Test Drive: Bentley Continental GT Speed 12-Cylinder

You are seeking at a unicorn. You may possibly guess I’m conversing about the price tag of the Bentley Continental GT Pace: $274,900. That now puts the two-plus-two British supercar far out of attain of the average Mini purchaser. Nope. The Bentley Continental GT Speed has genetic rarity less than the bonnet (read through: hood). The beast quaking this Bentley is a 12-cylinder, fireplace-breathing, gasoline-fueled jewel that blasts 650hp and 664 ft. lbs. of torque. And for clear explanations this variety of propulsion is no longer in vogue, even in the eff-all people-else baller realm of supercars.

Bentley’s not stupid: Even their client foundation is promptly switching channels to Bentley’s hybrid offerings and the brand name has committed to a system wherever, commencing in 2.5 years, they’ll fall a new EV every single 12 months by 2030. They are also committing to all their manufacturing turning into carbon neutral. These ambitions come about to be small business-savvy. No person would probable say it out loud at Bentley’s HQ in Crewe, England, but if Tesla proved its Product S could supplant Ferraris in the garages of Silicon Valley titans and Lucid’s Air is proving a possible successor (and without the need of a question, so will Rivian’s R1T and the new EV Hummer, etcetera.) then the Bentleys of the earth must evolve as perfectly.

But…there’s a tails facet to just about every coin. Envision a planet 20 several years from now when something that runs on gasoline is increasingly unconventional. You could have to pay a hefty luxurious tax to even wield these types of a machine, and most likely, in that rare environment, the only place to generate this kind of a auto would be a users-only monitor. Automobiles like a person of the past 12-cylinders built may well be verboten on city streets—but they’ll very probable be outstanding investments even if they not often operate.

With that get-and-keep context in intellect, here are a few aspects that stand out on a vehicle that’s not even striving that really hard to be “stealth.”

Twelve-cylinder engine
Courtesy Picture

Much more Than the Sum of Its Cylinders

The twin-turbocharged W-12 configuration of this engine is unusual, even in the realm of twelve-cylinder motors. And as stated, it’s not probably to adhere all over, nevertheless the fact is that even for all its prowess (-60mph in 3.5 seconds and a 208 mph major velocity are no joke), the pleasure of this Bentley is not discovered in sprinting. It is in slaloming.

Bentley’s air-adaptive suspension, as perfectly as digital lively anti-roll bars avoid the Conti from wallowing even as you bang 5,011 kilos of mass close to turns. It’s an encounter that simply cannot aid but make you giggle. It is absurd that a car or truck this relaxed and plush (and hush!) on the interstate desires to dance all-around just about every sinew of double-yellow place lane.

Now, this is not really magic. All Continental GTs get all-wheel travel, but the Speed version also provides 4-wheel steering, so it’s quicker to switch into a corner underneath throttle—and that handy tuck-in provided by the rear wheels helps make the Bentley dart like a a great deal more compact, much lighter car or truck. It helps that Bentley’s reformulated the power split of that all-wheel-drive method to bias torque to 90 % rear most of the time. The vehicle feels sportier at just about every apex, like it wants to wag its tail, then electricity shifts ahead to pull the steering again straight. Get a huge fistful of paddle to downshift the manumatic eight-pace gearbox just prior to a bend and the full recipe receives even tastier.

Interior of luxury car
Courtesy Impression

The Devil Is in the Specifics

Examination-driving a auto like this is an training in envy. And even if you are rather wealthy, the sheer perfection of a cabin so perfectly executed will have you calling your own architect and grilling them to copy every past thread and fitment to the inside of your mansion.

Not that it is all exactly everyone’s cup of Earl Grey. The point to duplicate is the high quality of execution, not necessarily the precise aesthetic alternatives.

On our loaner, the carbon fiber dashboard and lacquer-everywhere along with diamond-in-diamond quilting on the seats experienced a rented jet-established excellent that was distinctly above the best. Not to get worried. Bentleys are seldom acquired “off the rack.” You can decide on from 26 cloth and cover selections for seating and inside panels, and there are myriad challenging-area supplies to mull about. This does not even get started to contact the customization potential possibly, given that Bentley’s target is that no two automobiles are alike. And why not? If you are in for practically $300,000, why not use the canvas they’re supplying to paint your individual masterpiece?

Irrespective of material decision, you are going to have seats outfitted with massage and heating/cooling features. They are so snug, it’s challenging to pry on your own away even immediately after hours behind the wheel. It does not hurt that the 2200-watt, 20-speaker/subwoofer audio technique will darn close to make you cry at its astonishing sonic clarity.

Also, for all people who may possibly as a substitute choose a super-cramped sporting activities car, go forward. What the Continental GT Velocity delivers is not just tempo, but authentic convenience. The backseats might be little, but they exist, as does a fairly sized trunk. This is a gran-tourer in the classic sense, so you are under no circumstances deafened by a droning exhaust, bellowing engine, or beating-you-to-submission suspension. Get away for a weekend in this supercar and you’ll get there fresher than when you remaining.

Grey car in showroom
Courtesy Image

Bodyweight-ing for the Upcoming

Just one revelation that’s arrived at the rear of any EV owner is that all that weight in the basement corners greater. Fast-twitch has a position, no question, but what is been a lot more interesting recently is building the most of…assets. Even even though an EV has to be major, putting batteries in the flooring can give even a softly sprung equipment a planted experience that lends the driver sharper regulate.

Welcome to the club, all you newcomers.

Even though the GT Velocity is fully fuel-run, driving this car is like looking by a wormhole. You are gazing back again in time at every little thing Bentley appreciates what to do with weight—and at the same time observing a road map to the company’s EV upcoming. Due to the fact if they can attain this a lot poise with a motor vehicle with this significantly pounds on the entrance axle, just imagine what they could do with a properly even stability of energy and bulk.

If you have the signifies, plunk down your Black Card for the Continental GT Pace, pronto. But there’s hope, much too, that a car like this heralds even far more creative imagination for what Bentley can transform out occur 2025.

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