The year 2012 was one of many world records, helped by the fact that the Olympics were held in London. We had notable records in extreme sports too, such as Felix Baumgartner’s jump from space, and further ‘distinguished’ achievements such as the most people high-fived in one minute and the longest basketball bounce shot made while riding a unicycle.
Let’s hope that 2013 brings with it as much human endeavour as the previous 12 months have. And you’ll be happy to know that Crewe’s Bentley Motors is already off to a great start when it comes to breaking records this year, having just unveiled the world’s fastest four-seater convertible before the new model makes its public debut at the Detroit auto show next week.
The new Bentley Continental GT Speed Convertible is capable of reaching an astonishing top speed of 325kph (5kph short of the tin-top GT Speed), a velocity at which you’d definitely need a gallon of Brylcreem to maintain your hairstyle.
In order to rocket off to such a V-max, the Continental GT Speed Convertible houses a 616bhp 6.0-litre W12 engine under its bonnet, spreading 800Nm of torque to all four corners via an eight-speed transmission. Additionally Crewe’s boffins have managed to improve efficiency with 15 per cent extra fuel range, also decreasing emissions along the way.
The 48-valve W12 engine is twin-turbocharged to deliver its peak torque at 2,000rpm through to 5,000rpm, and the car accelerates from 0-100kph in 4.1 seconds (GT Speed coupé does the run a tenth quicker). Engineers also increased the torsional stiffness of the GT Speed Convertible to a claimed class-leading standard, adding double-wishbone aluminium suspension in the front and a multi-link rear set-up to complement the air-ride springs and dampers.
Thus the car sits 10mm lower than a stock 567bhp Continental GT Convertible, also going with stiffer suspension bushes, uprated anti-roll bars, and recalibrated Servotronic steering. Setting the special Continental GT Speed Convertible apart from the rest of the range is a host of additions, like 21in alloy wheels, dark tint grilles, new exhaust pipes, and the interior Mulliner Driving Specification package as standard.
The wheels themselves are available in a silver or optional dark finish, and the winged ‘B’ badge crowning the grille is set on a black enamel background as per Speed tradition. Inside the car, the Speed motif carries on with badges, diamond-quilted leather, dark tint and engine-turned aluminium finish inspired by the old Le Mans-winning Bentleys of the Twenties.
As for the typical Bentley ride comfort, the Continental GT Speed Convertible features a four-layer roof for better acoustic insulation, and includes a neck warmer. The new Bentley Continental GT Speed Convertible is ready to order now in the GCC, with prices available on application.