Published — Thursday 17 January 2013
Last update 18 January 2013 10:32 am
THE Continental GT Speed Convertible, Bentley’s new open-top performance flagship described as the world’s fastest four-seat convertible, made its international debut on Monday (Jan. 14) 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 15 percent 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 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.”
The Continental GT Speed convertible shares its powertrain specification with its Bentley stablemate the GT Speed coupe. 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 dispatched 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.