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A Truly Inspirational Bentley Coupe
The Continental GT Speed is
one of the most powerful production Bentleys ever and the first to top 200 mph.
A potent addition to the company's highly successful Continental series, the GT
Speed extends the appeal of the Continental GT coupe to driving enthusiasts who
place a high value on outright performance and agile handling.
The exterior style of the Continental GT and GT Speed models is defined by
their wide, lower air intake and upright radiator grille that also provide
increased airflow to the more powerful GT Speed's engine. Its 600 hp W12 engine
develops 15 percent more torque and nine percent more power than the standard
Continental GT, while engine efficiency is optimized by the use of lower
friction, lighter-weight components and a new engine management system. The
resultant performance is exceptional, with a top speed of 202 mph, a zero to 60
mph sprint time of just 4.3 seconds 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 tires 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.
for the GT Speed came from the legendary 'Speed' models that first appeared in
1923. The standard Bentley 3-liter had already established Bentley's engineering
superiority in terms of roadholding, handling and braking, but W.O. Bentley, the
company's founder, recognized the market potential for a more potent
versionaimed at the enthusiast driver who demanded superior performance. His
response, the 3-litre 'Speed Model', complete with twin SU carburetors and a
higher compression ratio engine, became one of the most coveted of all Bentleys.
Both the GT Speed and the 552 hp Continental GT benefit from internal
efficiency improvements to the engine that deliver reduced fuel consumption and
CO2 emissions. The Continental GT remains outstandingly quick - its top speed is
unchanged at 198 mph, with a 0-60 mph sprint time of 4.6 seconds.
all-wheel drive Continental GT changed the face of the luxury coupe market in
2003 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. With the launch of
the Continental GT Speed, customers can enjoy even greater choice.
Engine Improvements for All Continental GT Models
At the heart of
both Continental GT models is the Bentley 6-liter, twin turbocharged W12 engine,
the most compact 12-cylinder engine in production. The 48-valve cylinder head
employs four camshafts and continually variable valve-timing. Power is
transmitted via a ZF six-speed automatic transmission.
A host of engine
and transmission enhancements have been introduced on the 552 hp Continental GT
to enhance both the refinement and efficiency of this high technology powertrain.
- New crankcase design to reduce internal losses.
- More efficient catalyst and exhaust system for improved emissions.
- Lighter weight single chain drive for camshaft.
- New engine management system and faster response cam sensor.
For the Continental GT, the engine continues to produce 552 hp at 6100
rev/min and a maximum torque of 479 lb-ft from 1600 rev/min. The twin,
low-inertia turbochargers are a key factor in producing the flat torque curve,
characteristic of every Bentley.
A higher output of the W12 engine is
specified for the GT Speed, sharing engine efficiency improvements with the GT
model. New lighter weight con rods enhance engine response, while new pistons,
with anodized compression ring grooves, are designed to withstand increased
cylinder pressures. Together with a recalibrated version of the new engine
management system, the GT Speed develops nine percent more power than the GT -
600 hp at 6000 rev/min. The maximum torque of 553 lb-ft at 1750 rev/min
represents an increase of over 15 percent versus the standard engine. As a
result, the GT Speed becomes the first production Bentley to top 200 mph, with a
V-max of 202 mph.
Both the Continental GT Speed and GT models now produce
lower CO2 emissions of 396 g/km, down from 410 g/km, an improvement of 3.5
percent. Fuel consumption is improved by a similar amount.
ZF 6HP26 six-speed automatic gearbox has the ability to lock up its torque
converter during normal driving conditions replicating the immediacy of a manual
transmission while maintaining the smoothness of an automatic. A manual override
function allows clutchless
manual sequential changes via the gearlever or steering wheel paddles.
Providing huge levels of grip and stability in all weather conditions, the
all-wheel drive system harnesses the prodigious power and torque of both the
Continental GT and GT Speed coupes. The system uses a central Torsen
differential and a differential on both the front and rear axles providing a
standard 50:50 torque split. This front to rear ratio is variable depending on
the available grip and the system can sense slip of less than one percent and
react by apportioning the engine's torque to either the front or rear axle.
The advanced electronic stability program (ESP) has been uprated to ESP 8.1
for both models. The 'Sport Traction' mode moderates ESP intervention at low
speeds, providing a greater degree of driver interaction and control. This is
particularly beneficial from standing starts, for example when pulling away
uphill on low traction surfaces.
The Continental GT Speed offers a new
'Dynamic Mode' that allows increased wheel slip at higher speeds than the 'Sport
Traction' mode on the standard chassis. Torque is reinstated more quickly after
the traction control system is triggered, giving the spirited driver a greater
sense of control and the ability to exploit the full potential of the new
Highly Tuned Suspension for Outstanding Handling
Chassis, suspension and steering modifications for both the Continental GT and
GT Speed models ensure they have the handling to match their formidable
powertrains. Both are suspended on double wishbones at the front and a
trapezoidal multi-link system at the rear. Much of the suspension is made from
lightweight aluminum. The GT Speed model also benefits from a solid-mounted
front subframe, while high-stiffness aluminum front uprights are common to both
models. Together with stiffer rear suspension bushes, these changes deliver even
sharper handling characteristics. The GT Speed also features modified front and
rear anti-roll bars to minimize understeer and optimize handling balance.
Self-leveling air suspension that constantly monitors and adjusts the ride
height and damping according to road conditions is common to both models,
although the GT Speed is engineered to sit 10 mm lower at the front and 15 mm
lower at the rear to improve handling dynamics. Uprated springs and dampers,
together with revised software control, further improve the agility and body
control of the GT Speed.
All-new 9.5Jx20-inch alloy wheels with bespoke
Pirelli P-Zero 275/35 tires have a major effect on the GT Speed's steering and
grip levels. The wider wheel and reduced tire wall profile improve the tire's
lateral stiffness giving noticeably sharper steering response and feel. The new
Pirelli performance tires are developed specifically for the GT Speed and
benefit from a unique construction and rubber compound for enhanced levels of
Both the Continental GT and GT Speed benefit from changes to the
rack and pinion steering. Revisions to the system's hydraulics reduce friction
and improve steering feel, while a new version of the speed-sensitive Servotronic system also increases levels of feedback to the
Secondary ride levels - the response of the car to poor road
surfaces, pot holes or cats' eyes, for example - have been improved on the 552
hp Continental GT model with the addition of low friction dampers. And even
though the new GT Speed has stiffer, lowered suspension its ride quality is on a
par with the 2007 Continental GT.
The Continental GT and GT Speed are
both equipped with the largest brakes of any production passenger car on sale
today. The ventilated front discs have a 405 mm diameter and are 36 mm thick.
Ventilated discs are also used at the back, with a diameter of 335 mm and a
thickness of 22 mm.
For both models, the performance boundaries can be
further extended by Bentley's optional carbon/silicon carbide brake system.
Boasting 420 x 40 mm carbon-silicon carbide, cross-drilled front discs and 356 x
28 mm rears, with eight-piston calipers, the new brakes are even larger than the
standard system. The system provides a 20 kg reduction in rotating and unsprung
mass, benefiting steering response and handling.
fade-resistant braking system minimizes disc distortion under high thermal
conditions. Under normal driving conditions the brake discs will last the
lifetime of the car. Furthermore, brake pad life is doubled compared with the
standard braking system.
Complementing the braking systems of both
Continental GT models are sophisticated safety systems, including Hydraulic
Braking Assistance (HBA), anti-lock braking (ABS), drag torque control (MSR) and
Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD). The latter monitors the level of grip
available to each tire and apportions braking force accordingly. This not only
helps reduce stopping distances but also greatly enhances the control enjoyed by
the driver under heavy braking.
Enhanced Cabin Comfort
2010 Continental GT and Continental GT Speed can both be ordered with the 'Naim
for Bentley' premium audio system to create the world's best in-car sound stage.
Designed exclusively for Bentley by Naim, the renowned British hi-fi
manufacturer, the system features an 1100 Watt amplifier - the world's most
powerful production unit fitted in a car - and 15 speakers. The speaker drive
units are specifically tailored by Naim to the cabin of each model in the
Bentley range to provide a unique and personalized audio experience.
