Bentley Unveils the 2013 GT Speed
Newest Continental variant claims title of fastest-ever production model with a top speed of 205 mph.
The wraps have just come off what Bentley claims to be the fastest-ever Continental, the 2013 GT Speed, an all-wheel-drive grand tourer with a lowered stance and uprated suspension powered by a 6.0-liter twin-turbocharged W12 engine putting out 616 horsepower at 6,000 RPM and 590 lb-ft of torque. That's an extra 49 horses and 74 lb-ft above what the W12 puts out on the standard Conti GT, and well above the 600 horsepower/553 lb-ft of twist from the first-generation GT Speed of 2007. The whole package is good for a claimed top speed of 205 mph, which does indeed uptick the previous fastest-ever Continental, the 621-hp Supersports coupe, by 1 mph. Note, though, that said Supersports, while no longer the fastest, is still the quickest: the GT Speed's admittedly impressive 0-60 mph time, at 4.0 seconds, will still be outpaced by the former's 3.6-second sprint. Shifting is handled by a ZF-made close-ratio eight-speed automatic, which Bentley claims is a large part of a claimed 12 percent bump in overall fuel economy.
So, we'll play the multimillionaire for the moment and ask: what else? Well, the GT Speed gets more aggressive steering and suspension systems, 21-inch wheels available in two finishes and fitted with 274 35 R21 Pirelli PZero high-performance tires, plus Mulliner Driving Specification standard in the cabin; in Bentley-speak, that means, essentially, lots of extra-expensive bits like bookmatched carbon fiber trim.
Per Bentley's usual game plan, styling and badging differentiations for the GT Speed will be so subtle as to be unnoticeable -- save for those who know where to look. In this case that means darker mesh on the front grille, lower air intakes and a special finish on the tailpipes.
Pricing has yet to be announced, though the first-gen GT Speed ran at $213,995 to start, while the current, standard W12 Continental stickers for $198,975. Orders for the GT Speed are underway now, with deliveries slated for October; ahead of that, a pre-production version will be raced up the hill twice daily at the Goodwood Festival of Speed from June 29th to July 1st by Bentley racers, ambassadors and speed-record holders Guy Smith, Derek Bell, and Juha Kankunnen.
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