Continental GT Speed: Bentley’s most dynamic road car ever

Bentley states the new Continental GT Speed is the most capable, performance-focused Bentley ever, yet with no compromise to comfort or luxury.

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New all-wheel steering and an electric rear differential enhance both agility and stability, while the Bentley Continental GT Speed’s 6.0-litre W12 boasts peak power of 484kW and 900Nm of torque.

The Continental GT Speed introduces new carbon ceramic brakes and a highly advanced chassis, which increases its sporting demeanour without comprising Bentley’s signature ride quality.

Bentley Motors has released further details of the new Continental GT Speed – a car the company says is the most dynamic road car in its 101-year history; the ultimate performance-focused interpretation of the world’s benchmark luxury Grand Tourer.

 

Designed, engineered, developed, and handcrafted in Bentley’s carbon neutral luxury automotive factory, the 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.

 

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.

At low and medium speeds, the GT Speed’s rear wheels are steered in the opposite direction to the front wheels to aid a rapid change of direction, noticeably increasing the feeling of nimbleness. The steering feels sharper and with a quicker ratio, and a commensurate increase in steering feel provides even more driver confidence.

 

At high speeds, the rear wheels steer in the same direction as the front, to improve stability. The system is significantly more active on the GT Speed than it is on the Flying Spur, where its primary purpose is a reduction in turning circle and enhanced high-speed stability.   

 

Featuring Active All-Wheel drive, the car’s traction control and torque distribution have 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.

Improved cornering dynamics and the extra grip provided by the new systems allows the driver to exit any corner with an increased level of precision and confidence. In turn, the vehicle can extract maximum performance from available traction to deliver stunning acceleration and composure. In ‘SPORT’ mode, the traction management system sends a greater proportion of power to the rear axle to allow for even greater on-throttle control of cornering line.

 

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.

 

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. The carbon ceramic material also saves over 33Kg of weight (all of it un-sprung mass) and produces extremely low levels of brake dust, helping to maintain the fresh look of the 22” unique Speed wheels.

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 484kW – which is a four percent increase over the current W12 model – while maintaining an extraordinary 900Nm of torque. With exceptional handling, this results in a top speed of 335km/h and a 0-100km/h time of 3.6 seconds.

 

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.

  

The muscular bodywork of the Continental GT has been amplified still further on the GT Speed. Unique exterior detailing complements a powerful, athletic stance, blending seamlessly with the effortless elegance inherent to the Continental GT.

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. The carbon ceramic material also saves over 33Kg of weight (all of it un-sprung mass) and produces extremely low levels of brake dust, helping to maintain the fresh look of the 22” unique Speed wheels.

 

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 484kW – which is a four percent increase over the current W12 model – while maintaining an extraordinary 900Nm of torque. With exceptional handling, this results in a top speed of 335km/h and a 0-100km/h time of 3.6 seconds.

 

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.

  

The muscular bodywork of the Continental GT has been amplified still further on the GT Speed. Unique exterior detailing complements a powerful, athletic stance, blending seamlessly with the effortless elegance inherent to the Continental GT.

Speed models add a Dark Tint radiator grille and lower bumper grille, as well as unique, more sculpted sports sills, a Dark Tint radiator matrix and discreet Speed badging in chrome on the front fender. Another signature feature of the most potent version of the Continental GT is 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, while illuminated Bentley treadplates to both sills are a nod to the Speed’s performance credentials.

 

The cabin of the new Continental GT Speed showcases 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.

 

The Continental GT Speed’s credentials are further highlighted by a unique duotone colour split handcrafted in hide and matching Alcantara, which is also applied to the steering wheel. The exterior badging is matched with an elegant Speed icon on the passenger fascia. The luxurious interior can be further personalised with a choice of 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.

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