Posts from ‘Bentley’
What’s in a name? Sight unseen, would you be more likely to let Thurston Howell III borrow your comb, or some guy that goes by Gilligan? Would your sandwich taste better as croquet monsieur et gruyere, or as a ham and cheese?
2014 Bentley Continental GT Speed
Dates tested: 4/01/2014-4/04/2014
Miles Driven: 144
Fuel Used: 8.5 gallons
For whatever reason, we at Consumer Guide spend a lot of time talking about ugly vehicles. Some might suggest it’s because we’re a surly group and drawn by nature to the negative side of things. I think it’s because we (car folk in general) largely agree on the best-looking vehicles. Seriously, how many car people do you know that don’t appreciate a BMW 507, a 1964 Buick Riviera, a 1963-1967 Corvette, or a Mercedes-Benz Gullwing? Nodding in group appreciation may help us bond, but it doesn’t do much to get the conversation rolling.
The Bentley Continental GTC Speed is one of the most luxurious vehicles on the planet, and as such, it has a key to match its opulence. After all, a chintzy plastic fob would dilute the ownership experience (we’re looking at you, BMW M5).
For Eric, renting a Lamborghini from Imagine Lifestyles in Miami was a transforming experience.
“I felt like I had gone from a regular Joe to Joe DiMaggio!” he beamed.
Since the Volkswagen Group took over stewardship of Bentley, the German carmaker has pretty much left its British subsidiary to its own devices. VW provides some chassis and powertrain expertise while Bentley’s own designers and engineers craft the equivalent of automotive sculpture inside and out. This partnership has paid dividends, as Bentley has seen its sales consistently increase in the U.S. (its biggest market) and around the world.
You might not need us to tell you that a Bentley is fabulous. Stunning lines, sumptuous interiors, and tremendous power are just a few of the many high points of the brand’s entire product line.
What’s not to love? Price and fuel economy are obvious things, but a few of the niggles I had with our recent 2014 Bentley Continental GTC Speed convertible go a bit deeper than that. While this is still an absolutely wonderful grand touring sports car, this shining diamond has a few flaws.
Disclaimer: The spleen venting here is strictly that of the author, and the opinions expressed here do not necessarily represent those of the entirety of Consumer Guide Automotive.
At the 2013 Detroit Auto Show, Bentley showed off its 2014 Continental GTC Speed, the high-performance version of its popular Continental GTC exotic convertible.
The GT Speed Convertible is powered by a turbocharged 616-horsepower W12 hooked to an 8-speed automatic transmission. (Non-Speed Continentals with the W12 engine have 567 horsepower). The Speed treatment includes a lowered suspension, a unique black intake manifold, retuned steering, 21-inch wheels (available in silver or dark-tinted), dark-chrome front grilles, and the “Mulliner Driving Specification,” which includes drilled accelerator and brake pedals, diamond-quilted upholstery on the seats and door panels, a knurled gear lever, and optional embroidered emblems in the seat backs. Options include carbon-fiber or wood interior trim, dark-colored machine-turned aluminum panels on the dashboard, and a high-end “Naim for Bentley” audio system.
The transmission shifter is equipped with a Sport mode gate, and it conjures up quicker throttle response, higher-rpm shifts, and faster kick-down shifts. Just like all other Bentley Continentals, the 2014 GT Speed Convertible is all-wheel drive.
All told, this droptop reaches 60 mph from a stop in 4.1 seconds and peaks at 202 mph. Not that Bentley buyers typically care, but the 2014 Bentley Continental GT Speed Convertible is rated to get 12 mpg city/20 mpg highway.
It was fast, faster, and fastest for Bentley at the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show. The British purveyor of ultra-high-end vehicles showcased two production vehicles and one race car at its booth.
For those high rollers who want to roll fast, Bentley offers the 2013 Mulsanne Mulliner Driving Specification. The Mulsanne is Bentley’s flagship car. The Mulliner package includes unique wheels, leather upholstery, and an adjustable sport suspension. The drivetrain remains the same as other Mulsannes: a 6.75-liter turbocharged V8 that pumps out 505 horsepower and 752 pound-feet of torque through an 8-speed automatic transmission. Despite a curb weight 24 pounds shy of three tons, the car can sprint from 0-60 mph in 5.1 seconds and achieve a top speed of 184 mph. No pricing or availability was announced, but if you have to ask . . . .
For those high rollers who want to roll faster, Bentley has the 2013 Continental GT Speed. Billed as the fastest road-going Bentley ever, the GT Speed sports a 616-horsepower 6.0-liter turbocharged 12-cylinder engine. Mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission, the car is capable of running the 0-60 sprint in 4.0 seconds and hitting a top speed of 205 mph. Though final certification has yet to take place, Bentley is confident that the car will achieve a 20-mpg highway rating from the EPA. The 2013 Bentley Continental GT Speed is available now with a starting price of $220,725, which includes a $3,000 federal gas-guzzler tax.
Consumer Guide Automotive editors are a discerning bunch. When rating vehicles in the category of Acceleration, they have to be blown away—almost literally—before they will bestow a perfect score of 10. Horsepower is not enough; editors look for a car that’s quick from a stop and delivers smooth, linear power.