460kW topless Bentley flagship
TOPLESS THRILL-SEEKING BENTLEY: The new GT Speed Convertible combines the sensory pleasures of drop-top luxury touring with white-knuckle performance.
CHESHIRE, England – Bentley’s new drop-top performance flagship, its fastest convertible yet, will make its global debut at the 2013 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
Taking its place at the pinnacle of the Bentley Continental range, the new GT Speed Convertible is powered by a twin-turbocharged six-litre W12 and has improved suspension, steering and handling. Permanent all-wheel drive ensures optimum traction and power delivery whatever the road conditions.
Subtle sporting design cues include exclusive 21" alloy rims, dark-tint grille and “rifled” exhausts.
Bentley chairman and chief executive Wolfgang Schreiber said: "Following the recent successful introduction of the GT Speed, the GT Speed Convertible will appeal to drivers who seek the sensory thrills of the world’s fastest four-seat soft-top and the practicality of a year-round grand tourer.
“Together with unrivalled levels of luxury and refinement, it is designed for those who accept no compromise."
The convertible shares its powertrain with the GT Speed coupé. The engine delivers 460kW at 6000rpm and a torque peak of 800Nm at 2000rpm.
The new convertible rockets from 0-100km/h in 4.4sec and to a top speed of 325km/h.
The latest ME17 engine management system, capable of performing 180 million calculations per second, provides enhanced turbocharger control and torque management.
FLAGSHIP PERFORMANCE CONVERTIBLE
As with all W12-engined models, the GT Speed convertible has an energy recovery system. The engine is mated to an eight-speed auto, which, according to Bentley, sees the new model reduce its fuel consumption and C02 emissions by 15% compared to the first generation Speed.
Switching to Sport mode delivers sharper throttle response, gear-shifting at higher engine speeds.
Aluminium double-wishbone front suspension and trapezoidal multi-link rear setup feature revised air suspension springs and dampers for improved agility and body control with little sacrifice in ride comfort.
The electronic stability control system is optimised for the new engine management system to deliver greater driver involvement. The ESC retains the “Dynamic Mode” setting that allows increased wheel slip at higher speeds.
The convertible is distinguished by a new grille and bumper air intakes in a chromed finish. The model has 21” unique alloy rims and 275/35 ZR21 tyres and are available in silver or in a dark tint. As seen on the GT Speed coupé, the winged “B” badge on the radiator casing is set on black enamel.
HAT-TIP TO LE MANS LEGENDS
The hand-crafted interior sports diamond-quilted hide upholstery and “Speed” lettering on the door sills. The new model is kitted out in a dark tinted aluminium “engine spin” finish, inspired by the dashboards of the Le Mans-winning Bentleys of the 1920s.
Optional interior enhancements include wood veneer and satin-finish carbon fibre for the dashboard. The model has a neck warmer system designed to make open air driving more appealing and comfortable during cooler days out on the road.
As with every Bentley Continental, the GT Speed convertible has permanent all-wheel drive, with a 60:40 split in favour of the rear. 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.