The new Bentley Continental GT Speed is now in Malaysia. Crewe describes the latest version of the Speed – which is the performance flagship version of the Continental GT family – as the most dynamic road car in its 101-year history.
Now, the new Continental GT Speed may be the most capable, performance-focused car ever from the marque, but in typical Bentley fashion, that’s achieved with no compromise to comfort or luxury. As discussed in our Symphony of Speed experience, this beguiling blend of attributes is unique in the industry today.
Also unique is Bentley’s iconic 6.0 litre twin-turbo W12 engine, which makes 659 PS and 900 Nm of torque from 1,500 to 5,000 rpm in the Speed. All that twist propels you from 0 to 100 km/h in a smooth 3.6 seconds, and if you have enough road, this grand tourer is capable of 335 km/h. Compared to the previous-generation Speed, today’s W12 makes 17 PS and 60 Nm more. By the way, this is the final call for the W12 in a changing world, so if you want a memento…
While the old Speed came with a torque converter automatic transmission, the Mk3 GT has replaced that with a ZF eight-speed dual-clutch gearbox, with retuned software for the Speed that enables it to shift twice as fast in Sport mode, while also holding onto gears for longer and downshifting quicker to keep the W12 in its power band. The Speed also boasts “greater exhaust character” during start-up and when downshifting.
All-wheel steering, first seen on the Flying Spur, makes an appearance here. In the limo, AWS – which turns the rear wheels in the opposite direction to the front wheels in low to medium speeds, and in the same direction as the fronts at high speeds – works to reduce turning circle and enhance high-speed stability. Here, the system is significantly more active in the car’s handling character, Bentley says.
For the first time in a Bentley, an electronic rear differential provides increased lateral grip, improved stability, and enhanced on-throttle adjustability. The traction control and torque distribution of the Active AWD has been recalibrated in all modes to provide a different character from the regular Continental GT, Crewe claims. Sport mode has been calibrated with a more rear-biased torque-split in all driving scenarios.
Also on are Bentley’s three-chamber active air suspension with adaptive damping, and Bentley Dynamic Ride. The latter is a 48V active anti-roll control system that features electric motors within each anti-roll bar to resist lean. In their firmest setting, the motors can deliver 1,300 Nm in 0.3 secs to counteract cornering forces and keep the body level. All these combine for a “level of agility unlike any other Bentley road car”.
Also, the Speed’s ESC can be switched off, but before you do anything foolish, remember than you need to control 900 Nm of torque in a big car that weighs nearly 2.3 tonnes.
That’s because the Speed isn’t a lightweight special, but the grandest of grand tourers equipped with every possible luxury (and then some, like the three-surface rotating central screen/triple analogue gauges/digital detox blank wood panel) and opulently covered with hides and veneers.
A Bentley is highly customisable to your preferences, but let’s talk about this particular unit specified by Bentley Kuala Lumpur. Very contemporary in its Cambrian Grey paint, a variation of the “Nardo Grey” trend that Audi started some time back. This is a Speed, so of course there’s no chrome – instead, the grey is contrasted with the gloss black trim of the standard Blackline Specification. The 22-inch Speed wheels are also in black here.
Basically, the only bits that aren’t in grey or black here are the Flying B badges at both ends, the Bentley script on the boot, and those massive brake calipers, painted in bright red. The tail lamps too, of course. Oh, and there are very small Speed badges on the front wings.
It’s easy to miss, but check out the carbon fibre front splitter, side sills, rear diffuser and rear lip spoiler of the optional Styling Specification pack. Real CF (of course!), gloss finished and with Bentley logos embedded in the side sills. Park carefully. Overall, it’s a very youthful look for a Bentley – like what you see? As for myself, I like a little bit of chrome, especially on a Bentley.
By the way, if you’re wondering how to tell a W12 Speed from say, a V8 with Blackline and Styling packs; look for the oval exhaust tips (W12 only, quad tips for the V8) and a ’12’ just behind the front wheels, denoting the number of cylinders under the hood.
The sporty theme is clearly manifested by the cabin too, which is in Hot Spur and Beluga – red on black, basically. Red leather is the contrast, and it can be found on the steering spoke, gear lever, along the centre console and doors, plus all the stitching and piping. My favourite red part is the continuous line on the top of the dash and doors, which envelops the cabin.
The wood veneer here is finished in piano black, with a Speed badge on the passenger side. ‘Speed’ is also embroidered on all four headrests. The Naim audio system on this car is a 2,200W, 18-speaker top option that sits above the standard 650W and mid 1,500W Bang & Olufsen systems.
Bentley is famous for its diamond quilt, and that ‘diamond in diamond’ pattern can be found on the seats and door cards. To end, here’s a did you know. Hand-picked from herds that graze high above sea level in Northern Europe, all leather hides used to upholster the Continental GT are naturally free of the insect bites that could otherwise leave blemishes in the leather. Smooth cows, now we know.
If you need to ask how much… Well, you still need a figure to write on the cheque, so the Continental GT Speed starts from RM1.135 million. But before you get off your seat, that’s before taxes. And options – this example has nearly RM300k worth of extra kit.
GALLERY: Bentley Continental GT Speed in Cambrian Grey
The post Bentley Continental GT Speed now in Malaysia – most dynamic ever; W12 with 659 PS, 900 Nm; fr RM1.135m appeared first on Paul Tan's Automotive News.
* This article was originally published here
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