Bentley shows fastest Continental yet

Bentley released details of its 2013 Continental GT Speed, which can hit 205 mph.

Bentley Continental GT Speed
Bentley's new GT Speed model is the fastest and most powerful the company has ever produced. Bentley

Bentley has come a long way from the 4 1/2 Liter Blower, by about 376 horsepower. The new GT Speed, announced today, generates 616 horsepower from its twin turbocharger W-12 engine. Bentley says that's good for a top speed of 205 mph.

Bentley engineers managed to coax an extra 24 horsepower over the previous GT Speed out of this engine, and got the torque up to 590 pound feet. The zero-to-60 mph rating is 4 seconds, not as fast as many other supercars, but the GT Speed should weigh in at more than 5,000 pounds, similar to the standard Continental GT W-12. Bentley did not release full specifications on the GT Speed.

An eight-speed automatic transmission from ZF also lets Bentley claim a 12 percent improvement in fuel economy, although given the size of the car and engine, don't expect to get better than 20 mpg.

As with the standard Continental GT, the GT Speed comes standard with an all-wheel-drive system to help put all that power to use.

Under Volkswagen's provenance, Bentley should have access to some very good cabin tech. A picture of the cabin shows a navigation head unit integrated into the dashboard. Bentley has also worked with Naim, a high-end stereo manufacturer, to create excellent sound systems in the car. The GT Speed should show the same high level of quality craftsmanship in the coachwork for which Bentley has become known.

For those thinking 12 cylinders is too much, Bentley introduced a V-8 version of the Continental GT, but that only only makes 500 horsepower.

About the author

Wayne Cunningham reviews cars and writes about automotive technology for CNET. Prior to the Car Tech beat, he covered spyware, Web building technologies, and computer hardware. He began covering technology and the Web in 1994 as an editor of The Net magazine. He's also the author of "Vaporware," a novel that's available as a Nook e-book.

 

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