Bentley Continental GT Speed Convertible
Bentley has unveiled the Continental GT Speed Convertible, the open version of its flagship and the fastest four-seat convertible in the world with a top speed of 202 mph / 325 km/h.
Set to make its international debut on 14th January at the 2013 Detroit Motor Show, the new GT Speed Convertible is powered by a 625 PS (616 bhp) twin-turbocharged 6.0 litre W12 engine.
The unit is coupled with a close-ratio eight-speed transmission and a permanent all-wheel drive system.
The new flagship model has a top speed of 202 mph (325 km/h) and accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.4 seconds.
From outside, the Continental GT Speed convertible is distinguished by a matrix radiator grille and bumper air intakes in a dark-tint chrome finish. The 21” Speed alloy wheels are unique to this model, and are available in silver or an optional dark tint.
Large, elliptical exhaust tailpipes feature a rifled interior, while a further, subtle design touch is revealed when the hood is opened – the black inlet manifold is unique to the Continental Speed models.
As with the GT Speed coupé, the winged ‘B’ badge which crowns the radiator shell is set upon a black enamel background.
The front wings of the GT Speed Convertible are created in super-formed aluminum, their seamless form and crisply-defined body creases creating an impression of tension and muscularity.
The 10 mm lower suspension and unique 21” wheels accentuate the wide, low and poised stance.
Despite the supercar performance, additional spoilers are unnecessary – the gentle lip on the double-horseshoe trunk-lid generates all the required downforce.
The four-layer hood ensures high levels of refinement and acoustic insulation. Tested in all conditions from -30°C to +50°C or more, it resists even monsoon-force rain and maintains comfortable, draft-free warmth even on the coldest days.
Another practical feature, the neck warmer, makes open air driving an appealing and comfortable prospect even on the cooler days of spring and autumn.
With the hood down, the Continental GT Speed convertible offers sensational performance with the sensory amplification of open-air motoring. Hood up, it’s as practical a year-round proposition as its coupé stablemate.
Sporting design cues include exclusive 21-inch alloy wheels, dark-tint grilles and ‘rifled’ exhaust tail pipes. Inside its handcrafted cabin, the GT Speed convertible features the Mulliner Driving Specification as standard, blending contemporary luxury with a distinctly sporting character.
The bodyshell has a torsional stiffness of 22,500 Nm/degree.
The aluminium double-wishbone front suspension and trapezoidal multi-link rear setup feature revised air suspension springs and dampers for improved agility and body control with little sacrifice in ride comfort.
The self-levelling system is set 10 mm lower than the 575PS Continental GT convertible. Stiffer suspension bushes ensure sharp, communicative handling, while uprated anti-roll bars optimise the handling balance. The result is improved body control under hard cornering together with greater agility and, because steering plays an essential role in feeding response and grip back to the driver, the Servotronic steering has also been recalibrated for the Speed specification.
The Electronic Stability Control (ESC) system is optimised for the new engine management system to deliver both outstanding safety and greater driver involvement. The ESC system retains the “Dynamic Mode” setting that allows increased wheel slip at higher speeds, with engine torque reinstated more quickly after a system intervention. Together, these systems give the keen driver more opportunity to exploit the full potential of the new chassis set-up and higher power output.
Inside, exclusive treadplates featuring the ‘Speed’ legend welcome you to a four-seat cabin that features the hand-craftsmanship of the Mulliner Driving Specification, with its distinctive diamond-quilted hide upholstery.
For the Continental GT Speed models Bentley offers an exclusive Dark Tint Aluminium ‘engine spin’ finish, inspired by the dashboards of the Le Mans winning Bentleys of the 1920s. Its understated shade is the perfect complement to the exterior’s dark tint chrome radiator and bumper grilles.
Other optional finishes include the full range of fine wood veneers and a satin-finish Carbon Fibre option for fascia and centre console.
The infotainment system features Bentley’s latest software upgrades, which vary from region to region but include refinements such as point of interest mapping, optional satellite landscape imagery, live traffic data and, where the infrastructure supports it, digital radio. The system features 15 Gigabytes of available music space, as well as the facility to play music via an iPod, MP3 player, the car’s own six-disc CD changer or SD card.
Flat panel Balanced Mode Radiator (BMR) speakers, which combine the functions of separate tweeter and midrange speakers in one unit, direct the sound with accuracy and provide greater clarity across the audible spectrum. Alternatively, the audiophile Naim for Bentley system, incorporating custom-built speakers and eight individual Digital Sound Processing modes, is available as an option. As a thoughtful touch, the audio balance settings automatically alter when the roof is lowered to compensate for the change in listening environment.