Bentley Continental GT Speed
A Rockstar in the Family
Bentley, by the name itself catapults ones imagination to images of grandeur, elitism, and sophistication. Or to put it simply - the good life. Being behind the wheel of a Bentley gives you the same sensation that you feel when you breeze up the VIP line or step onto the Red Carpet looking fabulous. There is a different side of Bentley, a side that is fun, thrilling, and doesn’t come with a stuffy white shirt. For your viewing and reading pleasure, may I present to you the Continental GT Speed.
The GT Speed is not the chauffeur choice as the Mulsanne or Flying Spur might be. No, in fact quite the opposite. The Continental GT is made for the driver who wants to arrive on scene with a raised heart-rate and grand entrance. The sporty 2-door Coupe will add that small bit of unadulterated thrill to a coddled and cushy ride that will be hard-pressed to be matched.
Don’t get me wrong, upon arrival bystanders will still know it’s a Bentley, the front grill will blaze a path right to the curb. But with the sleek and sporty contours making it appear like a family’s European Rockstar Cousin, no matter where and what the cameras where shooting before your arrival, they will undoubtedly be now pointed in your direction.
Easing yourself into any of the four positions inside the cabin will begin with a quiet “Ooh.” The diamond quilted leather seats cradle you in a way that can only be bespoke luxury. This is even more apparent if you are lucky enough to draw the long straw and get the cockpit designated as your position.
First thing you’ll notice is the leather. From the sweeping door panels to the diamond quilted seats that you have just eased yourself into, it has been wrapped on nearly every surface with a total of 485 square feet of it in total. With such a handcrafted feel and seemingly endless amount of custom choices of color that can be ordered, I found it difficult to contemplate any other interior option.
But, let’s go on. If you’re not a leather person and feel as if you would be more inclined to the outdoors and earthy feel, then you can have your choice of ethically chosen veneers. The visible grains on the wood options are mirror-matched and placed on opposite sides of the cabin to ensure the entire space remains symmetrical.
But if you get back to the European Rockstar that we mentioned earlier, then you do have one more choice of “Engine Spin” aluminum or even carbon fibre to infuse the lux with a little more edge which turns your Grand Tourer into a bit of a ‘track car’ bad boy.
Under the bonnet is the 635 horse-power juggernaut of the Bentley powerhouse arsenal, the 6.0 litre, twin-turbocharged W12 engine. Unrivaled in nearly every sense of the word, the new W12 has an astonishing 820 Newton Metres of torque, which is 100 more than what you get in the regular W12. What does that all mean? It means that when you apply some garage-style math, you get some pretty phenomenal numbers and figures.
The GT Speed will propel you from zero to 60mph in an astonishing 4 seconds, put another 5 seconds on top of that and you’re reaching 100mph without breaking any kind of sweat. But here’s the impressive bit; top speed is a mouth-gaping 205 miles per hour.
While you’re on everyday roads, those numbers are simply difficult to appreciate or even comprehend; who really thinks that 205 miless per hour is necessary if you’re not in an airplane? Here’s the deal, the GT Speed does have technology inspired by aircraft, a rear diffuser.
A diffuser is normally found on race cars, and the science behind it is what keeps a race car glued to the track with the same principles that keep a 618-tonne Airbus in the sky…only inverted. On an F1 car, the diffuser could be responsible for up to 1,000 pounds of downward force. Their sole job is to make sure that you don’t leave the ground when you’re traveling at ultra high rates of velocity.
When you get behind the wheel of the GT Speed, you really do get a clear understanding of what these numbers really do mean.
From one moment of cruising along in pure serenity behind a casual Sunday driver, the moment instantly becomes gnarly when your right foot is mashed to the floor and the acceleration force pins you to the back of your seat. The speedometer slowly passes one triple digit number after the next and while you try to catch your breath, you realize that the over-taking is complete and some moderate braking might be necessary before the next speed camera.
Bentley has done a superb job of making their variable displacement system nearly undetectable, which is why this thrilling sensation might catch some drivers by surprise. As you’re cruising along at a steady rate, 6 of the 12 cylinders will disengage…meaning you will be getting far superior mileage. However, should the situation present itself when you need a little more ‘oomph’, the moment the throttle is opened, all 12 reactivate with a fury that will be heard from the tailpipes.
The GT Speed has very few rivals, if any at all. It is simply a fine automobile that has somewhat of an attitude when push comes to shove. The Mulsanne and Flying Spur are certainly on the elite list of ‘best of the best’, but why can’t there be a happy medium between the high-life and the track-life?
There’s room for 4 so you don’t have to worry about being that person who bought a impractical 2-seater sports car. There’s enough room in the back for kids and with stowage space optimized, a spontaneous drive over the weekend will be the new family activity. You’ll be reaching for the keys before you have your first cup of coffee. See you back in the office!
Price as Tested: $300,000
Engine: 6.0 litre twin-turbocharged W12
0-60mph: 4 Seconds
Top Speed: 205mph
Top Rivals: Nothing specific