The North American International Auto Show is still over two weeks away, and to avoid getting lost in the shuffle some manufacturers are releasing their wares early. One of those is Bentley with the new Continental GT Speed convertible. Looking for the fastest four-seat convertible in the world? Look no further, but be prepared to pay a pretty penny for it.
That’s because the 202 mph GT Speed is the most expensive model in the Continental lineup. This is despite a huge increase in weight versus the coupe, to the tune of 485 pounds. The increase brings the GT Speed Convertible’s total to 5500 pounds. But, 5500 pounds is no match for the car’s 6.0L W12, which makes 616 horsepower and 590 pound feet of torque.
That’s good enough to push the Continental GT Speed Convertible to 60 mph in just 4.1 seconds. The car’s W12 includes many improvements, along with an eight-speed ZF automatic transmission that enables a 15 mpg increase in fuel efficiency. In practical terms that equates to 12 mpg city, 20 mpg highway, giving a 15 mpg rating combined. We doubt fuel efficiency is more than a passing consideration for anyone purchasing this car, but it is a nice bonus. Like the coupe, the GT Speed Convertible’s specs are really impressive: standstill to 100 mph is reached in just 9.7 seconds.
Peak torque – all 590 pound feet of it – is reached at just 2000 revs/min and that level is maintained up to 5000 revs/min. The GT Speed is also incredibly rigid, with a “class-leading” 22,500 Nm/degree torsional stiffness rating. Bentley Chairman and Chief Executive Dr Wolfgang Schreiber had this to say about the new model: “Following the recent successful introduction of the GT Speed, the new 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.” Indeed. The GT Speed Convertible will get its first public showing at the Detroit show later this month.