The new Continental GT Speed by Bentley is the iconic marque's latest answer to the call for better and faster in the luxury car market. Billed as the "fastest production Bentley ever," and with literally no change in engine displacement, the Continental GT Speed is a three-ton car with a top speed of 206 mph (331 km/h), and more power and torque than its slightly tamer GT cousin.
Bentley isn't giving many details as to how it got more power out of what was already a pretty robust 6-liter twin-turbocharged W12 engine, other than to say that it "reoptimized boost control." The result not only bumped up the top speed by 8 mph (13 km/h), but horsepower increased significantly from 582 bhp (434 kw) to 633 bhp (472 kw). More torque is also available going from 531 lb.ft (720 Nm) in the regular GT to 620 lb.ft (840Nm) in the new GT Speed.
That nearly 20 percent increase in power and torque means greater acceleration, so the GT Speed can now go from 0-60 mph in a claimed 3.9 seconds (0-100 km/h in 4.1 seconds). By comparison, the GT hits the same speeds in 4.3 and 4.5 seconds respectively.
Bentley designers took those performance numbers and packaged them into the optional GT Speed Black Edition, an interior and exterior appearance package that highlights the car's sporting capabilities. Outside, the GT Speed carries a high gloss black finish to key bits like the window trim and lamp bezels.
An assortment of contrasting color choices for the front splitter, side skirts, rear diffuser and side mirrors sets off a range of interesting color combinations not normally associated with Bentley. Silver with bright yellow contrasts, for instance.
Inside, the designers carried out the dark tone and vivid highlight combinations range from the slightly subtle to the gregarious in keeping with the exterior color choices. Generous use of carbon fiber in the fascia, center and roof consoles are meant to add a sporty opulence to the interior.
What's interesting is that in 2015 Bentley announced a complete refresh of the Continental GT with some references to the GT Speed. The company clearly thought it could do better, and appears to have done so with this new version and the Black Edition.
If you're lucky enough to buy a Bentley Continental GT Speed, you'll get a very fast handcrafted vehicle, both inside and out, starting at a mere US$239,400 to just over $263,000 for the convertible.