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by Jay Traugott
Full of hand-crafted luxury, incredible W12 engine performance and even sleeker styling.
Although we received the first batch of photos of Bentley's Continental GT Speed a few months ago, it's only today that the British automaker has released full specifications of their new performance flagship just ahead of its public debut at the 2012 Moscow Motor Show.
Powered by a 6.0-liter twin-turbo W12 engine, the GT Speed produces an incredible 616 horsepower at 6000rpm and 590 pound-feet of torque from 2,000 to 5,000rpm. Yes, we should all be impressed.
Mated to a new ZF-eight-speed automatic transmission, Bentley claims the car goes from 0 to 60 mph in only 4.0 seconds. Top speed is a reported 205mph. Bentley claims these performance numbers are achieved due to the transmission and upgraded engine. Speaking of which, the W12 is now equipped with a new engine management system that's capable of performing (for real) 180 million individual calculations per second. It also delivers enhanced turbocharger control, torque management and overall improvements to drivability. Fuel efficiency has also been improved by 12 percent and there's a 1.6 percent reduction in C02 emissions.
Engineers also made significant upgrades to the chassis such as revising the air suspension springs and dampers for improved agility and body control. There's also a self-leveling system that's constantly monitoring ride height and damping according to road conditions. Electronic Stability Control has also been optimized to better work with the engine management system for even better driving performance. Styling wise, the GT Speed can't be mistaken for anything else other than a Bentley, but designers have made many aerodynamic improvements.
Made from an aluminum alloy, the body's construction techniques allows for more flowing lines, curves and distinct surfaces which were inspired by the original 1950s R-Type Continental. There's a new ten twin-spoke wheel design that's exclusive to the GT Speed that can be had in a bright paint or dark tint finishes. The aggressive front bumper grilles not only enhance the air intakes, but also pay homage to the Le Mans winning Bentleys of the 1920s. Buyers can also opt for the Mulliner Styling Specification package as well as the Classic Pack that adds carbon fiber on the front bumper and splitter, side sills and rear bumper diffuser.
There are also nearly 100 paint options to choose from. The hand-crafted interior, like always, uses only the finest natural leathers, polished veneers and cool-touch metals. Along with diamond-quilted, perforated leather on all four seats and door trims, the rest of the cabin is decked out with optional embroiled Bentley emblems on the headrests and even more carbon fiber. Another new feature is the 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system with sat nav. Official pricing hasn't been announced yet, but expect for it start somewhere above the "standard" Continental GT's base price of $212,600.
From the looks of everything, the 2013 Continental GT Speed is everything a proper flagship grand tourer should be. Its combination of performance, technology and luxury is quite something and we would expect nothing else from a proper Bentley.