Bentley Unveils Flagship Continental GT Speed Convertible

Following an earlier leak of photos, Bentley has released official images and detailed information regarding its range topping model in the Continental model family the 2013 Continental GT Speed Convertible which will make its official debut in just a few weeks at the 2013 North American International Auto Show.

The exterior styling of the 2013 GT Speed Convertible retains many of the cues and enhancements that first made their initial debut on the GT Speed coupe. These include the familiar rifled exhaust pipes for a stronger exhaust note, dark mesh grille, elegant chrome tail lamp bezels, and GT Speed-exclusive 21 inch alloy wheels which all do their part to make the GT Speed convertible stand out just as boldly as its coupe sibling out on the open road.

The interior of the GT Speed Convertible also continues the theme set by the GT Speed coupe and retains the coupes standard Mulliner Driving Specification Package which features alloy pedals and specially made engine turned aluminum trim on the center console and dashboard. This trim can be replaced with optional carbon fiber or wood trim to cater to a wide variety of customer tastes. Bentley engineers wanted to create a convertible that could be driven in a wide variety of weather conditions year round. To make sure that this feat was possible, the fabric soft top of the GT Speed convertible is constructed from four strong layers of high quality fabric which not only provides occupants world-class sound insulation, but also protection from all kinds of weather conditions including monsoon-type rains. In addition, standard neck warmers help keep occupants warm during autumn and spring driving.

Performance for the GT Speed convertible carries over virtually unchanged from its coupe sibling. Power comes from the familiar 6.0 liter twin turbocharged W12 engine which puts out a hearty 616 horsepower and a stout 590 lb-ft of torque. All of this muscle is channeled to all four wheels through a new ZF-built eight speed automatic transmission which enables the car to make the sprint from 0 to 60 in a brisk 4.1 seconds before topping out at 202 mph which makes this model the fastest four door convertible in the world. In addition to its performance credentials, the eight speed also enables the car to achieve a 15 percent improvement in overall fuel economy which should please buyers. These same buyers will also be pleased with the hard work Bentley engineers undertook in providing the GT Speed Convertible with world class stiffness and handling. Torsional rigidity for the big Bentley checks in at an impressive 22,500 Nm/degree which is only 500 Nm shy of the more performance oriented Lamborghini Gallardo. While all of this stiffening does impose a 485 lb weight increase versus that of the coupe, the upgraded suspension and steering components should do a good job masking the slight weight increase especially when the road gets twisty.

After the 2013 Continental GT Speed makes its formal debut under the glittering lights of Detroit, expect sales to officially begin next summer with official pricing being revealed closer to the car’s debut.

Author: Carl Malek

Carl Malek is Autosavant’s resident German car fanatic and follower of all things General Motors. Carl first entered the world of automotive journalism as a freelance photographer during his freshman year of college before making the switch to automotive writing several years later. Carl developed an interest in cars at an early age, which helped him overcome the challenges of a learning disability in mathematics. In addition to writing for Autosavant community, Carl also contributes to many car forums and enjoys attending automotive events in the Metro Detroit area with his family. Carl’s message for others with learning disorders is to believe in yourself, be persistent, and face all challenges head on.

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