Home / Social media / Cars / The all-new Bentley Continental GT Speed sets new Grand Tourer standards.


It’s quite interesting how among British carmakers, there are quite a few known for their top-quality coachbuilding skills and cars known for supreme luxury. Having British roots, it’s pretty cool when talking kak around a braai, as long as the conversation stays with cars and doesn't shift to politics and history. It’s always hard to choose which of the luxury carmakers from the UK has the best and most luxurious products. Just the other day we were shown the all-new track-focused Aston Martin Variant and I was convinced it was the best-looking British car that I’ve seen. Then Bentley went and dropped the all-new Continental GT Speed and the Variant slipped back down to second place. The Bentley Continental GT Speed, if you weren’t aware, is the high-performance and tweaked-up version of the brand’s popular Continental GT. The steroided-up GT Speed first roared onto the scene in 2007 and combined luxury grand tourer styling with opulence and speed and for the larnies out there it quickly became a symbol of automotive excellence and a way to show off. There’s showing off your wealth with a luxury German sedan, and then there’s showing off your wealth with a coachbuilt British sportscar - it’s just different. The GT Speed also featured a more powerful version of Bentley's iconic W12 engine, delivering proper performance, more than a Grand Tourer should rightly be allowed to have . Over the years, the GT Speed has evolved and gotten meaner and sharper and more streamlined - and faster! The first generation from 2007 featured a 6.0-litre W12 engine with 600 hp, the facelift that popped up in 2012 had 616 hp while the second generation stayed the same. The 3rd generation saw that power rise to 650 hp. But we’ve now hit the nameplate’s 4th generation, and that means an update to every part of the car.

This new Continental GT Speed is an amazing-looking thing, in both hard top and soft top guise. It’s clearly a Bentley looking at the design architecture and styling, and it has all the right curves in all the right places. To keep up with the times, the new GT Speed also employs a hybrid powertrain along with a comprehensive exterior and interior redesign that follows the new design DNA seen on the coachbuilt Bentley Bacalar and Batur. We’re all about performance, and so it’s the powertrain that’s of serious interest to us. Sadly the monstrous W12 has been relegated to the scrap pile thanks to emissions and EV things, but the replacement powerplant is still something rather impressive. The company developed a new Ultra Performance Hybrid powertrain and the base is a 4.0 litre V8 rated at a healthy 600 hp, and it’s paired up with an electric motor that adds in an extra 190 hp, and when they work together peak output is rated at 782 hp, and the torque rises to a high 1,000 Nm. The outgoing W12 was rated at 659 hp and 900 Nm. There’s an 8-speed dual-clutch transmission in play and it helps send power to all four wheels. When hoofing it, the sizeable 4-seater GT car really picks up its skirt and boogies. It has a reported 0-100 km/h time in 3.4 seconds and has a top speed of an immense 335 km/h - the open-top version is limited to 285 km/h. That’s fast. The GT Speed can also travel 81 km on electric power alone and has a reported full range of a massive 859 km, but the impressiveness depends on the side of the fuel tank. A mate of mine’s Amarok can get 1,000 km on a full tank, but that’s an aftermarket long-range tank that takes as much money to fill as Swaziland’s national debt. It looks like they will sell at close to the R5,000,000 mark because they’re likely going to start off at $250,000, spec dependant.

Take a look at the YouTube video that shows off what we like to call "the best of British". The GT Speed has always been a stunner, but this 4th-generation is a big level up, which is amazing for a brand that's a level up on most anyway: The new Continental GT Speed | Bentley Motors

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