Bentley’s new Flying Juggernaut

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The new flagship Bentley Continental GT Speed is powered by a twin turbocharged 6.0-litre W12 engine (the configuration teams two V6 engines sharing the same crankshaft), producing 460 kW of power and 800 Nm of torque, offering stupendous performance and understated refinement.

With an eight speed transmission, with selectable modes, choose “Sport” and the 2.3 tonne vehicle is claimed to sprint from 0-100 km/h in 4.2 seconds.

Bentley GT SpeedBentley GT Speed

However, trying for drag strip times you can expect only 14.5 L/100 km, a high degree of thirst as well as thrust.

With an all-wheel-drive system assisting in getting all that power to the ground, the GT Speed has plenty of grip.  The steering is weighty and reactive and the car is adequately agile, but it’s not exactly nimble through tighter sections of road.  Part of that has to do with the sheer size of the car – 4.80 meters long and 1.94 m wide – and some has to do with the fact it feels quite heavy at the front end.

The car rides on 21 inch wheels as standard fitted with ultra-low 35 profile rubber, and adjustable air suspension.  In its firmest setting you notice a lot more bumps and lumps, but for daily cruising the softest setting is very good.

Inside, the cockpit reeks of British class.  Metal-look finishes are real metal, while wood is from a real tree.  There’s half a herd of cows as well as carbon fiber in the interior.

Some parts come from the family VW parts bin, such as the engine start button, stereo touch-screen and color instrument display, but this is not a major fault.

Vital statistics

Engine: 6.0 liter turbocharged W12 petrol

Transmission: 8-speed auto

Power: 460 kW at 6000 rpm

Torque: 800 Nm at 1700 rpm

0-100km/h: 4.2secs 0-100km/h

Fuel use: 14.5 L/100 km (combined average)

Price?  Very expensive, Veronica.