Quick Look: Bentley Continental GT Speed Convertible - w/video


For the uninitiated, whenever the model nomenclature Speed is added to any Bentley, that (Speed) vehicle is the performance version of that model line and what we have here is the high-performance version of Bentley's lovely Continental GT Convertible (formerly Continental GTC), the Continental GT Speed Convertible. By checking the Speed box on your Continetal GT Convertible order form, you get the "fastest four-seat convertible in the world," a 616 hp W12 engine mated to an eight-speed automatic, special 21-inch alloys, dark-tint trim, a 202-mph top speed, a lower self-leveling suspension, Bentley infotainment, premium audio, a hand-crafted interior at the Mulliner Driving Specification with its diamond-quilted leather upholstery and Dark Tint Aluminium ‘engine spin’ finish accents (various woods and carbon-fiber trim are optional), and pretty much anything and everything in the Bentley catalog. If you want it and they have it, you can get it...for a price. The Bentley Continental GT series has always been a favorite and this year's updates polish the machine and give it a more Mulsanne-like front clip. Press releases, pics, and a video after the jump. Prices are well into six figures, but as they say "if you have to ask..." I hope this is what you needed D.D. Enjoy!

Source: Bentley - Press releases, pics, and video after the "read more" jump.



Press Release:
BENTLEY REVEALS NEW PERFORMANCE FLAGSHIP CONVERTIBLE

  • Fastest four-seat convertible in the world: 202 mph (325 km/h)
  • Exhilarating supercar performance from uprated 625 PS (616 bhp) W12 engine and eight-speed transmission
  • Muscular lines and sporting, contemporary hand-crafted luxury
  • An engaging, sensory driving experience with coupe-like refinement
  • Enhanced W12 efficiency with a 15% improvement in driving range, fuel economy and emissions
  • Global debut at Detroit Auto Show, January 2013
The Continental GT Speed Convertible, Bentley’s new open-top performance flagship - and the world’s fastest four-seat convertible - makes its international debut on 14th January at the North American International Auto Show, Detroit.

The new GT Speed Convertible combines the sensory pleasures of roof-down luxury touring with the shattering performance of a 625 PS (616 bhp) twin-turbocharged 6.0 litre W12, while delivering a fifteen per cent improvement in fuel efficiency. The close-ratio eight-speed transmission, uprated and lowered suspension and retuned steering provide exhilarating acceleration and sharp, communicative handling without detriment to the renowned ride comfort of Bentley’s Continental convertible. Permanent all-wheel drive ensures optimum traction and power delivery whatever the road conditions.

Taking its place at the pinnacle of the Bentley Continental range, the new GT Speed Convertible has a top speed of 202 mph (325 km/h) and in true Bentley style, no compromises have been made in craftsmanship, luxury or refinement to deliver this unrivalled performance.

Subtle sporting design cues include exclusive 21-inch alloy wheels, dark-tint grilles and ‘rifled’ exhaust tail pipes. Inside its handcrafted cabin, the GT Speed convertible features the Mulliner Driving Specification as standard, blending contemporary luxury with a distinctly sporting character.

Commenting on the new Continental GT Speed Convertible, Bentley Chairman and Chief Executive Dr Wolfgang Schreiber said: "Following the recent successful introduction of the GT Speed, the new GT Speed Convertible will appeal to drivers who seek the sensory thrills of the world’s fastest four-seat soft-top and the practicality of a year-round grand tourer, together with unrivalled levels of luxury and refinement. It is designed for those who accept no compromise."

Powertrain: 12 cylinders, 625 PS (616 bhp) and 8 gears
The Continental GT Speed convertible shares its powertrain specification with its Bentley stablemate the GT Speed coupé. The 625 PS (616 bhp) twin-turbocharged, 48-valve, W12 engine powers the new convertible to 60 mph in 4.1 seconds (0-100 km/h in 4.4 s.) and onto a top speed of 202 mph (325 km/h). Nought to 100 mph (160 km/h) is despatched in only 9.7 seconds. Peak torque – an impressive 800 Nm (590 lb.ft) – is reached at just 2000 revs/min and maintains that level through to 5000 revs/min for effortless, refined performance at all times.

The latest ME17 engine management system, capable of performing 180 million individual calculations per second, provides enhanced turbocharger control and torque management, enhancing driveability. In common with all W12-engined models, the GT Speed convertible features an energy recuperation system. Together with a close-ratio, quick-shifting eight-speed transmission, this has resulted in a 15 per cent improvement in fuel economy and CO2 emissions compared with the first generation Speed, with a commensurate increase in tank range.

