Sticking with the Volkswagen Group’s MSB platform, the GT Speed carries over the same three-chamber, adaptively damped air suspension as the regular GT and the same eight-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox and electronically controlled active four-wheel drive system, all of which run recalibrated software to deliver a more sporting focus. It has the Bentley Dynamic Ride 48V active anti-roll bars that come as an option on lesser GTs, but they run with even more extensively retuned settings.
Those clever anti-roll bars need to work even more cleverly because, unlike any other GT to date, the GT Speed also features a four-wheel steering system adapted from that of the Bentley Flying Spur. It works via a secondary steering rack acting on the tie rods of the multi-link rear axle, but its tuning is very different here. The system not only aids manoeuvrability at low speeds by shortening the car’s effective wheelbase, but it also moves the GT’s centre of yaw forward and away from the rear axle, allowing the chassis to pivot much closer to its middle when cornering. The four-wheel steering system’s effectiveness, Bentley says, is as much to do with the aggressiveness with which it turns those rear wheels as it is the angle to which it turns them.
The GT Speed’s other technological first is an electronically controlled torque-vectoring rear diff, which is in fact a planetary axle drive teamed with a pair of clutches. This can behave as a fully open diff, as a 50:50 locking unit, or even to overdrive the loaded outside rear wheel when the electronics deem it appropriate. It not only improves traction but also gives the rear axle – and, by extension, the driver’s right foot – much greater influence over the handling balance and cornering attitude of the chassis.