Bentley Continental GT Speed

“Luxury and Power Never looked So Good!”

Three motor car companies in the world represent the epitome of Luxury – two have a history almost as old as the car itself. The third, funnily enough, is a relative newcomer backed by what could arguably be called the car’s creator. These names, if not evidently apparent, are Rolls Royce, Bentley, and Maybach (Mercedes). The anchors, Rolls and Maybach, lack something that is core to Bentley as a luxury manufacturer; a racing pedigree. This history of racing is steeped into the heart of Bentley, which in my humble opinion, makes Bentley the most intriguing and driver-focused of the uber-luxury brands. This is no better exemplified by the Bentley Continental GT Speed.

A few upfront confessions. Bentley, although a British nameplate, has been owned by the German VW Group since 1998. This melding of British and German has resulted in severe upgrades to the Brand. Think Lamborghini. Few would argue that VW Group’s acquisition of Lamborghini resulted in a product that is any less Italian. The same goes for Bentley; this combination has given Bentley some needed German engineering screams, over-engineering, and reliability.

Now that I have put all the cards on the table, let’s talk about the Continental GT Speed. The current iteration of the Continental GT is in its third generation and was introduced in 2021. The speed represents the more aggressive, steroid-injected version of the Continental GT.

Under the British sculpted speed skin lies a 650 hp and 664 lb-ft W12. This is a smaller version of the W configuration motor used in the Bugatti Chiron Hypercar for the uninitiated. The W12 enhances its output by adding two turbochargers and a 48-volt electronic active roll control system. These features continuously adjust the anti-roll bars for reduced body movement and increased handling. An 8-speed dual-clutch is added to this firepower. It translates to a 3.6 sprint to 100km for a vehicle that tips the scales at just under 5,000 lbs (2,244 kg); that’s the same weight as a cargo container. To reign in this ferocity, the speed utilizes an all-wheel-drive system and rear-wheel steering combined with an advanced torque vector system to send power to the wheel(s) with the most incredible grip. The all-wheel-drive system is biased to the rear wheels, which gives the speed a unique rear-drive feel.

The speed looks more aggressive and hunkered than any other GT version to set itself apart. The front appears menacing with a dark tint granite painted radiator and lower bumper grilles. The wheels are forged 22” Speed wheels unique only to the speed.

The appearance package is completed by speed badging and flanking the front fenders and door sill plates. Inside, the speed exudes what the Bentley does best.

The rugged interior surfaces can be fitted with optional Carbon Fibre fascia with a Piano Black center console, a unique Speed color combination, and a fascia badge. Nearly 11 hides go into forming the leather interior (sorry, my Vegan friends).

The seat headrests are embossed with the Speed logo, which are 12-way adjustable buckets unique to the speed.

This interior makes the speed the epitome of a GT car, where you can see yourself cruising from France to the Swiss Alps and arriving there restful and relaxed.

The interior Luxury is further enhanced by a 12.3” rotating infotainment screen. When active, the screen seamlessly blends into the interior space.

When turned off, the screen rotates 360° to blend into the dash as if no screen exists. The Veneer Fascia can be customized to include vehicle information dials, temperature, oil pressure, and compass. The speed also integrates modern safety systems. It includes blind spot monitoring and road sign recognition to display speed in real-time to the driver. The 360° bird’s eye view of the vehicle during parking and rear traffic alert with exit warning prevents you from opening your Speed doors as a bike or vehicle passes you.

Bentley’s dedication to exemplifying Luxury and adhering to a racing heritage that can still be felt behind the wheel of their cars, like the speed, makes the Bentley a forerunner.

It is ahead of the Rolls and Maybachs of the world. I think it’s the fact that speed is a driver-focused vehicle that plucks my heartstrings like no other luxury vehicle can. The others appear more like vehicles you should be driven in, not vehicles you should and want to drive.

Highlights:

  • Twin Turbo W12 Engine
  • 22-inch wheels
  • Speed badges and black exterior accents, grill, and fascia
  • $350,000 sticker price
  • 26 interior veneer options
  • 15 Leather interior color options
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