Source: Bentley - Press release after the jump.
BENTLEY LAUNCHES ITS FASTEST PRODUCTION MODEL EVER – THE NEW CONTINENTAL GT SPEED
- International debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed 2012
- 625 PS, 800 Nm and capable of 205 mph (329 km/h)
- Lowered, uprated suspension for a sportier stance and harder-edged, agile Bentley driving experience
- Signature Speed design cues and Mulliner Driving Specification cabin
- New close-ratio 8-speed automatic transmission
Bentley is introducing a new performance flagship, its fastest production model ever, the Continental GT Speed coupe. The new 205 mph (329 km/h) GT Speed will appeal to driving enthusiasts who place a high value on outright performance, agile handling, distinctive design and sporting luxury. Orders for the new GT Speed are being taken now, with deliveries to commence in October 2012.
At the heart of the new Continental GT Speed is an up-rated version of the unique Bentley 6-litre, 48-valve, four-cam, twin turbocharged W12 engine. For the new model, the legendary Bentley W12 develops 625 PS (616 bhp/460 kW) at 6000 rev/min and 800 Nm of torque to deliver thunderous, supercar performance with effortless overtaking capability. The 0-60 mph sprint is dispatched in a mere 4.0 seconds (0-100 km/h in 4.2s) and the GT Speed has a top speed of 205 mph (329 km/h).
The new Speed’s immense power is transmitted via a close-ratio, ZF eight-speed automatic transmission. This state-of-the-art transmission delivers quick yet imperceptible gear changes through intelligent adaptive control software to ensure the perfect combination of speed and refinement. The new gearbox also makes a significant contribution to an overall twelve per cent improvement in fuel economy and CO2 emissions.
Channelling the extreme performance of the GT Speed is a unique chassis tune that includes uprated steering and suspension systems and a lowered ride height. The enhanced chassis is complemented by unique 21-inch Speed wheels, available in two lustrous finishes, and fitted with 275 35 R21 Pirelli PZero ultra-high performance tyres. The result is a sportier and more engaging Bentley driving experience with tauter handling and improved agility.
Commenting on the new GT Speed, Wolfgang Dürheimer, Bentley’s Chairman and Chief Executive says:
“For nearly a decade, the Bentley Continental GT has defined high luxury, high performance grand touring and the unique W12 engine has been so successful that Bentley is now the world’s largest producer of 12-cylinder engines. The new GT Speed with its harder-edged, sportier character reaffirms this pinnacle positioning and continues to broaden the worldwide appeal of the Continental coupe.”
The muscular, elegant sculpted coachwork of the Continental coupe is subtly enhanced with design touches which reinforce the sporting character of the new model. Most notable are the dark-tinted matrix front grille and lower air intakes and the ‘rifled’ finish to the exhaust tailpipes.
The new GT Speed delivers supreme levels of performance with no compromise in comfort, refinement, craftsmanship and quality. Using only the finest natural materials, the hand-crafted cabin of the GT Speed features the Mulliner Driving Specification as standard as well as a number of signature Speed design cues that combine contemporary luxury with a distinctly sporting character.
Standard fitment on all Continental models, the permanent all-wheel drive system, employing a central Torsen differential, harnesses the prodigious power and torque of the new GT Speed and ensures huge levels of grip and stability whatever the road or weather conditions.
Ahead of deliveries this autumn, the GT Speed makes its international debut at the prestigious Goodwood Festival of Speed from 28th June until 1st July. Modern-day Bentley Boys Juha Kankunnen, Guy Smith and Derek Bell will pilot a pre-production GT Speed up the Goodwood Hill twice a day.
Note to Editors
1. Inspiration for the GT Speed came from the legendary ‘Speed’ models that first appeared in 1923. The standard Bentley 3-litre had already established Bentley’s engineering superiority in terms of roadholding, handling and braking, but W.O. Bentley, the company’s founder, recognised the market potential for a more potent version aimed at the enthusiast driver who demanded superior performance. His response, the 3-litre ‘Speed Model’, complete with twin SU carburettors and a higher compression ratio engine, became one of the most coveted of all Bentleys. The first generation Continental GT Speed was introduced in 2007 and quickly enjoyed major sales success across the globe.
2. Bentley Motors is the third largest R&D investor in the UK's automotive sector and the 18th largest nationally. The company employs almost 4,000 people in Crewe which is home to all its operations including design, R&D, engineering and production. The combination of fine craftsmanship, using skills that have been handed down through generations, alongside engineering expertise and cutting-edge technology is unique to UK luxury vehicle manufacturers such as Bentley. It is also an example of high-value British manufacturing at its best. Bentley exports over £500m worth of goods every year to established markets like the US, as well as emerging markets such as China and South America.
3. Bentley’s global sales for Q1 in 2012 increased by 46.6% with 1,759 cars delivered to customers. This growth was led by the emergence of China as Bentley’s largest market in the first quarter with sales in the region up 84.9% (578 cars delivered). The Americas remain a key market for Bentley with sales up by 35.6% (468 cars delivered). In the Middle East sales recovered with an increase of 82.6% (168 cars delivered) and European sales also saw a 34.4% increase with 207 deliveries. Sales in the UK and Germany remain stable, with 233 cars and 62 cars delivered respectively.