Bentley Continental

Two engines are offered in the Continental for 2022, though both send power to all-four wheels via an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. The Continental V8 is powered by a 4.0L twin-turbocharged unit making 542 horsepower, enough to sling the coupe to 60 mph in a claimed 3.9 seconds. Bentley claims a top speed of 198 mph with the V8. For those wanting more performance, 6.0L turbocharged 12-cylinder engine is also offered, making 650 horsepower, allowing the Continental GT to reach a claimed top speed of 207 mph. Both engines are available in the Coupe or the convertible and being a grand tourer, Bentley have equipped the Continental with a very large gas tank. Owners of the V8 coupe should be able to go more than 500 miles between trips to the gas station while cruising on the highway.

The Bentley Continental comes in three distinct trims for both the convertible and coupe version: base V8, Speed and Mulliner.

The base V8 and W12 trim come standard with many of the same features and equipment. The ultra-luxury SUV comes with heated front and rear leather seating, Alcantara headliner, power folding heated mirrors with tilt function, leather steering wheel and remote keyless entry with push button start. The Continental's infotainment system comes stocked with 12.3-inch touchscreen, 650-watt 10-speaker sound system, satellite radio, Bluetooth and Apple CarPlay.

The Speed trim adds many more premium features to the line-up. Speed Continentals come standard with 22-inch wheels, an active suspension with an active anti-roll system, and sport pedals.

Prospective buyers shopping for a new Bentley are treated to an incredible wealth of options to make their car feel bespoke, unique and personalized. The Continental is no exception with a huge number of color, wheel, interior and trim options. For instance, while most cars are available in two or three shades of silver, there are no fewer than thirteen different silvers available on the Continental.

The customization just goes on from there. Buyers are treated with a selection of wheels ranging from 20-inches, up to 22-inches in a variety of silver and black styles. Interior leather is two tone by default with around fourteen different colors available. Of course, exactly how the cockpit is divided up between those two colors is up to the customer; they can pick one of five different options. Nine different veneers are offered for the dashboard and surrounding interior, including walnut, carbon fiber, eucalyptus and ash options, while contrasting stitching on the seats can also be ordered in several different styles.

There are of course, plenty of option packages. A Touring Specification adds lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control, night vision and a heads-up display. City Specification comes with a top view camera, traffic sign recognition, pedestrian warning, a hands-free trunk, auto dimming mirrors and a reversing traffic warning system. Mood Lighting Specification adds extended interior lighting, while a Front Seat Specification package adds fancier seats with chrome bezels and a massager. Stereo options include a Bang & Olufsen sound system that comes with sixteen speakers and 1500 watts of power, though true hi-fi nerds will instead spring for the Naim sound system with twenty speakers, a twenty channel amplifier and 2200 watts.

Editors' Review

There's something eerie yet serene about driving through Joshua Tree National Park in the desert a few hours east of Los Angeles. It's vast and quiet, and apart from the occasional work truck or tourist-driven crossover, the stunning roads are typically empty and provide some of the best views in the country. It's a mix of mountains and valleys, sand and weird greenery, all with a layer of heat shimmer added on top. As I quietly cruise past rows of beautiful cacti with my friends in the car and the windows down, it's easy to forget that I'm in a $346,260 Bentley with 650 horsepower.

To simply evaluate the 2022 Continental GT Speed, I could've just stuck to its natural habitat of swanky Beverly Hills just a few miles from my apartment -- but that wouldn't be nearly as fun. This car which lays claim to being Bentley's fastest and more luxurious car ever, at least until the Speed-based Mulliner W12 comes out, and it deserves to be taken seriously. Beyond just the scenery being incredible, the desert roads around Joshua Tree are spectacular, too, perfectly smooth with a mix of meandering sweepers, long straights and tight corners. My weekend trip turns out to be the perfect adventure with the Speed, which -- surprise, surprise -- is phenomenal.

The Speed's twin-turbo 6.0-liter W12 engine has been boosted by 24 hp compared to the normal W12-powered Continental, while torque remains the same at 664 pound-feet. Not too shabby. Bentley also gave the Speed's eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission quicker shifts, the engine and transmission have new calibration for a broader powerband, and the exhaust system is louder on startup and more characterful when downshifting.

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The Good ~ Everything ~ No seriously, everything ~ This car is incredible

The Bad ~ It's expensive

The Bottom Line The Bentley Continental GT Speed is a shining example of when excess works.

Editors' Rating
  • Performance 9.5
  • Features 9.5
  • Design 9
  • Media 8.5

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