The Continental GT Speed Convertible, Bentley’s new open-top performance flagship and the world’s fastest four-seat convertible makes its international debut January 14th at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
The new GT Speed Convertible combines the sensory pleasures of roof-down luxury touring with the shattering performance of a 616 horsepower twin-turbocharged 6-liter W12 engine, while delivering a fifteen per cent improvement in fuel efficiency. The close-ratio eight-speed transmission, uprated and lowered suspension and retuned steering provide exhilarating acceleration and sharp, communicative handling without detriment to the renowned ride comfort of Bentley’s Continental convertible. Permanent all-wheel drive ensures optimum traction and power delivery whatever the road conditions.
Taking its place at the pinnacle of the Bentley Continental range, the new GT Speed Convertible has a top speed of 202 mph and in true Bentley style, no compromises have been made in craftsmanship, luxury or refinement to deliver this unrivalled performance. Subtle sporting design cues include exclusive 21-inch alloy wheels, dark-tint grilles and ‘rifled’ exhaust tail pipes. Inside its handcrafted cabin, the GT Speed convertible features the Mulliner Driving Specification as standard, blending contemporary luxury with a distinctly sporting character.
The Continental GT Speed convertible shares its powertrain specification with its Bentley stablemate the GT Speed coupé. The 616 horsepower twin-turbocharged, 48-valve, W12 engine powers the new convertible to 60 mph in 4.1 seconds and onto a top speed of 202 mph. Peak torque – an impressive 590 lb.ft is reached at just 2000 revs/min and maintains that level through to 5000 revs/min for effortless, refined performance at all times.
The new GT Speed Convertible’s powertrain is even more tractable than its Speed predecessor, and just as fuel-efficient as the new W12 Continental GT. Switching the gear selector to ‘Sport’ mode however demonstrates the dual personality of the new GT Speed convertible, delivering a sharper throttle response, gear-shifting at higher engine speeds and faster ‘block shifting’ (eg 8th direct to 4th gear) for instantly accessible acceleration. The enhanced performance is accentuated by a glorious baritone snarl from the free-breathing exhaust, a thrilling soundtrack to the magnificent powerhouse under the bonnet.
The Electronic Stability Control (ESC) system is optimised for the new engine management system to deliver both outstanding safety and greater driver involvement. The ESC system retains the “Dynamic Mode” setting that allows increased wheel slip at higher speeds, with engine torque reinstated more quickly after a system intervention. Together, these systems give the keen driver more opportunity to exploit the full potential of the new chassis set-up and higher power output.
From outside, the Continental GT Speed convertible is distinguished by a matrix radiator grille and bumper air intakes in a dark-tint chrome finish. The 21” Speed alloy wheels are unique to this model, and are available in silver or an optional dark tint. Large, elliptical exhaust tailpipes feature a rifled interior, while a further, subtle design touch is revealed when the bonnet is opened – the black inlet manifold is unique to the Continental Speed models. As with the GT Speed coupé, the winged ‘B’ badge which crowns the radiator shell is set upon a black enamel background.
The front wings of the GT Speed Convertible are created in superformed aluminium, their seamless form and crisply-defined body creases creating an impression of tension and muscularity. The 10 mm lower suspension and unique 21” wheels accentuate the wide, low and poised stance. Despite the supercar performance, additional spoilers are unnecessary – the gentle lip on the double-horseshoe bootlid generates all the downforce the GT Speed Convertible needs, even at over 200 mph.
The infotainment system features Bentley’s latest software upgrades, which vary from region to region but include refinements such as point of interest mapping, optional satellite landscape imagery, live traffic data and, where the infrastructure supports it, digital radio. The system features 15 Gigabytes of available music space, as well as the facility to play music via an iPod, MP3 player, the car’s own six-disc CD changer or SD card.
Flat panel Balanced Mode Radiator (BMR) speakers, which combine the functions of separate tweeter and midrange speakers in one unit, direct the sound with accuracy and provide greater clarity across the audible spectrum. Alternatively, the audiophile Naim for Bentley system, incorporating custom-built speakers and eight individual Digital Sound Processing modes, is available as an option. As a thoughtful touch, the audio balance settings automatically alter when the roof is lowered to compensate for the change in listening environment.
GT Speed Convertible
6-litrer twin-turbocharged W12
616 bhp / 460 kW / 625 PS @6000 rpm
800 Nm / 590 lb.ft @ 2000 rpm
ZF 8-speed automatic with Quickshift, Block Shifting and wheel-mounted paddleshift
Continuous all-wheel drive (40:60 rear bias)
1st : 4.71; 2nd: 3.14; 3rd: 2.1; 4th: 1.67; 5th: 1.29; 6th: 1.00; 7th: 0.839; 8th: 0.667
405mm ventilated discs (optional 420mm Carbon Silicon Carbide, cross drilled)
335mm ventilated discs (optional 356mm, Carbon Silicon Carbide, cross drilled)
Wheels and Tires
9.5J x 21”
Rack & pinion, power assisted, speed-sensitive ZF servotronic
Four link double wishbones, computer controlled self-levelling air suspension, with anti-roll bar
Trapezoidal multi-link, computer-controlled self-levelling air suspension, with anti-roll bar
Continuous Damping Control, tuned for dynamic performance
2746 mm / 108.1 in
4806 mm / 189.2 in
Width (across body)
1944 mm / 76.5 in
Width (inc. mirrors)
2227 mm / 87.7 in
1393 mm / 54.8 in
1394 mm / 54.9 in
90 litres / 20 gallons / 24 US gallons
260 / 9.18 cu ft
358 litres / 12.6 cu ft
Kerb weight (EU)
2495 kg / 5500 lb
2320 kg / 5115 lb
Gross vehicle weight
2900 kg / 6393 lb
2750 kg / 6063 lb
202 mph / 325 km/h
205 mph / 330 km/h
Fuel Consumption (EU cycle)*
12.5 mpg (22.7 litres/100km)
12.7 mpg (22.2 litres/100km)
27.2 mpg (10.4 litres/100km)
28.0 mpg (10.1 litres/100km)
19.0 mpg (14.9 litres/100km)
19.5 mpg (14.5 litres/100km)
Fuel Consumption (EPA cycle)**
City (US mpg)
Highway (US mpg)
Combined (US mpg)
EU 5 and US LEV II