CREWE, ENGLAND - Bentley’s cars aren’t just about copious amounts of Cow and Tree. Add the Speed badge to the equation and, well, you get the idea.
The latest Crewe creation to get such treatment, the 2021 Continental GT Speed is, as you would expect, the most dynamic road car that Bentley has ever built and perhaps a final indulgence for those seeking a brutish 12-cylinder car with no form of electrification.
The all-wheel-driven Conti GT Speed is powered by a revised version of Bentley’s 6-litre W12 twin-turbo petrol engine, which produces 485kW and a wholesome 900Nm, and that - they say - is enough to get the grand tourer from zero to 100km/h in only 3.6 seconds and on to a top speed of 335km/h. The engine and eight-speed dual-clutch gearbox have both been “deliberately calibrated” to suit the vehicle’s driver-focused credentials, and Bentley says this is particularly noticeable in Sport mode.
You could say the same of the chassis, where the Dynamic Ride adaptive shocks and electronic limited slip differential are said to provide a level of agility never seen before in a Bentley road car. Also aiding the cause is a new all-wheel steering system that improves stability at higher speeds by steering the rear wheels in the same direction as the front ones. The opposite happens at lower speeds, for improved manoeuvrability.
Furthermore, the three-chamber active air suspension system is assisted by a 48V active anti-roll control device that uses electric motors within each anti-roll bar to prevent body roll.
You’ll be able to tell the 2021 Bentley Continental GT Speed apart from its ‘humbler’ siblings by its ‘dark tint’ grille, more sculpted sports sills and its bespoke 22-inch wheels, available in bright silver, dark tint or gloss black.
Cabin decor comes in the form of a model-specific two-tone colour split, handcrafted in hide and matching Alcantara, and this trim combination is also found on the steering wheel. The cabin can be further personalised with a choice of 15 main and 11 secondary hide colours, while the Alcantara bits can be swapped out for leather.