Bentley spells out pedigree with a capital “P”. One of the oldest automotive icon which brought unparalleled coachwork along with 5 wins at Le Mans, the latter being attributed by the famous “The Bentley Boys”. It was and still is the quintessential gentleman’s high performance vehicle.
2013 Bentley Continental GT Speed Review
Let’s forward to the start of this millennium and Bentley is bought over by the Volkswagen group. In 2003 the Bentley Continental GT was unveiled, replacing the previous Rolls-Royce based Continental R and T. That’s not all, it’s powered by an all new 6.0L W12 twin turbocharged lion-heart producing 552bhp and a 0-100kmph in 4.8secs. An impressive feat considering that the Continental GT tipped the scale at a nudge below 5,200lbs.
Taking my history lesson to its climax, we roll forward another decade to the Bentley Continental GT’s 2nd generation. We now have a V8 variant along with a revised 6.0L W12 twin turbocharged producing 567bhp and 700Nm of torque at a meager 1700rpm. But that’s not what this article about, this is all about Bentley’s fastest Continental ever, it’s the 2013 Bentley Continental GT Speed. It’s up by 50bhp and 100Nm of torque than the, shall we say a regular Continental GT. 0-100kmph is gone in 4.2secs and the ZF close-ration 8-speed automatic gearbox along with a new engine management system and energy recuperation system achieves a 12% improvement in fuel economy. Maybe when talking about Bentley, one should not talk about fuel economy, it just does not feel comfortable being in the same page.
It takes a trained eye to notice any visual difference between the GT Speed and its siblings. The Continental GT Speed can be distinguished by an exclusive 21inch ten spoke wheel and rifled exhaust tailpipes.
The Speed models are specified exclusively with the Mulliner Driving Specification, featuring quilted, perforated leather and bright metal detailing plus a broader choice of optional technical finishes.
The fastest Bentley till date is nothing without control and the GT Speed performs more calculations in a second than a busy CA does in his/her lifetime, just to keep the gentleman driving the car keep his exposure while the roads gets tricky. We are lucky to have dry and wide roads in Dubai. Just to test the theory out, we did attack a few interchanges and yes, other than feeling the mass move around under the pressures of a decreasing radius turn, the Continental GT Speed did claw its hook around the tarmac and humbled the laws of physics. But it did so with an air of sophistication and grace. There were no flashing traction control lights on the dashboard, nor were there any noticeable ABS shudder that would shall we say ruffle the feathers of a gentleman.
The Continental GT Speed has revised air suspension springs and dampers along with stiffer suspension bushes and anti roll bars for a no compromised driving feel. It also sits 10mm lower to keep its center of mass as low as possible. All this is great but the Continental GT Speed looks just jaw dropping gorgeous. This is what, to me, a car is all about. Once the initial hype dies down, I would like to sit back and just look and admire at the stance of this graceful yet very powerful work of art. It would give anyone, countless hours of enjoyment whether driving it around or just staring at it like a schoolboy.
The Continental GT Speed is designed to devour miles of highways. It does so with the gentleness of a Rolls-Royce but flick the shifter to “Sport”, the free-breathing exhaust system emits a deep feral rumble thanks to extensive developments from the Continental Supersport’s Ice Speed Record car. Music to our ears shall we say, oh yes and music to everyone else’s ears on the streets as well.
The interior is akin to a presidential suite. There are three materials used: wood, leather and aluminum. One can feel and admire the hours of painstaking efforts and skilled handcrafted pieces that culminate into the Continental’s exquisite interior. Even the smallest of details like the free space in front of the gear shifter, where one would keep their wallet of cell phone, being padded with leather. A perfect place to keep the Gentleman’s Vertu phone I assume.
The Bentley Continental GT Speed has been a rather unique experience for me. It had the presence and luxury of a Ghost while marrying the drive of the Audi S8. But the power, which can be felt from its turbine like thrust is something, we find very hard to put into words. We would leave that to the potential buyers. For me, I would relish every moment of my time with the Continental GT Speed.
|2013 BENTLEY CONTINENTAL GT SPEED|
|Displacement||6 Litre twin-turbocharged W12|
|Rated Output||616 hp @ 6000 rpm|
|Rated Torque||800Nm @ 2000 rpm|
|Driveline||Continuous all-wheel drive (40:60 rear bias)|
|Transmission – type of gearshift||ZF 8-speed automatic with Quickshift, Block shifting and wheel mounted paddle shift|
|Max Speed||330 km/h|
|Acceleration 0-100 km/h||4.2 s|
|Brakes||F:R – 405mm:335mm ventilated, Carbon Silicon Carbide cross drilled|
|Power to weight ratio||459bhp / tonne|
|Price (AED)||960,000 – 1.2Million|
|Al Habtoor Motors (BENTLEY EMIRATES)||+971 4 447 5365|
We would like to thank CAPSULE ARTS for the use of their warehouse space in our photo-shoot. Capsule Arts Studio is a unique art and design space located in Dubai’s Al Quoz district. It is focused on providing an outlet for the UAE’s creative community to host exhibitions and events. CAPSULE ARTS rents out their warehouse space for such events. It is equipped with skylights and spiral staircases and an ideal place for a closed-door innovative events, photo-shoot and exhibitions.
For more details on leasing event space : Beverly Mendes : +971 4 388 1799 : +971 55 2124567