The new GT Speed Convertible’s powertrain is even more tractable than its Speed predecessor, and just as fuel-efficient as the new W12 Continental GT. Switching the gear selector to ‘Sport’ mode however demonstrates the dual personality of the new GT Speed convertible, delivering a sharper throttle response, gear-shifting at higher engine speeds and faster ‘block shifting’ (eg 8th direct to 4th gear) for instantly accessible acceleration. The enhanced performance is accentuated by a glorious baritone snarl from the free-breathing exhaust, a thrilling soundtrack to the magnificent powerhouse under the bonnet.

Chassis; lower, sharper and more involving
With torsional stiffness a class-leading 22,500 Nm/degree, the bodyshell of the Continental GT Speed convertible is exceptionally rigid, laying the perfect foundation for a more engaging driving experience. The aluminium double-wishbone front suspension and trapezoidal multi-link rear setup feature revised air suspension springs and dampers for improved agility and body control with little sacrifice in ride comfort.

The self-levelling system is set 10 mm lower than the 575PS Continental GT convertible. Stiffer suspension bushes ensure sharp, communicative handling, while uprated anti-roll bars optimise the handling balance. The result is improved body control under hard cornering together with greater agility and, because steering plays an essential role in feeding response and grip back to the driver, the Servotronic steering has also been recalibrated for the Speed specification.

The Electronic Stability Control (ESC) system is optimised for the new engine management system to deliver both outstanding safety and greater driver involvement. The ESC system retains the “Dynamic Mode” setting that allows increased wheel slip at higher speeds, with engine torque reinstated more quickly after a system intervention. Together, these systems give the keen driver more opportunity to exploit the full potential of the new chassis set-up and higher power output.


Exterior – the darker side of Bentley design

From outside, the Continental GT Speed convertible is distinguished by a matrix radiator grille and bumper air intakes in a dark-tint chrome finish. The 21” Speed alloy wheels are unique to this model, and are available in silver or an optional dark tint. Large, elliptical exhaust tailpipes feature a rifled interior, while a further, subtle design touch is revealed when the bonnet is opened – the black inlet manifold is unique to the Continental Speed models. As with the GT Speed coupé, the winged ‘B’ badge which crowns the radiator shell is set upon a black enamel background.

The front wings of the GT Speed Convertible are created in superformed aluminium, their seamless form and crisply-defined body creases creating an impression of tension and muscularity. The 10 mm lower suspension and unique 21” wheels accentuate the wide, low and poised stance. Despite the supercar performance, additional spoilers are unnecessary – the gentle lip on the double-horseshoe bootlid generates all the downforce the GT Speed Convertible needs, even at over 200 mph (325 km/h).

Interior: sumptuous, exclusive luxury and advanced technology

Inside, exclusive treadplates featuring the ‘Speed’ legend welcome you to a four-seat cabin that features the hand-craftsmanship of the Mulliner Driving Specification, with its distinctive diamond-quilted hide upholstery. For the Continental GT Speed models Bentley offers an exclusive Dark Tint Aluminium ‘engine spin’ finish, inspired by the dashboards of the Le Mans winning Bentleys of the 1920s. Its understated shade is the perfect complement to the exterior’s dark tint chrome radiator and bumper grilles. Other optional finishes include the full range of fine wood veneers and a satin-finish Carbon Fibre option for fascia and centre console.

The infotainment system features Bentley’s latest software upgrades, which vary from region to region but include refinements such as point of interest mapping, optional satellite landscape imagery, live traffic data and, where the infrastructure supports it, digital radio. The system features 15 Gigabytes of available music space, as well as the facility to play music via an iPod, MP3 player, the car’s own six-disc CD changer or SD card.

Flat panel Balanced Mode Radiator (BMR) speakers, which combine the functions of separate tweeter and midrange speakers in one unit, direct the sound with accuracy and provide greater clarity across the audible spectrum. Alternatively, the audiophile Naim for Bentley system, incorporating custom-built speakers and eight individual Digital Sound Processing modes, is available as an option. As a thoughtful touch, the audio balance settings automatically alter when the roof is lowered to compensate for the change in listening environment.

The thrill of the open road, 365 days a year

The new Continental GT Speed Convertible offers the luxury and refinement of a coupé yet transforms into a head-turning open tourer at the touch of a button. The four-layer hood ensures high levels of refinement and acoustic insulation. Exhaustively tested in all conditions from -30°C to +50°C or more, it resists even monsoon-force rain and maintains comfortable, draft-free warmth even on the coldest days.

Another practical feature, the neck warmer, makes open air driving an appealing and comfortable prospect even on the cooler days of spring and autumn. With the hood down, the Continental GT Speed convertible offers sensational performance with the sensory amplification of open-air motoring. Hood up, it’s as practical a year-round proposition as its coupé stablemate.

