A journalists view on the Continental GT Speed
'Few cars can have been more aptly named than the Bentley Continental GT Speed'. Read the view of The Sun journalist, Ken Gibson, on the Continental GT Speed.
The simple addition of Speed to the name tells you everything you need to know about what this Bentley is all about.
In a world that has gone overboard on political correctness, speed has almost become an ugly word, instead of something to be savoured.
The simple fact is that motorists have had a love affair with speed throughout the history of the automobile.
Indeed this most modern of Bentley’s takes its inspiration from the 1920’s Speed models, that laid the foundation for Bentley’s reputation for providing thoroughbred racing cars and saloons.
The Continental GT has already been the model that transformed Bentley from a car firm living on past glories, into once again being one of motoring super powers.
But the GT Speed takes Bentley onto another level of super car performance and hard edged driving ability aimed at satisfying enthusiasts wanting outright power and speed.
What the Speed also does is underline the outstanding skills of Bentley’s team of highly gifted engineers, who have not only delivered the exceptional power and handling, but also managed to retain a smoothness and comfort that is a very special combination.
The awesome 6 litre W12 engine gets an extra 15 percent more torque and nine percent more power to give it 600 bhp of sheer motoring muscle.
The result is blisteringly quick acceleration through the gears that sees 0-60 mph disappear in a blur of 4.3 seconds. And the countryside flashes into the distance equally dramatically as 0-100 mph takes just 10.3 seconds. while top speed breaks the magical 200 mph barrier.
Of course what the figures don’t tell you is how intoxicatingly wonderful the Speed sounds, a deep thunderous bellow that could have come direct from the devil.
Speed can be a dangerous commodity without the right handling and brakes to cope with it, and once again the Bentley engineers, led by Ulrich Eichhorn, have worked their magic to make the car even more stable at high speeds and the braking to match.
They have lowered the ride height, stiffened the chassis, improved the suspension and added special Pirelli tyres, exclusively designed for the Speed, that together with the car’s four wheel drive system give the car incredible levels of grip.
And to maximise the car’s potential there is a Dynamic Mode in the electronic stability programme, that cuts in later than the other driver settings.
The Continental GT has always been a head turning coupe but people will know you are in something extra - special in the Speed, thanks to a dark chromed matrix radiator grille, fabulous 20 inch alloys and twin rifled oval tailpipes.
Inside the level of luxurious opulence is raised even higher, with quilted leather hide finishes to the sports seats facings, doors and rear quarter panels, alongside the classic Bentley mix of wood and chrome that gives the car a truly aristocratic feel.
You also get unique door tread plates, embroidered Bentley emblems in the seat facings, a multi-functional three spoke steering wheel, a beautifully crafted gearlever finished in knurled chrome and drilled alloy pedals.
The Speed in many ways epitomises the exceptional new modern generation of Bentley cars’, a range of which W 0 Bentley himself would have been proud of.