Test Drive: Bentley Continental GT Speed 12-Cylinder

You’re on the lookout at a unicorn. You may possibly guess I’m talking about the price of the Bentley Continental GT Pace: $274,900. That by now puts the two-as well as-two British supercar considerably out of achieve of the average Mini purchaser. Nope. The Bentley Continental GT Speed has genetic rarity below the bonnet (study: hood). The beast quaking this Bentley is a 12-cylinder, fire-respiration, gasoline-fueled jewel that blasts 650hp and 664 ft. lbs. of torque. And for evident factors this variety of propulsion is no more time in manner, even in the eff-absolutely everyone-else baller realm of supercars.

Bentley’s not silly: Even their consumer base is quickly switching channels to Bentley’s hybrid choices and the brand name has fully commited to a strategy in which, commencing in 2.5 a long time, they’ll fall a new EV every single calendar year by means of 2030. They’re also committing to all their manufacturing turning out to be carbon neutral. These objectives happen to be enterprise-savvy. No person would most likely say it out loud at Bentley’s HQ in Crewe, England, but if Tesla proved its Model S could supplant Ferraris in the garages of Silicon Valley titans and Lucid’s Air is proving a attainable successor (and with out a doubt, so will Rivian’s R1T and the new EV Hummer, etc.) then the Bentleys of the world must evolve as effectively.

But…there’s a tails side to every coin. Envision a earth 20 decades from now when anything that operates on gasoline is progressively strange. You could possibly have to spend a significant luxury tax to even wield these types of a machine, and probable, in that exceptional ambiance, the only place to generate this kind of a vehicle would be a members-only keep track of. Cars and trucks like 1 of the final 12-cylinders designed may perhaps be verboten on urban streets—but they’ll extremely probable be exceptional investments even if they seldom operate.

With that invest in-and-hold context in mind, right here are a few sides that stand out on a auto that’s not even seeking that tough to be “stealth.”

Twelve-cylinder engine
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A lot more Than the Sum of Its Cylinders

The twin-turbocharged W-12 configuration of this engine is abnormal, even in the realm of twelve-cylinder motors. And as outlined, it’s not likely to stick close to, still the fact is that even for all its prowess (-60mph in 3.5 seconds and a 208 mph major pace are no joke), the pleasure of this Bentley isn’t discovered in sprinting. It’s in slaloming.

Bentley’s air-adaptive suspension, as perfectly as digital energetic anti-roll bars protect against the Conti from wallowing even as you bang 5,011 pounds of mass close to turns. It is an knowledge that just cannot enable but make you giggle. It’s absurd that a motor vehicle this cozy and plush (and hush!) on the interstate would like to dance all-around each sinew of double-yellow place lane.

Now, this is not fairly magic. All Continental GTs get all-wheel travel, but the Velocity edition also provides four-wheel steering, so it’s faster to transform into a corner beneath throttle—and that practical tuck-in offered by the rear wheels can make the Bentley dart like a a great deal more compact, a great deal lighter automobile. It will help that Bentley’s reformulated the energy break up of that all-wheel-generate method to bias torque to 90 per cent rear most of the time. The motor vehicle feels sportier at every apex, like it wishes to wag its tail, then energy shifts forward to pull the steering back again straight. Get a massive fistful of paddle to downshift the manumatic 8-velocity gearbox just in advance of a bend and the entire recipe will get even tastier.

Interior of luxury car
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The Devil Is in the Information

Test-driving a vehicle like this is an work out in envy. And even if you’re very rich, the sheer perfection of a cabin so perfectly executed will have you calling your private architect and grilling them to copy every single very last thread and fitment to the interior of your mansion.

Not that it’s all precisely everyone’s cup of Earl Grey. The detail to duplicate is the quality of execution, not automatically the distinct aesthetic options.

On our loaner, the carbon fiber dashboard and lacquer-in all places alongside with diamond-in-diamond quilting on the seats experienced a rented jet-established quality that was distinctly about the major. Not to fear. Bentleys are seldom acquired “off the rack.” You can pick out from 26 fabric and conceal solutions for seating and interior panels, and there are myriad really hard-surface elements to mull above. This does not even begin to touch the customization opportunity both, considering that Bentley’s target is that no two vehicles are alike. And why not? If you are in for nearly $300,000, why not use the canvas they are providing to paint your have masterpiece?

Irrespective of product alternative, you are going to have seats outfitted with therapeutic massage and heating/cooling functionality. They are so cozy, it’s complicated to pry yourself away even just after hrs powering the wheel. It doesn’t harm that the 2200-watt, 20-speaker/subwoofer audio system will darn around make you cry at its astonishing sonic clarity.

Also, for all those who could rather pick out a super-cramped sports activities car or truck, go ahead. What the Continental GT Speed presents isn’t just pace, but authentic consolation. The backseats might be smaller, but they exist, as does a reasonably sized trunk. This is a gran-tourer in the common feeling, so you’re under no circumstances deafened by a droning exhaust, bellowing motor, or beating-you-to-submission suspension. Get absent for a weekend in this supercar and you will get there fresher than when you still left.

Grey car in showroom
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Body weight-ing for the Upcoming

One revelation which is arrived at the rear of any EV proprietor is that all that bodyweight in the basement corners far better. Rapid-twitch has a spot, no doubt, but what is been a lot more appealing a short while ago is building the most of…assets. Even though an EV has to be hefty, placing batteries in the ground can give even a softly sprung equipment a planted emotion that lends the driver sharper command.

Welcome to the club, all you newcomers.

Even though the GT Pace is totally gasoline-powered, driving this car or truck is like on the lookout via a wormhole. You’re gazing back again in time at every little thing Bentley appreciates what to do with weight—and concurrently seeing a street map to the company’s EV foreseeable future. Mainly because if they can achieve this significantly poise with a automobile with this much fat on the entrance axle, just imagine what they could possibly do with a perfectly even stability of electric power and bulk.

If you have the means, plunk down your Black Card for the Continental GT Speed, pronto. But there’s hope, far too, that a vehicle like this heralds even more creative imagination for what Bentley can convert out appear 2025.

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