As with every Bentley Continental model, the GT Speed convertible offers the reassuring stability of permanent all-wheel drive, biased 60:40 in favour of the rear so the spirited driver can control the car’s line with the throttle. The rear-biased torque split also minimises understeer during hard cornering while the system varies torque between the front and rear axles for optimum grip in all road and weather conditions.

The result is an exhilarating combination of performance and practicality; a Bentley that can tackle sun-drenched boulevard or snowy alpine pass with equal aplomb.

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS
GT Speed ConvertibleGT Speed
Engine
Type6-litre twin-turbocharged W12
Max Power616 bhp / 460 kW / 625 PS @6000 rpm
Max Torque800 Nm / 590 lb.ft @ 2000 rpm
Transmission
TypeZF 8-speed automatic with Quickshift, Block Shifting and wheel-mounted paddleshift
DrivelineContinuous all-wheel drive (40:60 rear bias)
Ratios1st : 4.71; 2nd: 3.14; 3rd: 2.1; 4th: 1.67; 5th: 1.29; 6th: 1.00; 7th: 0.839; 8th: 0.667
Final Drive2.85
Brakes
Front405mm ventilated discs (optional 420mm Carbon Silicon Carbide, cross drilled)
Rear335mm ventilated discs (optional 356mm, Carbon Silicon Carbide, cross drilled)
Wheels and Tyres
Wheels9.5J x 21”
Tyres275/35 ZR21
Steering
TypeRack & pinion, power assisted, speed-sensitive ZF servotronic
Turns lock-to-lock2.6 turns
Turning circle11.3 m
Suspension
FrontFour link double wishbones, computer controlled self-levelling air suspension, with anti-roll bar
RearTrapezoidal multi-link, computer-controlled self-levelling air suspension, with anti-roll bar
DampingContinuous Damping Control, tuned for dynamic performance
Dimensions
Wheelbase2746 mm / 108.1 in
Overall length4806 mm / 189.2 in
Width (across body)1944 mm / 76.5 in
Width (inc. mirrors)2227 mm / 87.7 in
Overall height1393 mm / 54.8 in1394 mm / 54.9 in
Fuel tank90 litres / 20 gallons / 24 US gallons
Boot volume260 / 9.18 cu ft358 litres / 12.6 cu ft
Kerb weight (EU)2495 kg / 5500 lb2320 kg / 5115 lb
Gross vehicle weight2900 kg / 6393 lb2750 kg / 6063 lb
Performance
Top speed202 mph / 325 km/h205 mph / 330 km/h
0-60 mph4.1 secs4.0 secs
0-100 mph9.7 secs9.0 secs
0-100 km/h4.4 secs4.2 secs
0-160 km/h9.7 secs9.0 secs
Fuel Consumption (EU cycle)*
Urban12.5 mpg (22.7 litres/100km)12.7 mpg (22.2 litres/100km)
Extra Urban27.2 mpg (10.4 litres/100km)28.0 mpg (10.1 litres/100km)
Combined19.0 mpg (14.9 litres/100km)19.5 mpg (14.5 litres/100km)
CO2 emissions347 g/km338 g/km
Fuel Consumption (EPA cycle)**
City (US mpg)1213
Highway (US mpg)2020
Combined (US mpg)1515
Emissions ControlsEU 5 and US LEV II

* Fuel consumption figures are provisional and subject to Type Approval.
** Fuel consumption figures are provisional and subject to EPA certification.

Notes:
1. Although the Speed nomenclature was revived in August 2007 with the first generation Continental GT Speed, the name originates in the W.O. Bentley era, with the 3 Litre Speed of 1925 and the subsequent le Mans-winning Speed Six model. Fittingly, the first-ever Bentley Speed was also an open tourer, giving pioneer motorists the chance to enjoy wind-in-the-hair motoring with genuine 100mph capability. In contrast, today’s 202mph GT Speed Convertible is more than twice as fast as its ancestor - and considerably more civilised for driver and passengers.

2. Bentley Motors is the third largest R&D investor in the UK's automotive sector and the 18th largest nationally. The company employs around 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. In the first nine months of 2012 Bentley’s global sales were up by 25% with 5,969 cars delivered to customers and growth in every region. The Americas remain Bentley’s largest global region with 1750 deliveries (up by 29%) whilst in China deliveries were up by 25.7% to 1525 cars. In Europe deliveries were up by 20% (950 cars delivered) and by 9.6% in the UK (854 cars delivered). The Middle East significantly increased its deliveries by 42.7% (531 cars) and deliveries were also up 34.7% in Asia Pacific (229 cars delivered). Deliveries in Japan rose by 68.8% to 130 cars.




