The new DS3, customise every feature to suit your style
Ettore Bugatti once famously said: “Signor Bentley makes the world's fastest lorries,” - and, big as they, today's Bentleys are still astonishingly quick.
But none as quick as this one, the new Continental GT Speed coupé, Bentley's fastest production car ever - 2.3 tonnes of luxurious Connolly hides, pure wool carpets and seasoned walnut planks (each split longitudinally and matched back-to-back so that the grain is absolutely symmetrical) in a five metre-long bespoke 2+2 that'll dispose of the 0-100 sprint in 4.2 seconds and hit 330km/h flat out.
Orders are being taken now, with deliveries to begin in October 2012 and, if you have to ask, you can't afford it.
UPRATED SIX-LITRE W12
The Speed's phenomenal physical prowess comes courtesy of an uprated version of Bentley's six-litre, 48-valve, four-cam, twin turbocharged W12 engine, rated for 460kW and 800Nm. That gets delivered to four special 21” alloy rims shod with 275/35 R21 Pirelli PZero stickums via a close-ratio ZF eight-speed auto transmission and permanent all-wheel drive through a Torsen centre differential.
The eight-speed box uses new software to ensure that it's always in the right gear, making a significant contribution to an claimed 12 percent overall improvement in fuel economy and CO2 emissions.
Special chassis tuning - the Mulliner driving package - includes uprated steering and suspension systems and a lowered ride height, for “a sportier and more engaging Bentley driving experience with tauter handling and improved agility”.
Bentley chairman Wolfgang Dürheimer said: “For nearly a decade, the Bentley Continental GT has defined luxury grand touring and our W12 engine has been so successful that Bentley is now the world's largest producer of 12-cylinder engines.”
“The new GT Speed with its harder-edged, sportier character goes straight to the top of the class.”
The new Speed is distinguished by a dark-tinted matrix front grille and lower air intakes and 'rifled' finish to the exhaust tailpipes, while the handcrafted cabin features a number of signature Speed design cues that combine contemporary luxury with a distinctly sporting character.
The GT Speed will make its world debut on the Goodwood Hill (where else?) during the prestigious Festival of Speed from 28 June-1 July, where modern-day Bentley Boys Juha Kankunnen, Guy Smith and Derek Bell will pilot a pre-production version up the Hill twice a day.