The Bentley Continental GT is a velvet hammer with a muscular engine and a Existence of the Wealthy and Well-known-quality cabin. If by some means that is nonetheless not sufficient, Bentley has one thing particular up its sleeve within the type of the brand new Continental GT Speed. Primarily based on the Continental GT W12, the Velocity dials up the coupe’s styling, energy and dealing with, leading to not solely the baddest Conti GT on the Beverly Hills block, however one of many best grand tourers ever constructed.
Small nip and tuck
The GT Velocity boasts a handful of visible modifications giving the Continental a contact extra spice. The large coupe good points a dark-finish grille and decrease air consumption, extra shapely facet sills, unique 22-inch wheels and Velocity badging.
The lavish inside mixes leather-based and Alcantara in a two-tone colour scheme with diamond-quilted seats commonplace. Piano black veneer trim is included in each Velocity, however a handful of wooden choices are on provide, too. You may also spec new, dark-tinted turned aluminum inlays for the middle console that admittedly do look snazzy. These choosing the GT Speed Convertible have much more selections to make, like choosing from seven exterior roof colours and eight inside liner hues.
2022 Bentley Continental GT Velocity: Extra energy and higher reflexes
Not one of the Velocity’s touches do a lot to vary the Continental GT’s first-class inside expertise. Each floor inside seems and feels lovely, from the gentle leathers, Alcantara headliner and local weather vent organ pulls to the wrapped and stitched decrease middle console space. Undoubtedly, the GT Velocity feels just like the high-dollar cruiser it’s.
By way of know-how, Bentley lifts the Porsche Communication Administration software program from its sister firm however provides its personal fonts and colours. Like within the Porsche Panamera, this software program is superb, providing navigation with Google Avenue View imagery, a Wi-Fi hotspot, satellite tv for pc radio and Apple CarPlay. Disappointingly, Android Auto is not supported. There is not any lack of driving aids, both, with adaptive cruise management, blind-spot monitoring, lane-departure warning with lane-keeping help, a head-up show and evening imaginative and prescient all accessible within the GT Velocity.
The largest a part of the GT Velocity story comes within the efficiency division. Its 6.0-liter twin-turbocharged W12 engine sees energy climb to 650 horsepower, up from 626 hp in the usual GT W12. Torque holds regular at a far-from-shabby 664 pound-feet, and it is accessible between 1,500 and 5,000 rpm. Routing energy to all 4 wheels is an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission that helps get the 5,029-pound coupe to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds (3.6 seconds for the 5,388-pound convertible). Each figures are one-tenth of a second faster than their common GT W12 counterparts. Prime speeds for each Velocity iterations is 208 mph.
The Velocity’s straight-line numbers do not characterize a drastic improve, however its dealing with enhancements actually do. To punch up cornering capabilities, Bentley engineers reworked the Continental GT’s all-wheel-drive system, energetic anti-roll bars and stability-control programing. New goodies equivalent to four-wheel steering, an digital limited-slip differential and accessible carbon ceramic brakes added to this efficiency, too. If you’d like the mega brakes, they will set you again a further $11,890 with black calipers and $13,170 with crimson clamps.
To push this 2.5-ton coupe to the restrict with out worry of ending up behind bars, Bentley arrange an autocross course on the deserted Comiso Air Base in Sicily, Italy. Prior to now, the bottom was residence to 1000’s of individuals and a hefty stockpile of warfare munitions. For the reason that base closed within the late 1990s, nature has reclaimed the grounds, making for some of the attention-grabbing automotive testing settings I’ve ever skilled.
With the GT Speed in Sport mode, the W12 sings on lengthy straights taking pictures previous weapon storage bunkers with a good 90-degree flip on the finish. Triple-digit speeds are seen earlier than having to leap onto the brakes, instructing the 10-piston entrance and 4-piston rear calipers to clamp down on the large 17.3-inch fore and 16.1-inch aft carbon-ceramic discs. Dive beneath braking is minimal as is the physique roll at turn-in. If the sensation strikes, a agency press of the throttle out of corners leads to managed tail wags due to the rear-biased all-wheel-drive system that may ship as much as 93% of the engine’s torque to the again. Looser stability management shackles assist right here, too. Crank the steering wheel laborious to the appropriate and mat the throttle, and the GT Velocity will fortunately do donuts — not that I might know or something.
Via high-speed sweeping turns, the Continental hunkers down and hangs on tight with its 275/35ZR22 entrance and 315/30ZR22 rear Pirelli P Zero summer season tires. Contemplating the Bentley’s porky curb weight, the composure and quantity of grip accessible is sort of spectacular. Issues tighten up by means of a close-by city middle, and driving by means of this space is like going by means of a slalom — the Velocity snakes on by means of with little effort and drama because the four-wheel steering exhibits its price.
Whereas the Continental GT Speed’s sharper dealing with chops impress and supply extra dynamic engagement, the massive coupe nonetheless feels at its greatest romping round in serene consolation. Name up the automotive’s Consolation drive setting and every part relaxes as I motor by means of the Italian countryside. The throttle is not as jumpy and is definitely a little bit too muted at tip-in earlier than the silky engine pushes the automotive ahead with a mammoth wave of thrust. Moreover the lazy throttle response, I additionally want the exhaust observe had some extra bark.
The Continental’s dual-clutch transmission is buttery clean in operation, ripping off fast, well-timed shifts and by no means fumbling throughout my day of driving. It incorporates a responsive handbook mode, too, if you wish to swap cogs your self, however the auto mode is tuned so nicely in each the Sport and Consolation settings that I let the transmission do all of the work itself more often than not. For these questioning about gasoline financial system, official EPA-estimated numbers aren’t accessible but, however figures near the conventional W12’s 12 mpg metropolis and 20 mpg freeway would not be stunning.
The GT Velocity’s experience high quality is excellent because the air suspension erases impacts from damaged tarmac, whereas the sturdy brakes do not have an excessively aggressive preliminary chew, permitting for clean software of stopping drive. The steering is direct and calmly weighted to comfortably deal with hours upon hours of driving.
There’s, nevertheless, a little bit tire noise noticeable within the coupe, which I am prepared to offer a go due to the grip they supply. That apart, the Velocity’s inside is properly hushed, and the Convertible is not any worse. Folding the highest down takes 19 seconds on the push of the button, letting the solar’s rays in, however fortunately there is not a ton of wind turbulence at velocity. This allows you to get to your vacation spot with out wanting such as you caught your head right into a wind tunnel, which is all the time a great factor.
The value of Velocity
The 2022 Bentley Continental GT Velocity Coupe and Convertible will hit US showrooms later this fall, beginning at $280,225 and $307,725, respectively. Each costs included $2,735 for vacation spot and $2,600 fuel guzzler taxes. With out query, the Continental GT Velocity is expensive for certain, however in case you are somebody who’s lucky sufficient to have the means and are searching for the head of grand touring, this Bentley is it.
Editors’ observe: Journey prices associated to this story have been lined by the producer, which is frequent within the auto trade. The judgments and opinions of Roadshow’s workers are our personal and we don’t settle for paid editorial content material.