Bentley is also the first car manufacturer to use a next-generation Digital
Signal Processor (DSP) in its audio system, enhancing the listening experience
optional iPod, MP3 and USB interface is located in the glovebox, enabling
customers to connect personal music to the in-car Infotainment system. When an
iPod is connected, the tracks are displayed on the Infotainment screen.
further driver convenience feature introduced as standard for 2010 is the new
graphics for the Park Distance Control which are displayed on the Infotainment
screen. Areas to the front and rear of the car are divided into nine zones and
within these zones orange bars indicate the distance to obstacles. As the car
moves closer to an obstacle, the corresponding bar will move closer to the car
image on the screen.
Subtle Changes to Acclaimed Coupe Design
The Continental GT has received many accolades for its distinctive, muscular
and elegant style. It has redefined the concept of the contemporary Grand
Touring coupe: forward looking yet faithful to Bentley's design heritage.
Classic sculpted coupe design cues such as curvaceous rear haunches, short front
overhang, prominent front grille and longer rear overhang echo the look and feel
of some of the great Bentleys of yesteryear. The style of the GT has stimulated
customer interest like no other Bentley to create a modern-day design icon.
The principal changes to the frontal appearance are common to both the GT
and the new GT Speed. The subtly revised front grille, now more vertical, has a
more pronounced square edge accentuating the GT's distinctive Bentley profile.
Beneath the grille, the all-new lower bumper design features a wider central air
intake that emphasizes the sporting stance of the new models. Chromed bezels
around the headlamps complement the new frontal design.
GT Speed is distinguished from the Continental GT by its dark-tinted chrome
matrix grille to the main and lower air intakes. Bright chromed grilles may be
specified at no extra cost. At the rear, a black lower bumper valance and wider,
rifled exhaust tailpipes emphasize the GT Speed's sporting character, reinforced
by new multi-spoke 20-inch sports alloy wheels. As an option, these may be
specified with a dark chromed finish.
The GT Speed's cabin is based on
that of the Mulliner Driving Specification (a
cost option on the standard GT). It includes a choice of veneers (Burr Walnut,
Dark Stained Burr Walnut and Piano Black), Diamond-quilted hide seats with
embroidered Bentley emblem, indented hide headlining, a sports alloy gearlever,
three-spoke multi-function sports steering wheel, drilled alloy foot-pedals as
well as 'Speed' logos to the treadplates.
A range of Mulliner options
provide further opportunities for personalization including fascia panels,
header and centre console in bright aluminum or, unique to the GT Speed, dark
tint aluminum (compatible only with Dark Stained Burr Walnut veneer or Piano
Black veneer and single tone interior color scheme). The Continental GT also
benefits from a new Bentley 'B' brake pedal.
Continental GT and GT Speed
customers have a choice of 16 'standard' paint colors and 17 premium grade
leather hide colors, including three new exterior paint colors (Havana, White
Sand and Onyx) and two new interior leather hide colors (Linen and Imperial
Blue) . Customers also have the option to select from the Arnage color palette
or choose Bentley's color-matching program to produce a bespoke color of their
Rear View Camera Aid
A new option on both
Continental GT and GT speed models is the rear view camera, which assists a
driver when reversing into a parking space. The camera is activated
automatically when reverse gear is selected, and an image is displayed on the
The system also incorporates a parking assist
function, in which the camera image is overlaid with two guidelines that show
the path that the car will take when reversing. These guidelines curve as the
steering wheel is turned to show how the steering will affect the path of the
car. The system can be programmed for either reversing into a parking bay or
parallel parking, depending on the driver's requirements.
Cruise Control System
Standard on both Continental GT and GT Speed is
an additional cruise control function, which uses the new instrument panel
display to show the driver's set cruising speed. For the first time, this speed
can be adjusted in either 1 mph or 5 mph (1 km/h or 10 km/h) increments using
the controls on either the three- or four-spoke steering wheel, (depending on
model), the revised target speed being shown on the display.
Bentley Continental GT Speed: Photo Gallery, Review (1/2) and Specifications