Bentley car review: The $384,000 Continental GTC Speed offers a smooth and powerful ride


Bentley Continental GTC Speed in Kingfisher
Adam Jeffery | CNBC

The V-12 engine is dead. Long live the V-12.

In the coming years, supercar companies like Lamborghini, Bentley and Rolls-Royce have all announced phase-outs of their V-12 engines as they roll into the age of hybrid and electric vehicles. In the meantime, they’re launching 12-cylinder masterpieces as odes to the ultimate in petrol power – and wealthy customers are snapping them up at a record clip.

In other words, at the very top of the car market, the 12-cylinder is dying, and demand has never been stronger.

With the king of combustion hitting the end of its road, Bentley has launched the Continental GTC Speed. It’s a “W-12” road burner, in which where three banks of four cylinders are arranged in a kind of “W” configuration. Its raw power is matched only by its refined interior.

Bentley Continental GTC Speed in Kingfisher
Adam Jeffery | CNBC

Despite a price tag approaching $400,000, the GTC Speed is quickly selling out. Bentley CEO Adrian Hallmar, said there are “very few available” before Bentley rolls the last of its 12-cylinder engines off the line in April 2024.

“These models are already almost sold out,” Hallmark told CNBC. “It’s the end of a great era.”

So with the Continental GTC Speed, Bentley has decided to party like it’s 1999.

The model I drove carried a price tag of $384,000. Its color is called “Kingfisher,” a luminescent, shimmering blue that, like it’s namesake bird, was born to fly. It was loaded with some of Bentley’s most popular options, including 22″ black-painted “Speed Wheels,” a touring package for added comfort and generous helpings of carbon fiber.

Bentley Continental GTC Speed in Kingfisher
Adam Jeffery | CNBC

Inside, the GTC Speed was dripping with luxury add-ons, from the contrast stitching on the seats (with “Kingfisher” and “Beluga” colored threads) to the Bang and Olufsen sound system, precision diamond quilting and the deep-pile overmats for added foot comfort.

My favorite options, also one of the most popular, is the “rotating display,” where a section of the carbon-fiber dashboard flips over when the car starts to reveal its digital display, kind of like the supercar version of the secret wall in a mansion library. It costs an extra $6,600 — but hey, when you’re spending $380,000 for a car, what’s an extra six grand? (About 70% of Bentley owners are including it.)

The most beautiful part of the Continental GTC Speed is the drive. As befits a car with multiple personalities, The GTC Speed has three driving modes: comfort, custom, Bentley and enhanced sport. Driving in comfort mode is like floating on a cloud, even on pot-hole ridden streets of New York and New Jersey. Bentley mode offers a balance between comfort and sport.

CNBC’s Kelly Evans and Robert Frank in a Bentley
Scott Mlyn | CNBC

You could easily imagine comfort mode ferrying its well-heeled driver to the country clubs in Southern California and Southern Florida, two of Bentley’s biggest markets. All-wheel steering helps for those rare occasions when you have to park the car yourself instead of having a valet do it.

Switch to sport mode, however, and the W-12 roars like a dragon roused from sleep. The suspension tightens into a crouch and the GTC goes to 0-60 in 3.6 seconds. It can hit a top speed of 208 mph.

Even with an unladen weight of over 5,300 pounds, the Continental GTC Speed takes corners, stops and accelerations like a much nimbler supercar. Its special windscreen and aerodynamics allow top-down driving even at high speeds without a hair out of place.

Sure, there are better pure sports cars and better luxury comfort rides. But arguably no car puts the two together – with the screaming swan song of a W-12 – quite like the Continental GTC Speed.

Articles You May Like

IRS flagged more than 1 million tax returns for identity fraud in 2023
Style Abounds At The Fleur Noire Hotel In Palm Springs
Should college graduates be financially independent? Parents and young adults disagree
How To Reduce The Risk Of Stolen Escrowed Funds For Closings
Fixing Section 482 After The Tax Cuts And Jobs Act: Suggestions For The Next Revision

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *