Walter Owen Bentley, or W.O. as he liked being called, dreamt of building the fastest and most elegant cars in the world. He was fortunate enough to realize that dream during his lifetime. His cars won the famed Le Mans five times between 1924 and 1930, and today the brand continues to produce some of the finest automobiles in the world.
The Bentley Continental GT Speed is proudly the brand’s most powerful production car to date. Under the hood rests a mammoth 6-liter turbocharged W12 engine producing 650 BHP and a max torque of 900 Nm. The numbers only get more impressive for the 0-100 km/h, which takes just 3.6 seconds. The acceleration is like nothing we’ve experienced before thanks to the immaculately designed launch-control system. Simply press the brake with your left foot then pedal to the metal with your right – the GT Speed will swiftly rev up to 5,500 rpm and off you go. The W12 is a gentle giant that is more than capable of shooting the 2.4-ton vehicle to the max speed of 335 km/h.
With all that might, the optional yet very useful carbon-ceramic brakes would be a good choice. With a diameter of 17.3 inches for the front discs and 16.1 inches for the rear, they also are proudly the largest on the market.
Only true connoisseurs will be able to spot the fine difference between the GT Speed and the rest. The distinctive carbon-fiber styling package adds aggression to the design. The turbine-like 22-inch wheels look fantastic, while the front grille is darker in finish and adds a very elegant touch. The diamond-patterned headlights, which are soon to be replaced, have long been a favorite of ours. New side skirts add to the performance feel while the “Speed” and “W12” badges are displayed prominently.
As one steps into the palatial interior of the Continental GT Speed, the elegant three-tone color and the diamond-quilted leather and luxe Alcantara provides a luxurious yet sporty setting. Naturally, there is a multitude of color options to choose from. The car we drove had the understated piano black and white combination with the center console to match it. The front seats are heated and cooled, and the ever-essential massage function is a wonderful addition, while the back seats are all but for decoration. The fully retractable sunroof shade allows plenty of sunshine for a bright and airy feel.
The Continental GT Speed comes with an electronically limited slip differential which vastly improves stability and traction while keeping the performance feel of the car very much alive. The rear wheels will turn in the same direction as the front at high speeds to further aid stability, thanks to the rear-wheel steering function. GT Speed comes with four driving modes, Comfort, Sport, Custom, and the Bentley mode. We personally enjoyed the sport mode as none of the driving comfort was compromised while the engine roar and performance were just right. In terms of overall comfort, it truly is a magic carpet ride powered by a W12.
The Bentley Continental GT Speed is a true gentleman’s racer that combines peak engineering and design with unmatchable performance. It will turn heads when it needs to and leave you in the dust if you challenge it.