Regarded as a dinosaur in today's downsizing automotive jungle, the W12 is heading to a well-deserved retirement as Bentley will go purely electric by 2030. The 6.0-litre unit remains a force to be reckoned with considering how effortlessly it pushes a luxobarge weighing more than 2,300 kg (5,000 lbs) to supercar levels of speed. A new video with the Continental GT Speed shows the leather-lined British missile going all out on the Autobahn.
With a colossal 650 bhp and 664 pound-feet (900 Newton-metres) of torque on tap, the twin-turbo coupe from Crewe gained speed without breaking a sweat. Just as impressive is how the Conti GT Speed remains perfectly stable and comfortable even when it's about to max out the speedometer. Speaking of which, it got up to 216 mph (347 km/h), which is actually slightly higher than Bentley's quoted top speed of 208 mph (335 km/h).
2021 Bentley Continental GT Speed
Sure, some high-end EVs are already quicker in terms of acceleration, and it won't be long before these will match an ICE's top speed, but there's something visceral about a W12. The car in question also happens to have a titanium exhaust developed by Akrapovic with Bentley to make the 6.0-litre unit sound better. It not only weighs 7 kilograms (15 pounds) less than the stock exhaust, but it also increases output by a significant four percent to extract those mighty 650 horses.
The updated engine was recently introduced for the range-topping Continental GT Mulliner, enabling the flagship to hit 60 mph from a standstill in only three and a half seconds. In the not-too-distant future, wealthy people will be able to buy a Continental with half the cylinders as the plug-in hybrid is expected to use a twin-turbo 2.9-litre V6 taken from the electrified Flying Spur.
A Bentley model with zero cylinders will follow in 2025 as the brand's first EV, complete with roughly 1,400 bhp and a 0-60 mph sprint in 1.5 seconds.