Friday, May 29, 2009

2009 Bentley Continental GTC Speed Lands In Australia


BENTLEY’S MOST POWERFUL convertible ever - the Continental GTC Speed - has arrived in Australian showrooms, bringing with it a thundering 448kW W12 engine and the ability to hit 312km/h… with the roof down.

It also carries a number of aesthetic revisions to mark it out as the company’s quickest drop-top. With its reshaped grille, headlamp bezels, recontoured front air dam and subtle rear bootlip spoiler, the GTC Speed carries a distinctive air of class about it.

Drop the hammer though, and class takes a back seat. Under the bonnet is the same 6.o litre twin-turbocharged W12 engine as the Continental GT Speed and Flying Spur Speed - the most powerful production car engine Bentley has ever built.


The 0-100km/h sprint takes just 4.5 seconds, 0-160km/h is demolished in 10.5 seconds and top speed is 322km/h with the roof up. For something that weighs more than most off-roaders, this is one seriously quick machine.

The ZF six-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel-drive system are carried over from the regular GTC, and drivers can elect to shift cogs using the steering column-mounted paddles, the gearlever or simply let it do its own thing in automatic mode.


A Torsen centre differential controls the amount of torque split between the front and rear wheels, and helps keep the GTC Speed’s voluminous power output reined in. An advanced stability control program also does its part to keep the big convertible out of the weeds.

Enormous 420mm carbon-ceramic brake rotors are a cost option, and haul up the GTC Speed with nary a hint of fade. Lower and stiffer suspension hardware also features on the Speed, and Pirelli PZero UHP tyres measuring a sizable 275mm across are the standard rubber.


On the inside, “Speed” emblazoned sill plates and drilled alloy pedals signify this as the sports model, while a three-spoke leather-bound steering wheel and diamond quilted leather seats cosset the driver.

A special car then? You bet. And considering it sits at the top of the Continental tree (at least until the Continental Supersports arrives on the scene), it’ll have a price tag that reflects that. Give your local Bentley dealer a call to find out how much.