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Bentley Unveils Fourth Generation Continental GT Speed

As the most powerful road car in the British marque's history, this latest release is a defining moment for Bentley.

By Toby Louch

Throughout its 21-year history, Bentley’s Continental GT has established itself as one of the finest luxury grand tourers in available. Designed to travel great cross-continental distances in supreme comfort, with performance to match, the modern grand tourer remains a must have for any true petrol head. Bentley Motors has just announced the latest notch on this great history: the fourth generation Continental GT Speed. Far from shying away from this iconic brand’s roots, it’s the most powerful road-going Bentley ever created.

The Continental concept comes down to three basic principles: supercar performance, handcrafted luxury and everyday usability. This latest release from Bentley aims to excel in all three categories. From updated interior and exterior aesthetics — which follow Bentley’s new design DNA set out by the coachbuilt Bentley Baclar and Batur — to the new Ultra Performance Hybrid powertrain that is set to take the Continental GT Speed’s performance to the next level.

The technology inside the Continental GT Speed also sees an upgrade, featuring class-leading capability when it comes to driver assistance, infotainment and connected car services – vital update for any modern grand tourer.

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Bentley Continental GT Speed
The Continental GT Speed maintains its racy aesthetics and luxurious interior / ©Bentley Motors

Far from a small update, 68% of components in the new Continental GT Speed are entirely new. The refreshed hybrid powertrain is made possible by Bentley’s 400-volt electrical architecture, greatly reducing emissions and providing an electric-only range of 50 miles.

Additionally, for the first time in the history of the Continental GT, this new model is launching alongside the convertible Continental GTC, allowing drivers to decide if they want to go top down or not from the get go.

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Continental GT Speed performance  

Bentley Continental
It’s the most powerful road car Bentley has ever produced / ©Bentley Motors

Is it really a Bentley if it doesn’t bring impressive performance alongside supreme luxury? Thankfully, the new Bentley Continental GT Speed provides both by the bucket load. Developed from the ground up, the new Ultra Performance Hybrid powertrain mixes a 4-liter V8 engine that produces 584 bhp with a 187 bhp electric motor. Once combined the new Continental GT Speed can produce 771 bhp, capable of accelerating the vehicle from 0-60 in only 3.1 seconds and reach a top speed of 208 mp/h.

The torque has also increased considerably from the older W-12 powered Continental GT Speed. Up 11%, the new version now produces 738 lb ft of torque. This, alongside the increased horsepower, makes this new Bentley the most powerful ever. This is all achieved while reducing CO2 produced and bringing down fuel consumption to just one-tenth of a similar petrol powertrain.

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The vehicle’s energy usage is controlled by the mode it is set to, ranging from pure EV and electric boost to regenerative braking and even a charge mode where the engine is capable of driving the wheels and charging the car’s battery at the same time.

When set to full electric mode, the new Continental GT Speed is capable of reaching speeds of up to 87 mp/h and once depleted, the battery can be fully recharged in under three hours at 11kW of peak charging power, thanks to improvements in both charging and battery capacity.

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The looks

Bentley Continental GT Speed interior
The interior has also received an update featuring new quilting inspired by the fashion industry / ©Bentley Motors

From the outside, the new Bentley Continental GT Speed is an impressive beast indeed. The front of the vehicle was inspired by the elegance of a thoroughbred horse, the ‘endless bonnet’ forming a horizontal line that stretches through the car.

This new model also includes striking single front headlamps, a feature not included in a mainline Bentley since 1959. The matrix LED lamps include 120 separate LEDs which are digitally controlled to deal with individual responsibilities such as low beam foreground and high beam power boost.

The rear of the car has had a similar level of treatment. The boot lid now utilizes an integrated aerodynamic form, giving the Continental GT Speed downforce without the need for a rear spoiler.

Bentley interior
Sitting in a Continental GT is a truly luxurious experience / ©Bentley Motors

Since its first inception, the Continental GT has been highly regarded for its impressive interior, this new model continues that trend. Seats and doors are bedecked in a brand-new quilt pattern, which takes its cues from modern fashion design. Optional wellness seating can also be selected, adding Postural Adjust and Auto Climate to the front seats, setting a new standard for comfort.

Bentley fans will be pleased to know that the iconic Bentley Rotating Display remains a mainstay of this car’s dashboard, featuring a three-sided display that’s either a HD screen, three analog dials or a plain sheet of handcrafted veneer.  

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Bentley headlight
In addition to the engine, the technology inside the Continental GT Speed has also seen an upgrade / ©Bentley Motors

Today, with each new iteration of a vehicle, improvements in technology are deemed just as important as performance, This is certainly the case with the new Bentley Continental GT Speed.

The environment display, which can be found at the driver’s instrument panel, aids the driver when using semi-assisted mode, visualizing how the vehicle is responding to other cars. Wellness is also being taken seriously with the air conditioning system now featuring air ionizers and a particulate matter filter, improving the quality of the air inside the vehicle.

Owners who decide to connect their phone will see improvements to both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. From the phone, the Continental GT Speeds charge status will also be visible while remote cabin pre-conditioning allows drivers to set the climate of their vehicle before they arrive.

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