The 3rd generation Bentley Continental GT lineup has now got the range-topping Speed variant, offering more power and sporty visual upgrades. A Convertible variant is also available with a softtop.
The visual differences are rather subtle, including dark front grilles, more sculpted rocker panels/side skirts, 22-inch Speed wheels in bright silver or optionally in dark tint or black gloss finish, and of course, the obligatory ‘Speed’ badges on the front fenders/wings.
The cabin has been spiced up with materials such as Alcantara and carbon fibre, with generous contrast accents and stitching throughout the cabin. The centre console can be finished in a new dark tint engine turned aluminium insert. Buyers get to choose from 15 main and 11 secondary hide colours. A range of veneers are also available, starting with Piano Black veneer as standard.
Other features include three-chamber active air suspension with adaptive damping, Bentley Dynamic Ride — 48-volt active anti-roll control system, electronic rear differential (eLSD) for the first time, and all-wheel steering. The options list has Carbon Ceramic brake system that comes with 10-piston front calipers and 4-piston rears. The carbon ceramic discs save 33 kg (73 lbs) of unsprung mass.
Moving on to the juicy bits of the story then, the 6.0-litre W12 TSI engine pumps out 485 kW (659 metric hp) and 900 Nm (664 lb-ft) of torque. Compared to the regular W12, there’s 24 metric hp more. Bentley claims a 0-100 km/h (62 mph) sprint time of 3.6 seconds (Convertible takes 0.1 seconds more) and a top speed of 335 km/h (208 mph). Also, the 8-speed PDK has been calibrated to suit the Speed’s ethos.
That massive W12 motor is not necessarily a gas guzzler as the Variable Displacement system shuts down 6 of the 12 cylinders under certain conditions in order to save some fuel.