The Bentley Continental GT is once again merging the higher-performance capabilities of its Speed trim level with the open-top convertible body style in the new 2022 Bentley Continental GT Speed convertible.
The GT Speed convertible's upgrades largely mirror those of the recently unveiled 2022 GT Speed coupe. They start with increased output from Bentley's W12 engine, which has been turned up to 650 horsepower from 626 horsepower in the non-Speed W12 (torque remains unchanged at 664 lb-ft) and given a more characterful exhaust note. The W12 here again pairs with an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission and all-wheel drive, although both have been recalibrated for Speed duty. The transmission spends more time in lower gears, while the all-wheel-drive system has a more rearward torque bias in the various drive modes. The combination is good for a factory-stated 0-to-60-mph time of 3.6 seconds and a top speed of 208 mph. That's 0.1 second and quicker than the standard W12 convertible and 1 mph faster, thus earning the Speed its name.
The Speed's chassis also has been upgraded, with four-wheel steering, an electronic limited-slip rear differential, and optional carbon-ceramic disc brakes with 10-piston front and four-piston rear calipers. They join existing Continental GT chassis technologies that include active air suspension, adaptive dampers, and active anti-roll bars powered by a specific 48-volt electric system.
Speed-specific 22-inch wheels are offered in a dark-tint finish to match the mesh grille or, alternately, bright silver or gloss black. Special side gills and discrete "Speed" badging complete the modest exterior makeover.
The convertible top is offered in a choice of seven colors including an oh-so-British tweed, and there are eight headliner colors. The fully automated roof can be stowed or raised in 19 seconds.
The cabin features Alcantara microsuede accents and two-tone leather and Alcantara seating surfaces with diamond-in-diamond pattern stitching and "Speed" logos stitched into the headrests. Piano black trim is standard, but numerous wood veneers can be specced. There are also metal-trimmed pedals.
Heated and ventilated seats are on hand, along with a heated steering wheel and heated armrests to maximize the top-down driving season. There's also a standard neck-warmer that is said to be more powerful and also quieter than before.
Bentley says the Continental GT Speed convertible is available for order now, although no U.S. prices are given. For a clue, we look to the standard Continental GT W12 convertible, which opens at $240,800. Figure another 20% for Speed specification, and you're in the upper $280k range. That's pricey, yes, but it's a fraction of the cost of the ultimate open-topped Bentley, the custom-bodied Bacalar.