2014 Bentley Continental GT Speed convertible first drive review

2014 Bentley Continental GT Speed convertible first drive review

Drop-top version of Bentley’s fastest-ever Continental GT blends thunderous performance with sublime posing potential

Subtle tweaks to the Bentley Continental GT Speed convertible mirror those made to its fixed-head sibling, with some mild styling changes and fractionally more power teased out of the mighty W12 engine under the bonnet.Just as the previous revision to the Continental GT Speed convertible featured incremental increases in power, torque and top speed, this new variant nudges the performance game forward once more.The 6.0-litre W12 powerplant, augmented via electronic management and turbo pressure fettling, now produces 626bhp and 607lb ft, increases of 10bhp and 17lb ft respectively over its predecessor.Although the GT Speed convertible offers the hair-ruffling exhilaration and posing potential of luxury roof-down motoring, it does narrowly lose out to the hardtop version in terms of performance, even if the differences are miniscule.Replacing the coupé’s steel roof with a seven-bow, three-layer fabric hood, and the accompanying operating mechanism and additional body reinforcement, has plumped the GT Speed convertible’s kerb weight by 175kg compared to its sibling, to 2495kg.Yet it is just one-tenth of a second slower than the GT Speed to 60mph, at 4.1sec, and loses a scant 3mph at the uppermost echelons, with the maximum speed pegging at 203mph according to Bentley’s official figures.It’s unlikely that any but the most inquisitive owners would seek to take their GT Speed Convertible past the double ton, but the top-end figures mean plenty when there’s bragging rights at stake in the private members’ bar or at the golf club.

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