BENTLEY LIFTS THE VEIL ON THE NEW CONTINENTAL GT SPEED CONVERTIBLE, A RAVENOUS DROP TOP WITH BRAWN AND BEAUTY IN EQUAL MEASURE
BY AMANDA MCCOY
The year was 1952, and British luxury manufacturer Bentley unveiled its flagship R Type Continental, a low, long, and lithe magic carpet that could achieve the then wild feat of cruising at 100 mph with four occupants and their luggage. Britain didn’t even harbor a modern road network at the time (development began later that decade), thus the coupe’s name badge referenced touring the open roads of continental Europe. This amalgamation of speed, power, and comfort was groundbreaking, positioning the grand tourer as an icon of its era and a symbol of affluence. Its first generation price tag fell just below 7,000 British pounds, nearly 15 times the U.K. average annual income.
Lunge seven decades into the future, and the R Type’s successor, the Continental GT, still bears the same insatiable appetite to obliterate conventions. This April, Bentley revealed the topless version of its flagship performance tourer: the 2022 Continental GT Speed Convertible. Like its coupe counterpart, the thundering soft top will be the fastest, most powerful member of the Continental fam, pulling 650 horses from its twin turbocharged W12 engine with a top speed of 208 mph. It races from standstill to 60 in 3.6 seconds, only 0.1 seconds behind the fixed top variant.
But the new performance model promises more than raw power. Enhanced chassis technology, including all wheel steering, an electronic rear differential, and optional carbon ceramic brakes, promises to sharpen the car’s reactions, taking a sinuous mountain road with the same comfort and ease as an open highway.
Model specific style points come in the form of Speed sport sills, dark tint grilles, and Speed badging braggadocio. The 22 inch forged wheels are available in silver, black, and dark tint finish. And in a mere 19 seconds, the new Z fold roof can be fully deployed and stowed, effectively going topless in less time than it takes to wash your hands (as we all know post 2020). Official pricing has yet to be released at press time, but expect it to hover somewhere north of the mid 250,000s range.
CALLING ALL AUDIOPHILES,
the 2,200W Naim for Bentley sound system bathes its occupants in beats and bass through 18 speakers and two shakers.
WHEN THE NEED FOR SPEED CALLS,
activate SPORT mode to fully experience the new convertible’s voracity. The engine has been tuned to create a more eager driver response by remaining in the power band longer, upshifting later or downshifting earlier. The dual clutch, eight speed transmission shifts twice as fast when SPORT mode is engaged, complemented by a greater exhaust character during start up and downshifts.
EXPECT A RIDE AS QUIET AS THE PREVIOUS GENERATION COUPE.
The new Z fold convertible roof design employs sealing system improvements and acoustic treatments, slashing its cruising noise by three decibels. Although we are entering prime drop top weather, the seats do boast integrated neck heaters to keep occupants toasty year round.
THE DRIVER FOCUSED INTERIOR
offers a host of personalization opportunities, including no fewer than 15 main hide and 11 secondary hide options. Buyers can also customize interior wood choices, including Crown Cut Walnut, open pour Dark Stained Burr Walnut, Dark Eucalyptus Fiddleback, and more.
THE NEW SPEED IS EQUIPPED WITH MY BENTLEY
a suite of connected services that can be accessed in car or via the corresponding app. Services include Private eCall, which notifies emergency services in the event of an incident, real time traffic and local hazard alerts, theft alert, and more.
Bentley Parsippany 250 US 46, Parsippany 973.575.7755 / bentleyparsippany.com