Car Enthusiast - click here to access the home page


New Bentley Continental GT Speed unveiled. Image by Bentley.

New Bentley Continental GT Speed unveiled
Rapid new flagship two-door is Bentley’s most powerful road car ever.
<< earlier article     later article >>


News homepage

What's all this about?

It's the dawn of a new era for Bentley. Its W12 has been consigned to the history books, and this Continental GT Speed marks the arrival of the company's new plug-in hybrid powertrain. The British luxury car maker describes it as an 'ultra performance hybrid', and figures of 782hp and 1,000Nm of torque mean it's the most powerful production Bentley ever, even outperforming the second-generation Continental Supersports and limited-run Batur.

Sounds brawny, but the old car was powerful, wasn't it?

It was, but compared with the new model it 'only' had 659hp and 900Nm of torque, so these figures have risen by 19 and 11 per cent respectively in the new car. With the demise of the old W12 seen in the previous Speed, a twin-turbocharged V8 has been installed, pumping out 600hp and 800Nm on its own. This is joined by an electric motor that makes up to 190hp and 450Nm of torque.

The electric motor is located within the GT Speed's transmission housing and helps negate turbo lag by filling in the power curve at lower speeds. As a result, the Continental GT Speed can sprint from 0-60mph in 3.1 seconds, while the car's top speed is 208mph.

The posh dragster image remains intact then?

Indeed. But as well as being faster in a straight line, the new Continental GT Speed also benefits from Bentley's ‘Performance Active Chassis’. This features active four-wheel drive managing torque distribution between all four wheels, with an electronic limited-slip diff for the rear axle, plus there's four-wheel steering for greater agility. Bentley Dynamic Ride is a 48-volt active anti-roll system that further enhances the dynamics, while dual-valve dampers and dual-chamber air springs mean the Continental GT Speed should be a comfortable cruiser when needs be.

If this sounds like too much electrical assistance, Bentley also allows the driver to switch off the electronic stability control completely, while near-perfect 50:50 weight distribution should ensure the car can be balanced on the throttle without any dramas.

I'm guessing fuel economy is going to be better as well...

There's a 25.9kWh battery (ok, only 22kWh of that is usable) mounted behind the rear axle powering the electric motor, and Bentley claims that the GT Speed has a range of up to 50 miles on electricity alone. When combined with the petrol in the tank, there's a maximum overall range of 534 miles. The GT Speed can travel in fully electric mode at speeds up to 87mph if you don't use full throttle, while the battery can be recharged in two and three-quarter hours at up to 11kW on an AC charger.

The plug-in hybrid system features a variety of modes – pure EV, electric boost, regenerative braking and charge mode - with the latter topping up the battery while you're on the move for silent driving at a later stage.

I spy some styling changes, too…

The arrival of the plug-in hybrid model is also an opportunity for Bentley to revamp the Continental GT, so much so that it's calling this the fourth-generation model. Read the small print, and the new model has 68 per cent new components when compared with the outgoing car. The exterior has been cleaned up, with less fussy detailing on show, while the single round headlamps are a feature that hasn't been seen on a Bentley production car since the S2 of 1959. On the GT Speed they feature 'eyebrow' daytime running lights, while the main lights feature 120 matrix LEDs that are designed to deliver a clear view at night.

At the rear, the bodywork has been designed to generate downforce without the need to add an adjustable spoiler, while the oval LED taillamps feature a 3D diamond pattern that, according to Bentley, create a molten lava effect when illuminated. Finishing off the exterior updates is a new set of 22-inch wheels that take supposedly take design inspiration from tiger claws.

I assume the cabin is as plush as ever…

Hand-crafted cabins are Bentley's speciality, and the new Continental GT Speed doesn't disappoint. There is the usual range of bespoke personalisation options available, and the new sculpted quilting takes inspiration from modern fashion, while a Dark Chrome package turns down the brightness of some of the car's components, such as the door handles, speaker grilles and organ-stop air-vent controls.

There are 20-way adjustable seats that can be upgraded to Wellness seating, with Postural Adjust and Auto Climate functions that are designed to enhance relaxation on longer trips.

The three-sided rotating centre console display is carried over from the outgoing car, so owners can choose between a 12.3-inch touchscreen, a trio of analogue dials or a blank veneer for the dashboard. There's mood lighting in 30 different shades, laminated glass that reduces exterior noise intrusion by nine decibels when compared with standard glass, and a choice of three sound systems. The top-end set-up is from audio specialist Naim, and features 2,200 watts of power, 18 speakers and Active Bass Transducers in the front seats to enhance the sound effects.

Online connectivity includes remote access to the car via a smartphone app, where you can check the car's charging status when it's plugged in, while wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are also included.

Did I spot a convertible in the images?

Well spotted. The Continental GTC Speed will launch at the same time as the coupe. The drop-top features the same updates, but as it’s heavier it has a 0-60mph time of ‘only’ 3.2 seconds, and top speed is limited to 177mph. Its canvas roof can be stowed in as little as 19 seconds, and it operates at speeds of up to 30mph.

Prices for the new Bentley Continental GT and GTC Speeds haven't been announced, but first deliveries are expected in Q3 of 2024.

Shane O'Donoghue - 25 Jun 2024

2025 Bentley Continental GTC Speed. Image by Bentley.2025 Bentley Continental GTC Speed. Image by Bentley.2025 Bentley Continental GTC Speed. Image by Bentley.2025 Bentley Continental GTC Speed. Image by Bentley.2025 Bentley Continental GTC Speed. Image by Bentley.

2025 Bentley Continental GTC Speed. Image by Bentley.2025 Bentley Continental GTC Speed. Image by Bentley.2025 Bentley Continental GTC Speed. Image by Bentley.2025 Bentley Continental GTC Speed. Image by Bentley.2025 Bentley Continental GTC Speed. Image by Bentley.    - Bentley road tests
- Bentley news
- Continental GT images

High-performance Panameras at the double. Image by Porsche.
Porsche unveils new Panamera GTS and Turbo S E-Hybrid models
Porsche turns up the heat with a pair of sharper luxury executives.
Porsche beefs up Macan range with two new models. Image by Porsche.
Two new models added to Porsche Macan line
The single-motor, entry-level Macan and the 516hp 4S join Porsche’s electric SUV line-up, from £67,200.
Audi turns the A4 into all-new A5. Image by Audi.
Audi switches A4 into the A5
Rebadging protocol means the Audi A5 saloon and Avant are the new challengers for the BMW 3 Series.

 215 Racing
 A. Kahn Design
 AC Cars
 AC Schnitzer
 Alfa Romeo
 APS Sportec
 Aston Martin
 Auto Union
 Cooper Tires
 David Brown
 David Brown Automotive
 De Tomaso
 Detroit Electric
 Eagle E-type
 edo competition
 FAB Design

 Factory Five
 Faralli & Mazzanti
 General Motors
 Gordon Murray
 Gordon Murray Automotive
 Gordon Murray Design
 Gray Design
 Great Wall
 Heffner Performance
 Joss Developments
 Land Rover
 Loma Performance
 Monte Carlo
 Nichols Cars

 Project Runningblade
 Project Velocity
 Range Rover
 Red Bull
 Ronn Motor Company
 SDR Sportscars
 The Little Car Company
 Thunder Power
 Tommy Kaira
 Vanda Electrics
 VL Automotive


External links:   | Irish Car Market News |

Internal links:   | Home | Privacy | Contact us | Archives | Old motor show reports | Follow Car Enthusiast on Twitter | Copyright 1999-2024 ©