Less than a month after Bentley proclaimed the Brooklands super-coupé as its most powerful V8-engined car ever, Crewe is smashing more records with a 600bhp version of the Continental GT - and it’s just as Autocar predicted. Available to order from August, this is the appropriately named Continental GT Speed. It’s the most powerful production Bentley ever and, although we’ve timed both the Continental GT and the Flying Spur above 200mph, this is the first to officially breach 200mph, with a top speed of 202mph. What’s more, you really did read about it first on Autocar.co.uk. Back in March, we ran a story containing advanced spy pictures of this car, and reported that Bentley must be working on a higher-powered version of the Continental coupe. Here the proof that we were right – and you can see the official pictures on our gallery.
The fastest Bentley ever
Inspired by the Bentley Speed models from 1923, the GT Speed is based on the revised Continental GT Coupé, itself due in August. Cosmetic clues include a dark-tinted chrome grille, 20in multi-spoke alloy wheels with bespoke Pirelli rubber, a deeper, wider air intake in the front bumper and wider exhausts at the rear. But the chief enhancements are mechanical. The standard Conti’s 552bhp (which remains unchanged in the ’08 model), exerted by its Volkswagen 6.0-litre W12 engine, has been increased to 600bhp. With 553lb ft of torque and a 'Dynamic Mode' that moderates ESP intervention, the GT Speed will hit 60mph in 4.3sec, compared to the standard ’08 car’s time of 4.6sec. The GT Speed’s chassis also gets thicker front and rear anti-roll bars to increase rigidity, and the air suspension is lowered by 10mm at the front and 15mm at the rear for enhanced agility.Both the new GT and the GT Speed benefit from engine and drivetrain component upgrades which shave 35kg of mass, giving both cars a still-portly 2350kg kerbweight. Optional carbon-ceramic brakes will provide fade-resistant stopping power and another 20kg weight reduction. Bentley says new engine management has improved fuel consumption and cut CO2 emissions in both models from 410g/km to 396g/km. There's also a revised 'Sport Traction' ESP stability system.Prices for the GT Speed will start from £137,500 while the 552bhp 2008 GT will cost £120,500.