Pros: exceptional performance, superior luxury, incredibly quiet with the top down
Cons: expensive, large, heavy
The Bentley Continental GT Speed is the pinnacle of the range, a piece of handcrafted luxury at the heart of which sits a powerful W12 engine generating enough horsepower to shake Mount Etna from her slumber. It’s the ultimate luxury grand tourer, designed and engineered to sprint through the hills before wafting through town and pulling up outside the most glamorous of evening spots.
Bentley Continental GT Speed Convertible Design
The GT Speed has the powerful yet elegant lines of the rest of the Continental GT models but it adds a sportier look. It has unique 22-inch wheels available in three finishes, sports sills, Speed badging and body kit, as well as a grille design that is unique to the model. There are also a number of specific colours and that’s before you get into the almost infinite range of bespoke colours and options. It looks athletic and graceful in equal measure and to top it all, it has a top that can be dropped at the touch of a button.
Bentley Continental GT Speed Convertible Interior
It’s all about handcrafted luxury inside, with every component telling a story. There’s the hand-cut and stitched leather, the beautifully crafted, knurled metal dials that feel so satisfying to the touch and the carefully selected wood veneer that has been sliced almost as thinly as cloth. There’s lots of space inside for you to relax in lounge-like comfort and just the right amount of tech, including a clever rotating infotainment screen.
As the convertible, there’s a multi-layer fabric roof that opens or closes effortlessly at the touch of a button in 19 seconds. What is most impressive though is that Bentley has managed to almost eliminate the wind inside the car when the roof is down. In most convertibles you have to turn the radio up or talk loudly to your passengers, but not so in the GT Speed Convertible. It’s so quiet and the wind barely ruffles your hair, meaning you can really enjoy the slightly muted sounded of the W12 engine and the feel of truly luxurious open-air motoring.
Bentley Continental GT Speed Convertible Performance & Drive
The GT Speed is the first Bentley to feature an electronic rear differential and it also gets rear-wheel steering. All of this makes it far more agile than previous generations, but it’s still a big, heavy car weighing in at over 2.4 tonnes. Its weight and width are noticeable as you take a sharp intake of breath on a narrow road, but if all is clear then it’s a marvellous thing to pilot through the bends. It’ll sprint to 100km/h in just 3.7 seconds and go on to a top speed of 335km/h, all thanks to the 659hp and 900Nm of torque provided by that twin-turbo W12.
All that power makes motorway cruising effortless and the slightest touch of the accelerator will have you breezing past slower traffic in a moment. Bentley Dynamic Ride ensures that you barely feel the bumps and the choices of Comfort, Bentley or Sport modes means there’s a setting to suit your every mood.
Bentley Continental GT Speed Convertible Pricing
Imported from Northern Ireland, prices for the GT Speed Convertible start at approximately €440,000. That’s a hefty chunk of money, but for that you do get that wonderful W12 and a car that is about as handcrafted as they come. Options include carbon ceramic brakes with 440mm discs, an Akrapovic exhaust to add to the sporty sound and almost as many bespoke trim choices as your imagination can create.
Carzone Verdict: 4.0/5
The latest Continental Speed GT is seriously expensive, but it feels lighter and more agile than ever before, delivering a sporty grand tourer character that is unmatched in the exclusive luxury segment. It’s more dynamic than a Rolls-Royce Dawn and more luxurious than a Mercedes-AMG GT roadster and, while there are those that will see a performance SUV as a more practical choice, it’s hard to beat the combination of luxury, performance and open-top motoring that the Speed GT Convertible provides.