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REFINED TOPLESS ROCKET! The new Bentley Continental GT Speed Convertible has breeding, looks, charisma AND enough power to restart a planet's orbit.

  Video

Watch as a Bentley Continental GT Speed reaches 329km/h.

DETROIT, Michigan - Bentley wants you comfortable in a Force 5 hurricane - the four-seat convertible that it launched on January 14 at the 2012 Detroit auto show ran reach 325km/h. With its top down.

The Continental GT Speed Convertible's 12-cylinder engine throws out a huge amount of power - 450kW - that can rocket the ragtop top from zero to 160km/h in 9.7sec.

REFINED AND REGAL

But there are none of the spoilers usually seen on such fast cars. It looks elegant enough to drive Queen Elizabeth II around in, even in the cool months, when passengers can benefit from electric neck-warmers.

Bentley chief executive Wolfgang Schreiber promises "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," he added, as he unveiled the new model at the Detroit show.

VIDEO

While it might not matter to someone who can afford one at the equivalent of R3.26-million, each of those kilometres per hour will cost a buyer more than R8700 - Schreiber pointed out that the company's newest GT model has gained 15% in fuel efficiency.

BENTLEY SALES ON THE UP

It adds a new star to the Bentley ultra-luxury stable which, despite prices beyond R2.6-million for its Mulsanne limousine, and despite the slow world economy, managed to sell 8510 vehicles in 2012, 22% more than the year before.

The US was the company's biggest market with 2315 cars delivered in 2012, slightly more than fast-growing China.

Follow the Detroit auto show with Wheels24 on our Detroit show ection.

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