptional, with a top speed of 202 mph (326 km/h), a zero to 60 mph sprint time of just 4.3 seconds (0-100 km/h in 4.5s) and effortless overtaking capability.

Complementing the Continental GT Speed’s high performance is its unique chassis tune that delivers tauter handling and improved agility, with new, wider 9.5J 20-inch wheels and bespoke performance tyres as standard fitment. 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 of the Continental GT Speed.

Inspiration for the GT Speed came from the legendary ‘Speed’ models that first appeared in 1923. The standard Bentley 3-litre had already established Bentley’s engineering superiority in terms of roadholding, handling and braking, but W.O. Bentley, the company’s founder, recognised the market potential for a more potent version aimed at the enthusiast driver who demanded superior performance. His response, the 3-litre ‘Speed Model’, complete with twin SU carburettors and a higher compression ratio engine, became one of the most coveted of all Bentleys.

Both the GT Speed and the 552 bhp (560 PS) Continental GT benefit from internal efficiency improvements to the engine that deliver reduced fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. The Continental GT remains outstandingly quick – its top speed is unchanged at 198 mph (318 km/h), with a 0-60 mph sprint time of 4.6 seconds (0-100 km/h in 4.8s).

The all-wheel drive Continental GT changed the face of the luxury coupe market in 2003 and attracted a wider audience to the Bentley marque. It also represented the first step in Bentley's renaissance, positioning the company at the pinnacle of both technology and consumer aspiration. Since its launch, demand for a sportier version of the Continental GT was met by the successful introduction of the 2005 GT Mulliner Driving Specification and the limited edition GT Diamond Series in 2006, to celebrate 60 years of Bentley at Crewe. With the launch of the Continental GT Speed, customers can enjoy even greater choice. Bentley Chairman and Chief Executive Dr Franz Josef-Paefgen welcomed the expansion of the Continental GT model offering:

“The Continental GT is a highly successful, modern-day Bentley icon. The GT Speed, with its harder-edged character and sportier driving experience, builds on this success.”

Gallery: Bentley Continental GT Speed