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Detroit Preview: Bentley GTC Speed is last, but not least



Filed under: Detroit Auto Show, Convertibles, Sports/GTs, Bentley


Click above for a high-res gallery of the Bentley GTC Speed


The Bentley GTC has only been out for two years and a bit, but you might not know that; the car is so popular in some parts that it has become something like Ugg Boots for the monied-up automotive fashionista. Like its other Continental stablemates, Bentley has finally taken the drophead into their Speed garage for the transformation from really fast to "Egads!" fast.

It emerges from said garage with its twin-turbo W12 producing 553 lb-ft. of torque and 600 horsepower - 100 ponies more than the Azure T, making it the most powerful convertible Bentley has ever made. The Speed treatment alters the front end, with a more upright, dark-tinted matrix grille flanked by chrome bezels around the headlights, and the face is framed by firmer lines sweeping up from the lower air dam.

While it is still not - and isn't mean to be - a sports car, the handling ante is upped by a lowered ride height, low-friction dampers, stiffer rear axle bushings, wider tires, and retuned steering. When it's time to stop, newly available carbon-ceramic brakes, at 16.5 inches up front and 14 inches in back, are the largest factory-fitted brakes on a passenger car today.

When it's time to get on it, you'll reach 60 in 4.5 seconds, and with the top up you'll find terminal velocity is 200 miles-per-hour with the lid up. Should you not wish to go easy on your follicles, the GTC will still reach 195 mph with the top down - just make sure to lather up your 'do with plenty of product.

There are two new official exterior paint choices from the factory: Aquamarine and Blue Crystal, and you can get the interior done in Aquamarine as well. However, since Bentley's bespoke department will make your GTC any color you want, that's probably of little concern to most buyers.



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