Bentley Continental GT Speed to debut at 2012 Goodwood Festival of Speed

Andross Moonah - CAP staff
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Bentley's Continental GT is the very embodiment of the term "grand touring." Introduced in 2003, the 2+2 luxury coupe is now in its second generation and, like its predecessor, will soon be available in a range-topping "Speed" specification.

Though the Continental GT is currently offered in twin-turbocharged V8 and W12 versions, the second-generation Continental GT Speed boasts significant performance advantages. The GT Speed uses an improved version of the 6.0-litre twin-turbocharged W12 engine to yield 616 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque. That compares to 567 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque from the standard car's 6.0-litre twin-turbocharged W12, and 500 horsepower and 487 pound feet of torque from the base 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged V8.

The Continental GT Speed's massive engine is mated to a new close-ratio eight-speed automatic transmission which contributes to improved fuel economy and CO2 emissions figures, and power is routed to all four wheels via a standard all-wheel-drive system. Acceleration from zero to 100 km/h for the Continental GT Speed is claimed in 4.2 seconds and the top speed is rated at a staggering 330 km/h (205 mph). In short, the new Continental GT Speed is Bentley's fastest production model ever.

Bentley's new range-topping grand touring car rides on 21-inch "Speed" wheels wrapped in 275/35R21 Pirelli PZero ultra-high performance tires. The suspension has been lowered for a sportier stance in comparison to the Speed's two Continental GT counterparts, and it provides what Bentley calls a "harder-edged, agile Bentley driving experience." Bentley's new Continental GT Speed also features an uprated steering system.

"For nearly a decade, the Bentley Continental GT has defined high luxury, high performance grand touring, and the unique W-12 engine has been so successful that Bentley is now the world's largest producer of 12-cylinder engines," said Wolfgang Dürheimer, Bentley's chairman and chief executive. "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."

The new Bentley Continental GT Speed makes its debut at this year's Goodwood Festival of Speed in England which begins on Friday, June 29th and ends Sunday, July 1st.
©(Copyright Canadian Auto Press)

Topics: Sports Coupe, Bentley, 2013, Continental GT Speed,

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