Simply put, this is the most capable Bentley ever.
The new Bentley Continental GT Speed is the most dynamic road car in the company's 101-year history – and that's not just marketing speak. The Speed extracts even more power from the Continental GT's 6.0-litre W12, adds poise via all-wheel steering and an advanced suspension setup, and looks even sharper with updated exterior styling and a brand-new "Speed" badge.
The calling card of this new Conti GT Speed is that monstrous twin-turbocharged 6.0-litre W12. Here that engine pumps out 650 bhp (485 kilowatts) and 664 pound-feet (900 newton-metres), which represents a 24-horse increase over the traditional Continental GT. That extra oomph allows the GT Speed to hit 60 miles per hour in 3.5 seconds – 0.1-second quicker than the standard model – and a top speed of 208 mph (335 kmh).
But this car undergoes more than just a power increase; Bentley updated the eight-speed dual-clutch transmission to respond quicker and with more aggression, specifically in Sport mode. The retuned gearbox reportedly shifts twice as quickly as the same setup in the standard Conti GT, which helps the GT Speed achieve its quicker 60 time.
The suspension and steering underwent thorough reworkings, as well. There's a new Electronic All-Wheel Steering function that improves agility by moving the front and rear wheels in opposite directions at moderate speeds, while all four wheels turn in the same direction at extremely high speeds to improve stability. Combined with a Bentley Dynamic Ride feature – a 48-volt system that reduces the body roll of this 2,273 kilogram (5,011-pound) vehicle – and a limited-slip differential, Bentley says this Continental GT Speed is the most agile one to date.
Visually, the Continental GT Speed offers subtly more aggressive looks than the normal GT model. The grille, lower bumper air intakes, and side sills wear a Dark Tint finish that helps toughen up the exterior. Chrome "Speed" badging with updated text adorns the front bumper, and 22-inch trim-specific wheels finished in a standard bright silver (with the choice of a dark tint or gloss black) live in the wheel arches.
Gallery: 2021 Bentley Continental GT Speed
A similarly aggressive treatment carries over to the cabin, with a unique two-tone leather and Alcantara treatment that covers the seats, steering wheel, and portions of the dash. Buyers can choose from 15 main colours and 11 secondary colours – meaning you can mix and match in many different ways. The centre console, meanwhile, sports an optional dark-tinted aluminium insert to match that same treatment on the exterior. And of course, the iconic rotating centre display from the base Conti carries over here.
The new Bentley Continental GT Speed goes on sale later this year. The company hasn't released pricing information yet, but expect a hefty hike over the traditional GT model with a V8.
Unfortunately, the Continental GT Speed is not available in the UK. Yes, you read correctly - not available in its home market. It is also not available in mainland China, EU27, Switzerland, Israel, Ukraine, Norway, Turkey and Vietnam. However, it's available in all other markets.