Bentley Motors bridges the gap between the ancient and new worlds. The carmaker has been at the forefront of automotive elegance and performance for more than a century, and while it has always adapted to change over the years, classic, tactile coachbuilding has remained its hallmark. This romanticized picture of automobile manufacture appears to be at odds with our present technology advancements and the needs of today’s luxury buyers.
If there is one thing Bentley has mastered, it is keeping up with the current while adhering to timeless hits. The 2022 Bentley Continental GT Speed is the best illustration of this, a powerful two-door grand tourer that is unlike any other automobile on the road today. The Bentley Continental GT is a two-door version of the Bentley Continental Flying Spur sedan, which has four doors. Despite the fact that they share many features, the GT is much more than a scaled-down version of the larger car and it stands out in terms of design and performance, among other things.
The GT’s centerpiece is a 6.0-liter twin-turbo W12 engine, a gigantic power unit that stands out in an era where engines are diminishing (or perhaps disappearing). The Speed gets 650 horsepower from its trademark system, which is a 24 horsepower increase over the regular Conti GT W12, It produces 664 pound-feet of torque and is transmitted via a dual-clutch eight-speed automatic transmission. All four wheels receive power, and an improved chassis system distributes it evenly.
“Our chassis engineers have an extraordinary array of technology at their disposal, to offer the car actual duality in ride and handling, which is controlled by the driver via Drive Dynamics Control,” said Mike Sayer, head of Product Communications at Bentley Motors Ltd., to TechCrunch.
“We use three-chamber air springs with three different spring stiffnesses to allow the chassis to be modified.” In Sport mode, each air spring has only one chamber, resulting in high spring stiffness. Solenoid valves in Comfort bring all three chambers into action at low pressure, resulting in a softer spring. Then there’s Bentley Dynamic Ride, which is our 48-volt electric anti-roll control.”
For the first time, the Speed adds some new technology to the GT, including an electronic rear differential and rear-wheel steering. When driving in a spirited manner, the E-diff distributes torque over the rear angle to offer it balance and control during turn-in. The Flying Spur was the first vehicle to use rear-wheel steering, which provided a shorter turning radius and improved stability at high speeds.
It is designed to offer the GT Speed’s two-door a sharper turning radius and is significantly more active than the sedan’s. The more than 5,000-pound GT can reach speeds of up to 208 mph, accelerating from zero to 60 mph in under 3.5 seconds, a feat that even automobiles with a cruise ship’s worth of luxury amenities fail to do.