Taking its place at the pinnacle of the Bentley Continental range, the new GT Speed Convertible has a top speed of 202 mph (325 km/h). 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.
The Continental GT Speed convertible shares its powertrain specification with its Bentley stablemate the GT Speed coupé. The 625 PS (616 bhp) twin-turbocharged, 48-valve, W12 engine powers the new convertible to 60 mph in 4.1 seconds (0-100 km/h in 4.4 s.) and onto a top speed of 202 mph (325 km/h). Nought to 100 mph (160 km/h) is despatched in 9.7 seconds. Peak torque (800 Nm (590 lb.ft)) is reached at 2000 revs/min and maintains that level through to 5000 revs/min.
In common with all W12-engined models, the GT Speed convertible features an energy recuperation system. Together with a close-ratio, quick-shifting eight-speed transmission, this has resulted in a 15 per cent improvement in fuel economy and CO2 emissions compared with the first generation Speed, with a commensurate increase in tank range.
The self-levelling system is set 10 mm lower than the Continental GT convertible. The Electronic Stability Control (ESC) system is optimised for the new engine management system to deliver 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 inch 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.
As with every Bentley Continental model, the GT Speed convertible offers the reassuring stability of permanent all-wheel drive, biased 60:40 in favour of the rear so the spirited driver can control the car's line with the throttle. The rear-biased torque split also minimises understeer during hard cornering while the system varies torque between the front and rear axles for optimum grip in all road and weather conditions.