You’re looking at the world’s fastest four-seat drop-top car, the Bentley Continental GT Speed Convertible that will make its debut at the upcoming 2013 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
Powered by a twin-turbocharged 6.0 litre W12 engine, this candy coloured Bentley will do 0-100 km/h in 4.4 seconds and a top speed of 325 km/h, top down. Peak torque of 800 Nm is achieved at just 2,000 rpm – can you imagine being pinned to the seat by that mega wall of twist?
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 auto transmission, this has resulted in a 15% improvement in fuel economy and CO2 emissions over the first generation Speed, with a commensurate increase in tank range.
Bentley says that the latest ME17 engine management system, capable of performing 180 million individual calculations per second, provides enhanced turbocharger control and torque management, enhancing driveability. The permanent all-wheel drive is biased 60:40 in favour of the rear.
While it’s more tractable than its Speed predecessor, switching the gear selector to ‘Sport’ brings on sharper throttle response, gear-shifting at higher rpms and faster ‘block shifting’ (8th gear to 4th). The enhanced performance is accentuated by a “glorious baritone snarl” from the exhaust.
Chassis wise, the self-levelling suspension is set 10 mm lower than the standard Conti GT convertible. There’s also stiffer suspension bushes, uprated anti-roll bars and recalibrated Servotronic steering for the topless Speed.
It may be supercar-fast, but this is a luxurious Bentley at the core. Crewe says that the four-layer hood ensures high levels of refinement and insulation, and since it’s tested in all conditions from -30°C to +50°C or more, it resists even monsoon-force rain and maintains comfortable, draft-free warmth even on the coldest days. A neck warmer comes useful on cooler days.
Brilliant, but not in this colour please! Our man Jonathan recently had a go at the Bentley GTC and Mulsanne – click here to read his account.