Need for Speed Making its official debut at the Changi Exhibition Centre in Singapore last November, the new Bentley Continental GT Speed boasts its top speed at 205 mph, reports Tyara P. Hansel
entley has unveiled its fastest production model ever, the new Continental GT Speed coupe, sure to appeal to motor-fans looking for a performance horse with superior handing and the British automotive marque’s distinctive design. This two-door sports car comes rigged with an up-rated version of Bentley’s six-litre, 48-valce twin turbocharged W12 engine, allowing it to take to the roads at 625ps (616 bhp/460 kW) at 6000 rev/min, with a blistering 800Nm of torque and a top speed of 329km/h. Meanwhile, the 0-100km/h sprint is dispatched in a lightning-fast of 4.2 seconds. Wolfgang Dürheimer, Bentley’s Chairman and Chief Executive, says that for nearly a decade, the Bentley Continental GT has defined high luxury and high performance. The unique W12 engine has been so successful that Bentley is now the world’s largest producer of 12-cylinder engines. “The new GT Speed with its harder-edged, sportier character reaffirms this pinnacle positioning and continues to broaden the worldwide appeal of the Continental coupe,” he adds. The changes to the W12 engine seriously gives the car a 16bhp improvement on its predecessor, the first generation GT Speed 2007, while the new gearbox makes a significant contribution to an overall 12 per cent improvement in fuel economy and CO2 emissions. The immense power is transmitted via a new close-ration, 8-speed automatic transmission –which uses intelligent adaptive control software that aims to deliver imperceptible gear changes, and the permanent all-wheel drive system with a central Tosen differential.
Design-wise, the tinted matrix front grille and lower air intakes as well as the “rifled” finish to the exhaust tailpipes contribute to the coupe’s muscular, sporty vibe, while its updated chassis is supported by 21-inch speed wheels, available in two lustrous finishes, and fitted with 275 35 R21 Pirelli P zero ultra-high performance tyres. Indonesia Tatler had the chance to test-drive the flagship Mulsanne and the Continental GT V8 4.0 (50PS/660Nm) in Singapore in November. Instructors from England were at hand to guide us through the custom course and the prowess of the cars, including a mixture of braking test, slalom courses, and circuit driving, all were done to experience the various technology that the car possessed. The Electronic Stability Control (ESP) system, for example, retains the “Dynamic Mode” setting that allows increased wheel slip at higher speeds, with engine torque reinstated more quickly after a system intervention. Meanwhile, the Continuous Damping Control (CDC) system ensures pliant ride comfort despite the up rafting of the suspension components for a sportier drive. ■