Bentley Continental GT Speed: a marriage of comfort and power
Bentley’s latest Continental GT Speed delivers the best handling yet. Jasper Spires reports
“Nobody could ever accuse the GT Speed of not doing what it says on the tin,” says Matt Bird on PistonHeads. Each and every iteration of Bentley’s flagship grand tourer has delivered more power every time. This time, performance is still “abundant”, but there has been a new focus on handling.
For the first time, the 2022 Continental GT Speed brings four-wheel steering, electronically controlled limited-slip differential at the rear and the option of the largest ceramic-brake system in the world, as well as revised all-wheel-drive system and recalibrated electronic stability control. The result is a willingness to turn keenly, matched with a consistent and satisfying steering system, creating “a more engaging drive than any current GT”.
The Speed snakes through streets with little effort and drama, says Jon Wong on Cnet. The four-wheel steering shows its worth. The engine “sings on long straights” as the car shoots through the road. A firm press of the accelerator out of corners results in “controlled tail wags” due to the rear-biased all-wheel-drive system, which can send up to 93% of the engine’s torque to the back.
Even while “romping around” the car offers “serene comfort”, but in Comfort drive mode, everything slows down. It becomes less jumpy and the engine turns silky on the road. The dual-clutch transmission “is buttery smooth… never fumbling”. The manual mode allows you to “swap cogs yourself” but the auto mode is well tuned enough that the Sport and Comfort settings do all the work.
The GT Speed offers the best combination of luxury and increased sporting character, says Simon de Burton in the Financial Times. Driving it around Sicily’s Comiso aerodrome “felt akin to being inside a video game, not least since the car seemed capable of negotiating it at implausible speed”. As we move towards electrification, cars like the GT Speed will cease to be made. “If you’re still up for the last hurrah in luxurious comfort, make your move.”