Press Release:
BENTLEY REVEALS ITS RANGE OF PERFORMANCE AT 2014 NEW YORK INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW

  • Styling and performance enhancements for Continental GT Speed, the fastest production Bentley ever
  • Flying Spur luxury sedan adds V8 power
  • Strong sales and record financial performance maintain brand’s momentum

At the New York International Auto Show, Bentley presents the upgraded performance of the Continental GT Speed and introduces the acclaimed V8 engine to the Flying Spur luxury sedan. Driven by the depth of the Bentley product range, Q1 2014 sales grew by 10% in the Americas region.

“I’m excited for the new Flying Spur V8 and 2015 GT Speed models to make their North American debut in New York,” said Christophe Georges, President and COO, Bentley Motors, Inc. “2013 was a record year for Bentley and demonstrated the high level of performance the brand is capable of. I look forward to seeing that success continue as the depth and breadth of our model lines continue to expand. All of our new products and initiatives will continue to embody the spirit of Bentley’s heritage while delivering effortless performance.”

Enhanced power and style for Continental GT Speed

The capabilities of Bentley’s flagship Grand Tourer are enhanced with updates to its supercar performance and unrivalled refinement.

Bentley’s iconic 6.0-litre twin-turbo W12 engine is engineered even further, now with 626 bhp and a record 607 lb-ft torque. The GT Speed coupe is the fastest production Bentley ever with a top speed of 206 mph. The GT Speed Convertible is the fastest four seat open top car in the world, capable of 203 mph.

The dynamic performance of the Continental flagship model is complemented by a signature visual appearance. The sharp front splitter, discrete side skirts and elegant rear diffuser of the Mulliner Styling Specification are finished to match the exterior paint color. The 21” Speed wheel design, headlamps and tail lamps are given a dark tint finish. The exterior modifications are completed with red-painted brake calipers and chrome “Speed” badge.

The visual changes continue inside the cabin of the GT Speed. Bentley’s unrivaled craftsmanship is now displayed in a more contemporary and sporting manor starting with a new color split reserved for the Speed models. Starting with a dark mono-tone interior, accent stripes in a contrasting color are applied across the doors, rear panels, fascia wings, inner console and gear lever. “Speed” branding is sewn to the headrests, while a chrome “Speed” badge enhances the passenger side fascia panel.

The new V8 – an introduction to the world’s best luxury sedan

Complementing the Flying Spur flagship W12, the V8 model provides the opportunity for drivers to experience the Flying Spur’s blend of performance, craftsmanship and technology with an enhanced touring range.

Bentley’s renowned 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 engine develops 500 bhp and 488 lb-ft of torque, powering the Flying Spur V8 to 60 mph in 4.9 seconds and on to a top speed of 183 mph. This performance comes with an extended fuel range of more than 500 miles.

Subtle styling differentiates the Flying Spur V8 from its W12 sibling, including figure of eight chromed exhaust finishers and a red center to the Bentley Wings badges to denote the V8 engine. The front bumper grills are finished in black, with a black “wing” insert.

Bentley reaches record sales and profit

2013 was a year of record sales and financial success for Bentley. Globally, sales reached 10,120 units, a record high in the company’s 95 year history.

Global operating profit was up 66.9% to a record £139.7 million. Turnover also increased 15.5% to £1.40 billion, the highest in Bentley’s history.

This performance was aided by a highly successful Americas region, with sales increasing 28% to 3,140 cars. The region was the largest market for Bentley, providing 31% of total deliveries.

Continuing on this momentum, Bentley’s Q1 2014 performance showed global deliveries up 17% over Q1 2013. The Americas maintained its number one position, with a 10% increase in customer deliveries (698 cars).

Notes:
Bentley Motors is the most sought after luxury car brand in the world. In 2013 one in every four luxury cars delivered to customers worldwide was a Bentley. 2013 was Bentley’s record year in the company’s 95-year history. Global customer deliveries grew by 19% over 2012 to 10,120 cars. The Americas remained Bentley’s largest sales region, with 3,140 cars delivered. China continued its position as the second biggest market with 2,191 cars, while in Europe, deliveries reached 1,480 cars. Sales in Bentley’s home market, the UK, were 1,381 and in the Middle East, Bentley delivered 1,185 cars. By the end of 2013 Bentley had nearly 200 dealerships in 54 countries.
Bentley Motors’ headquarters in Crewe is home to all of its operations including design, R&D, engineering and production of the company’s three model lines, Continental, Flying Spur and Mulsanne. 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 car brands such as Bentley. It is also an example of high-value British manufacturing at its best. Bentley employs around 3,700 people at Crewe.