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. Designed, engineered, developed and handcrafted in Bentley’s carbon neutral luxury automotive factory, 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.
The pinnacle performance Continental GT features advanced chassis technology harnessed specifically for the new model. 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 traction control and torque distribution has been recalibrated in all driver modes to provide a noticeable character shift relative to the standard Continental GT.
Maintaining Bentley’s philosophy of the vehicle feeling progressive and secure, yet still be dynamic, this approach rewards drivers of all abilities. To achieve this philosophy in BENTLEY and COMFORT mode, overall grip is balanced between the front and rear wheels, in SPORT this mode has been calibrated with a more rear-biased torque–split in all driving scenarios.
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.
In BENTLEY and COMFORT mode this provides improved traction, provides a greater level of confidence for the driver and makes the vehicle feel more stable at high speeds. In SPORT mode, the eLSD has been tuned to balance on and off throttle adjustability, improved turn-in response and increased straight-line performance. The combined benefit means the Continental GT Speed is now more adjustable and more driver-focussed than ever before without compromising comfort or stability.
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 is able to extract the maximum performance from the available traction to deliver stunning acceleration and composure from the apex. 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.
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. Not only does the Continental GT Speed offer impressive performance, to maximise efficiency the model benefits from Bentley’s Stop-Start technology where the engine rests not only when the vehicle is stationary, but also at near-to-stop speeds.
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. Bentley’s Diamond in Diamond quilting is included as standard, and Speed embroidered headrests distinguish the cabin of the most potent Continental GT.
A range of veneers are available in GT Speed, 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, with three open pore options (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.
For more information, visit www.bentleymotors.com