Continental GT Speed Convertible: Bentley unleashes its most driver-focused drop-top yet
CREWE, England: Bentley Motors has introduced a new flagship version of its ultimate, open-top Grand Tourer – the Continental GT Speed Convertible. The performance-honed Speed model is the most powerful, driver-focused interpretation of the Grand Tourer.
The third-generation Continental GT Speed Convertible features an enhanced version of Bentley’s 6.0-litre W12 TSI engine, delivering an outstanding 485kW of power, which is good for 0 to 100 km/h in just 3.7 seconds and a top speed of 335km/h.
The new open-air Grand Tourer joins its coupé sibling – the Continental GT Speed, unveiled last month.
Designed, hand-crafted and engineered in Bentley’s carbon neutral automotive factory, the new GT Speed Convertible offers enhanced chassis technology, including All-Wheel Steering, an electronic rear differential and the option of carbon ceramic brakes. All this is said to help deliver superior vehicle agility and confidence without impacting on the Continental GT Convertible’s acclaimed ride comfort.
The Continental GT Speed Convertible is fitted with a tailored, “Z-fold” roof that can be deployed or stowed in just 19 seconds, transforming it from a luxurious coupé to an open-top Grand Tourer at the touch of a button.
Distinguishing this Grand Tourer as a pinnacle performance model, the Continental GT Speed Convertible offers unique exterior and interior detailing, including Speed sport sills, Dark Tint grilles and Speed badging. Customers can also choose from three finishes to the 22-inch forged Speed wheels.
Inside a luxuriously appointed cabin, the new Continental GT Convertible model includes Speed badging on the passenger fascia, an Alcantara steering wheel and a colour split trim in Hide and Alcantara.
Chris Craft, a Member of the board for sales and marketing at Bentley Motors, says: “The new Speed is the most driver-focused Continental GT Convertible available and unique in its ability to offer extremely refined, all-season open-top Grand Touring with the added edge of astonishing performance and dynamism. Combined with exquisite, handcrafted interior details, the Continental GT Speed Convertible exemplifies all Bentley knows about creating the world’s most stylish and elegant cars for roof-down motoring.”
Let’s take a deep dive into what makes the 2021 Bentley Continental GT Speed Convertible special:
1) New tech, advanced chassis
Cutting-edge chassis technology gives the third-generation GT Speed Convertible unrivalled control and accuracy, and inspires confidence even further.
Maintaining Bentley’s philosophy of the vehicle feeling progressive and secure yet dynamic, the approach rewards drivers of all abilities. To achieve the philosophy in Bentley and Comfort mode, overall grip is balanced between the front and rear wheels, and in Sport, the mode was calibrated with a more rear-biased torque-split in all driving scenarios.
Improved cornering dynamics and the extra grip provided by the new systems allows the driver to exit any corner with an increased level of precision and confidence. In turn, the vehicle extracts the maximum performance from the available traction to deliver stunning acceleration and composure from the apex. In Sport mode, the traction-management system sends a greater proportion of power to the rear axle to allow for even greater on-throttle control of cornering line.
Working alongside the systems are the key chassis technologies that deliver body control and ride comfort with no compromise to one another, namely Bentley’s three-chamber active air suspension with adaptive damping, and Bentley Dynamic Ride – the 48V active anti-roll control system that Bentley pioneered on the Bentayga and third-generation Continental GT.
The innovative system features powerful electric motors within each anti-roll bar to resist body roll. In their firmest setting, the motors can deliver 1 300Nm in 0.3 secs to counteract cornering forces and keep the body level.
A Carbon Ceramic Brake system was also introduced as an option on the Speed. Using the high-performance material reduces the brake force required for high-speed deceleration and lowers the risk of brake fade. Featuring Active All-Wheel Drive, the traction control and torque distribution was recalibrated in all driver modes to provide a noticeable character shift relative to the standard Continental GT convertible.
2) Effortless W12 performance
The new Continental GT Speed Convertible combines high-performance with elegance and luxury. Hand-built in Crewe, the 6.0-litre is the most advanced 12-cylinder engine in the world. Both engine and transmission were recalibrated for the Speed to suit the car’s powerful credentials.
This is most noticeable in Sport driving mode, where the twin-turbocharged W12 was tuned to keep the engine in the power band longer by upshifting later or downshifting earlier. This creates a more eager response to driver requirements.
The dual-clutch, eight-speed transmission shift is twice as fast in Sport mode as in the standard W12 model, befitting a model that takes its place as the performance pinnacle of the Continental GT range. This combines with a greater exhaust character during start up and gear downshifts.
3) Muscular speed detailing
A statement of true sporting purpose, the new Continental GT Speed Convertible effortlessly blends style with performance intent. The bold presence of the world’s finest open-top Grand Tourer was enhanced even further with unique detailing.
The Speed’s tailored convertible roof can be deployed or stowed in just 19 seconds, with the car travelling at speeds of up to 50km/h.
Speed models add a Dark Tint radiator grille and lower bumper grille, combined with Speed sports sills, a Dark Tint radiator matrix and discreet Speed badging on the front fender.
Unique, 22-inch Speed wheels are offered in matching Dark Tint, with the choice of Bright Silver or Black Gloss finish. A Jewel Fuel and Oil Filler Cap, plus illuminated Bentley display to the outer treadplate are a nod to the Speed’s performance credentials.
Seven exterior roof colours are available, including a contemporary interpretation of traditional British tweed. Black, Blue, Claret and Grey are among the other options. Furthermore, eight interior roof liner finishes are offered, ranging from New Red to Magnolia.
The unique Z-fold convertible roof system is the most advanced of its kind. The roof, with its sealing system improvements and acoustic treatments, contributes to a three-decibel reduction in overall noise levels compared to its predecessor at typical cruising speeds. An entirely new combination of roof-insulating materials and operating mechanism, combined with sealing-system improvements and acoustic treatments, create a Convertible Grand Tourer that is as quiet as the previous generation Continental GT Coupé.
4) Exclusive hand-crafted cabin
The Continental GT Speed Convertible’s luxurious interior offers unrivalled Grand Touring refinement blended with unique Speed detailing, revealed to the world when the roof is lowered.
An Alcantara steering wheel and Speed insignia on the passenger fascia are complemented by a unique colour split trim in Hide and Alcantara. Customers can further choose from 15 main and 11 secondary hide choices.
Diamond-in-diamond quilting and Speed embroidered headrests hint at the performance characteristics of the most potent Continental GT Convertible, while mono-tone colour split with Alcantara/Leather is a no-cost option.
Piano Black veneer is standard in the Speed, with Crown Cut, Dark Stain Burr Walnut and Dark Fiddleback Eucalyptus offered as no-cost options. Open-pore Dark Stain Burr Walnut veneer, Crown Cut Walnut and Koa are also available.
Sports pedals and Speed treadplate plaques are fitted as standard, while customers can choose the optional Dark Tint Engine Turned Aluminium console, or a leather alternative to the Speed colour split trim and the Speed Colour Specification.
A neck warmer (which is warmer and quieter than in the previous generation model), is seamlessly integrated into the heated and vented Comfort Seats, optimising efficiency and airflow around the electrically adjustable headrests. The styling highlight of the new neck warmer is a chrome centre vane that stretches the full width of the duct, echoing Bentley’s famous “bullseye” vents. Combined with a heated steering wheel and heated armrests, thes sophisticated comfort features create a luxurious driving experience in all environments.
You can contact Bentley South Africa if you would like to place an order.