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by Adam Lynton
The marque’s fastest production model ever will make its debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.
Bentley has introduced its newest performance flagship and fastest production model ever in the form of the Continental GT Speed coupe. At its heart is an upgraded version of the 6-liter 48-valve, twin-turbocharged W12 engine, which develops 616hp and 590lb-ft of torque. Supercar performance equates to a 0-60mph sprint time of 4.0 seconds and a top speed of 205mph.
The new Speed's thunderous power is transmitted to wheels via a close-ratio, ZF eight-speed automatic transmission, which makes for near imperceptible gear changes in addition to contributing to an overall 12 percent improvement in fuel economy and CO2 emissions. A unique chassis includes improved steering and suspension systems and a lowered ride height. Coupled with brand-new 21-inch Speed wheels, available in two lustrous finishes, the new Continental Speed boasts tauter handling and improved agility. A permanent AWD system utilizing a central Torsen differential, harnesses the power and ensures high levels of grip and stability.
Subtle enhancements to the muscular, elegant exterior include a dark-tinted matrix front grille, lower air intakes and the rifled finish to the exhaust tailpipes. Inside, a hand-crafted cabin features the Mulliner Driving Specification as standard and boasts a number of signature Speed design cues. "For nearly a decade, the Bentley Continental GT has defined high luxury, high performance grand touring and the unique W12 engine has been so successful that Bentley is now the world's largest producer of 12-cylinder engines," said Wolfgang Durheimer, 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." Deliveries will commence in October, but first the GT Speed will make its international debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed where it will be driven up the Goodwood Hill twice a day.