The Bentley Continental GT Speed is 650 HP and 664 ft.-lb. of torque, with an eight-speed, dual-clutch transmission, and all-wheel drive. It’ll do 0-60 in 3.5-seconds, with a top speed of 208 MPH, the third generation of Speed models, details of which were released today.
Years ago, when the first Continental GT Speed was introduced, I had the pleasure of riding in one on a few occasions. No, it wasn’t the same experience as owning it, but the car certainly fit the persona of the Beverly Hills hotelier and entrepreneur, whose name was on the title. That Bentley Motors claims the new Continental GT Speed is the world’s best grand touring car is hardly an exaggeration, based on what I know of its predecessor.
Electronic all-wheel steering, coupled with Bentley Dynamic Ride, and the electronic limited-slip differential, is said to provide agility unlike that of any other luxo cruiser, whether in Bentley, Comfort, or Sport mode. Steering feel at low and medium speed is sharper, with the rear wheels pointed in a direction opposite that of the fronts for a more rapid response. For improved stability, the rears are steered in the same direction at high speed. With active all-wheel drive, traction control, and torque distribution altered on the Speed over that of the standard GT, Bentley notes this is a more rewarding drive regardless of driving abilities. To this, we say bring on the test drive vehicle, and we’ll gauge whether the GT Speed’s chassis dynamics leaves us shortchanged, or suitably recompensed.
Bentley is also pretty jazzed about the electronic rear differential, active air ride suspension with adaptive damping, and Dynamic Ride, the latter previously tested on the Bentayga and Continental GT. Electric motors inside the anti-sway bars keep the body from rolling, and under the most extreme circumstances will level the body out. The 22-inch Speed wheels, in bright silver with a dark tint, or a black gloss finish, are included in the $274,900 base price for a Coupe, or the $302,400 they’re asking for a drop top. What isn’t included are the carbon ceramic brakes, whose carbon silicon carbine discs bite harder for a firmer brake pedal feel, and greater fade resistance.
Perhaps the height of personalization in a production car, limited though they may be, are the fifteen-main and eleven-secondary hide colors for the interior, much like shopping for home furnishings. You can also opt for leather in place of the Alcantara in the interior, and instead of the standard piano black veneer trim, there’s crown cut walnut, dark stained burr walnut, and dark fiddleback eucalyptus, plus three extra-cost options of dark burr walnut, crown cut walnut, and koa.
Sad to say, if you reside in mainland China, the UK, Switzerland, Israel, Ukraine, Norway, Turkey, or Vietnam, you cannot at this time avail yourself of the pride of Bentley Continental GT Speed ownership. It wasn’t made clear why the GT Speed is not being sold in any of these markets, but for the amount they’re asking and the discriminating buyer who can afford it, it’s quite likely if there’s a will, there’s a way. Flyin’ like an aeroplane.