The Bentley Continental GT traces its lineage back to the R-Type Continental of the 1950s, setting the benchmark for luxury and performance. Over the decades, this legacy has been meticulously upheld, evolving with the times while never losing its essence. The 2023 Bentley Continental GT Speed, as the latest entrant, seeks to elevate this rich history even further. Proclaiming itself the “most dynamic road car” in Bentley’s storied century-long journey, it certainly sets high expectations. But does it live up to this audacious claim? Let’s delve in.
Sitting behind the wheel of the GT Speed, there’s an undeniable surge of anticipation. With the revered 6.0-liter W12 beneath the bonnet, you’re at the helm of a staggering 650 horsepower and 664 pound-feet of torque. The raw emotion as the car surges forward, lunging from 0 to 60 mph in a mere 3.5 seconds, is something words can scarcely describe. The world blurs around you, and as the needle pushes forward, you can feel the adrenaline rush, hurtling you towards that phenomenal 208 mph top speed.
Switch to sport mode, and the GT Speed transforms, the beast within awakens. The car clings to gears, hungry for every ounce of power, downshifting earlier to remain in the heart of its performance band. The eight-speed dual-clutch transmission is a masterpiece, shifting gears with twice the urgency of the standard W12 model in sport mode. Every gear change, every rev, is a symphony of power and engineering, embodying the true essence of Bentley’s sporty DNA in the Speed variant. It’s not just driving; it’s an experience that evokes raw emotion, connecting driver and machine in a dance of unparalleled power and luxury.
The GT Speed introduces a slew of advanced chassis technologies. The electronic all-wheel steering stands out, offering a nimble steering experience, especially in sport mode. This new feature enables rear wheels to steer in the opposite direction to the front wheels at lower speeds, magnifying agility. At higher speeds, they steer in the same direction, emphasizing stability.
Moreover, Bentley has meticulously recalibrated the traction control and torque distribution to accentuate the character shift relative to the standard Continental GT. This recalibration, combined with an electronic rear differential, allows the GT Speed to carve corners with utmost precision, making it a sheer pleasure from behind the wheel.
The newly-engineered carbon ceramic brake system is another commendable addition. It ensures that this beast can be tamed effortlessly with remarkable brake fade resistance. The weight savings of over 72 pounds due to the ceramic material, combined with the massive ten-piston front calipers, further underscores Bentley’s commitment to unparalleled performance in the Speed model.
The Bentley Continental GT Speed doesn’t merely impress with its performance; its build quality stands as a paragon of automotive excellence. Every inch of the car exudes meticulous craftsmanship, a product of countless hours spent ensuring perfection. From the finely stitched leather interiors to the impeccably fitted panels, the GT Speed showcases Bentley’s unwavering dedication to precision and luxury.
Exterior-wise, the GT Speed makes a statement with a dark tint radiator grille, unique sports sills, and 22” Speed wheels, evoking its performance credentials. Inside, the unique duotone color split made of hide and matching Alcantara feels lavish and sporty simultaneously. With 15 main and 11 secondary hide color choices, the customization options are vast, catering to even the most discerning owners.
The 2023 Bentley Continental GT Speed is more than just a car; it’s a statement of opulence, perfection and performance. While any Bentley signifies an unrivaled blend of luxury and prowess, the Speed model propels this distinction into an entirely new dimension. At the core of this masterpiece is the twin-turbo W12 engine, a behemoth that offers a visceral punch of power and a surge of low-end torque that leaves one breathless. But it’s not just about the brute force; it’s the harmonious melding of this power with supreme comfort that sets the GT Speed apart. Each roar of the engine is matched with an interior embrace that cocoons you in luxury, making every drive feel both exhilarating and sublime. This isn’t merely transportation; it’s an experience. An experience that epitomizes Bentley’s unwavering commitment to perfection, ensuring that the GT Speed is not just a beacon of automotive excellence, but a journey into the heart of grand touring luxury.