Bentley releases full technical details of new Continental GT Speed

Article by Anita Panait, on August 23, 2012

Bentley has divulged the full technical specifications of its new Continental GT Speed -- the fastest road-car that the carmaker has ever produced. The announcement comes a week before the Continental GT Speed makes its official international show debut at the Moscow Motor Show on August 29, 2012.

The all-wheel drive performance flagship is powered by Bentley’s iconic 6-litre twin-turbo W12 engine, providing up to 625 PS (616 bhp) of output at 6000 rev/min and 800 Nm (590 lb.ft) of torque from 2000 to 5000 rev/min (up 100 Nm). This amount of power allows the Continental GT Speed to accelerate from zero to 60 mph in just 4.0 seconds and cruise from zero to 100 mph (160 km/h in just 9.0 seconds, until the performance flagship reaches a maximum speed of 205 mph (330 km/h).

Power is distributed to all four wheels through a new ZF eight-speed close-ratio automatic transmission and is handled by a state-of-the-art engine management software. To match Continental GT Speed’s outstanding performance, Bentley underpinned the vehicle in an enhanced chassis with upgraded springs, anti-roll bars and bushes. Bentley also lowered the ride height of the Continental GT Speed by 10mm in the front and in the rear. The carmaker also retuned the car’s electronically controlled damping and steering systems.

Despite its power, the Continental GT Speed remains comfortable and refined to ride, even during hard acceleration and high-speed cruising. The Continental GT Speed’s AWD system carries a ratio of 60:40 favoring the rear, providing stability and the potential to cruise to a superb performance all year round in any weather condition or road surface. To distinguish the GT Speed from its stable-mates, Bentley implemented subtle signature design like the exclusive 21-inch, ten-spoke alloy wheels, dark-tint matrix to the radiator shell and lower bumper grilles and ‘rifled’ exhaust tailpipes.

The Speed models comes with the exclusive Mulliner Driving Specification, which features quilted, perforated leather, bright metal detailing, and a broader choice of optional technical finishes. With these specs, the GT Speed has become a truly distinctive, sporting, luxury coupe. Bentley is now taking orders for the GT Speed, with the first customers to receive their units in October 2012.

Bentley Continental GT Speed highlights critical upgrades done to its chassis system for a lively, captivating drive that complements its fierce powertrain. For enhanced agility and control, it now features upgraded air suspension springs while maintaining its time-tested trapezoidal multi-link rear setup and aluminum double wishbone front suspension. Its new system also reduces roll, pitch and hurl significantly for an intense driving experience.

As compared with the standard Continental GT, the new Continental GT model is equipped with a self-leveling framework that regulates damping and ride height according to street conditions. To improve car handling, Bentley's car engineers also installed stiffer and harder suspension bushes and highly-rated anti-roll bars to enhance the handling balance.

Software upgrades also cover a lot, putting together reimagined suspension hardware to provide an invigorating but sophisticated experience. Suspension control systems and steering get revised calibrations.

Elegant stability control, enhanced for driver participation

The ESC or Electronic Stability Control system has been enhanced to function well in sync with the latest ME17 engine management system for an excellent ride. The ESC system keeps the "Dynamic Mode" setting that gives way to increased wheel slip at faster velocities, with engine torque reinstated faster right after a system intervention.

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