Automotive Intelligence - the web for automotive professionals and car enthusiasts
September 26, 2007
The resultant performance is exceptional, with a top speed of 202mph (326km/h), a zero to 60mph sprint time of just 4.3 seconds (0-100km/h in 4.5s) and effortless overtaking capability.
Complementing the Continental GT Speed’s high performance is its unique chassis tune that delivers tauter handling and improved agility, with new, wider 9.5J 20-inch wheels and bespoke performance tyres as standard fitment. Fade-resistant carbon ceramic brakes are available as an option. Subtle design touches, including a dark-tinted front grille and larger sports tailpipes, reinforce the sporting character of the Continental GT Speed.
Inspiration for the GT Speed came from the legendary ‘Speed’ models that first appeared in 1923. The standard Bentley 3-litre had already established Bentley’s engineering superiority in terms of roadholding, handling and braking, but W.O. Bentley, the company’s founder, recognised the market potential for a more potent version aimed at the enthusiast driver who demanded superior performance. His response, the 3-litre ‘Speed Model’, complete with twin SU carburettors and a higher compression ratio engine, became one of the most coveted of all Bentleys.
Both the GT Speed and the 552bhp (560PS) Continental GT benefit from internal efficiency improvements to deliver reduced fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. The Continental GT remains outstandingly quick – its top speed is unchanged at 198mph (318km/h), with a 0-60mph sprint time of 4.6 seconds (0-100km/h in 4.8s).
The all-wheel drive Continental GT changed the face of the luxury coupe market and attracted a wider audience to the Bentley marque. It also represented the first step in Bentley's renaissance, positioning the company at the pinnacle of both technology and consumer aspiration. Since its launch, demand for a sportier version of the Continental GT was met by the successful introduction of the 2005 GT Mulliner Driving Specification and the limited edition GT Diamond Series in 2006, to celebrate 60 years of Bentley at Crewe. Now, with the launch of the Continental GT Speed, customers will enjoy even greater choice. Bentley Chairman and Chief Executive Dr Franz Josef-Paefgen welcomes the expansion of the Continental GT model offering:
“The Continental GT is a highly successful, modern-day Bentley icon. The new GT Speed, with its harder-edged character and sportier driving experience, builds on this success.”
(Sept 20, 2007)