GT Speed, Bentley’s new
open-top performance flagship.
11 Jan. 2013,
Listen to this: Bentley is promising
no less than "the fastest
supercar in the world", with a top speed of 325 km/h (202 mph) from a
twin-turbocharged 6.0 litre, 48-valve W12-cylinder
engine, developping 625 PS (616 bhp), channeled via an eight-speed transmission,
to the permanent
all-wheel drive and from there, you imagine the rest.
But on top of that, Bentley’s new
open-top performance flagship, this Continental GT Speed Convertible, will
get its international debut on 14th January at the 2013 NAIAS (North
American International Auto Show, public days from 19 to 27 January) in Detroit, Michigan,
USA, in a rather euphoric atmosphere for the company.
to 100 km/h in 4.4 seconds (0-60 mph in 4.1 sec.).
In fact, only two days ago,
Bentley Motors (owned by the German group VW) announced the growth of
its worldwide deliveries to customers by no less than 22 per cent over
2011, reaching 8,510 cars,
up from 7,003 cars in 2011.
By comparison, the other and also successful British luxury brand,
Rolls-Royce Motor Cars (owned by the German
group BMW) announced two days ago the growth of its global sales
last year by 1.04 per cent, reaching 3,575 cars in 2012 – third
consecutive record for
the company and the best in its history – up from 3,538 cars in
That's for the context. More about the real thing now.
all-wheel drive system with a 40
front /60 rear bias.
Sharing its powertrain with the GT Speed
coupé, the Bentley Continental GT Speed
convertible delivers its maximal output of 616 bhp (460 kW, 625 PS) at
6000 rpm, and it peak torque of 800 Nm (590 lb.ft) from 2000 to 5000 rpm,
with an uprated and lowered suspension.
This combination launches the
four-seat convertible from nought to 100 km/h in 4.4 seconds (0-60 mph in 4.1
sec.), and 9.7 seconds to reach the 160 km/h (100
mph). More about
the Bentley Continental GT Speed Convertible dimensions and specifications.
The GT Speed convertible
benefits from an enhanced turbocharger control and torque management, thanks
to the latest ME17 engine management system, and
like all W12-engined models, it gets an energy
recuperation system which helps, with the ZF 8-speed automatic gearbox and
its Quickshift, Block Shifting and wheel-mounted paddleshift, achieve a 15 per
cent improvement in fuel economy and CO2 emissions,
when compared with the first
generation Speed model (bringing another benefit in terms of a longer
fuel autonomy with a full tank capacity).
Switching the gear
selector to ‘Sport’ mode brings a sharper throttle response,
gear-shifting at higher engine speeds and faster ‘block shifting’
(from 8th direct to 4th gear for instance).
As a Bentley Continental, the GT Speed convertible
gets the permanent all-wheel drive, system. It distributes torque on a 40
front /60 rear basis, for a sportier handling style, while also
minimising understeer during
hard cornering as the system optimises grip by modulating torque
distribution between the front and rear
axles depending on road and weather conditions.
With its lower and sharper
chassis, the Continental GT Speed convertible has a rigid bodyshell (torsional stiffness of 22,500
Nm/degree). The aluminium double-wishbone front suspension and multi-link rear setup feature
revised air suspension springs
and dampers to adapt with the kerb weight difference betwen the Coupé
(2320 kg / 5115 lb) and the heavier Convertible (2495 kg / 5500 lb).
Also, the self-levelling system is set 10 mm lower than the
Continental GT convertible (575PS, 423 kW, 567 bhp), with stiffer suspension bushes
and uprated anti-roll bars.
The steering system (rack
& pinion, power assisted, speed-sensitive ZF servotronic) has been
retuned, while keeping the 2.6 lock-to-lock turns of the Coupé model and the same 11.3 metres (37.07 ft) turning circle diameter.
Adapting with the new ME17
engine management system, Bentley indicates that while the Electronic Stability Control (ESC) is optimised for
both safety and driver involvement, it retains the “Dynamic Mode” setting that
allows increased wheel slip at higher speeds, with engine torque
reinstated more quickly after a system intervention.
Specific matrix radiator grille and bumper
Fitting at the top of the Continental range, the new GT
Speed convertible gets a specific matrix radiator grille and bumper
air intakes in a dark-tint chrome finish (opposite picture), with its special 21” Speed alloy wheels
(in silver or an optional dark tint) and
elliptical exhaust tailpipes with a rifled interior.
wings are made of superformed aluminium, and, as
with the GT Speed coupé, the winged ‘B’ badge on the
radiator shell is set upon a black enamel background. Under the bonnet, the black inlet manifold is unique to the Continental Speed
Preserving the purity of the design, the British luxury
brand explains that with the
lower suspension and 21” wheels, and despite the supercar performance, the new
GT Speed Convertible doesn't need any additional spoilers.
The "gentle lip on the double-horseshoe bootlid generates all the downforce
(needed)", even at the top speed.
tint aluminium ‘engine spin’ finish.
Inside, the four-seat
cabin features the hand-craftsmanship of the Mulliner Driving
Specification, with the diamond-quilted hide upholstery. For
the Continental GT Speed models, Bentley offers a dark tint aluminium ‘engine spin’ finish, inspired by the dashboards of the Le
Mans Bentleys of the 1920s, complementing the exterior’s dark tint chrome radiator and bumper
grilles. Other optional finishes include the range of fine wood
veneers and a satin-finish carbon fibre option for fascia and centre
infotainment system has a 15 Gigabytes built-in music space, in addition to
the possibility to
play music via an external source such as an iPod, MP3 player, the car’s own six-disc CD changer or
SD card. Depending on the regions, it also includes point of
interest mapping, optional satellite landscape imagery, live traffic data
and, where the infrastructure supports it, digital radio.
Bentley's Continental GT Speed
infotainment system also features flat panel
"balanced mode radiator" speakers (BMR), which combine the functions of
separate tweeter and midrange speakers in one unit.
Alternatively, an optional Naim for Bentley system is available with custom-built speakers and eight individual
digital sound processing
modes. When the four-layer hood – tested in
different conditions from -30°C to +50°C – is opened, the
sound settings are automatically modified to compensate for the
surrounding sound changes. A neck warmer function is
available for open air driving when outside temperature is not too warm.
While prices are expected to be
announced later, the Bentley Continental GT Speed Coupé version is sold in
continental Europe (French market example) from 212,700 euros.