The latest Bentley Continental GT Speed certainly lives up to its name as it is the fastest Bentley ever, with a top speed of 205 miles-per-hour. Well how can Bentley top that? Well how about by removing the top without removing any performance? Sounds too good to be true! Well let’s find out if it is.
While it’s true that the “Flying B” has never flown this fast before, not quite all of the Coupe’s performance has transferred over to the 2014 Bentley GT Speed Convertible, as the top speed is “only” 202 miles-per-hour. For some, that might be enough to be a deal breaker, but we say we’ll gladly sacrifice a 3 miles-per-hour deficit for dreamy top down luxury touring at its best, any day.
The GT Speed Convertible is the kind of ride that makes you want to drive and drive with no particular destination in mind, only stopping for fuel and necessities; keeping the top down as much as possible. And thanks to a very well insulated top, neck warmer, and standard all-wheel-drive; when the winter comes just pack your snow skins and keep on cruisin’.
The GT Speed Convertible is, of course, based on the GT Speed Coupe, with the same recent exterior makeover, which includes 21-inch alloy wheels, dark-tinted mesh grille, and rifled exhaust tips. This four-seat Convertible also has its own unique updates as well, such as upgraded anti-roll bars, stiffer suspension bushings, and of course the 4-layer fully automatic cloth top.
While we prefer the look with top down, as the Continental’s sexy hips are further accentuated, the top itself blends in better than most. And much like the Coupe, the whole car just exudes aggressive elegance.
Thankfully, the engine is exactly the same, as the 616-horsepower W12 from the Coupe is one of the smoothest monster motors we’ve ever driven, with seamless delivery of 590 lb-ft. of torque from its 6.0-liters of displacement. After spending a few hours behind the wheel, it had us wishing we could shoehorn this engine into every car we drive.
And it’s not entirely irresponsible either, thanks to the 8-speed automatic transmission, as Government Fuel Economy Ratings are 12-City, 20-Highway, and 15-Combined. Still, our 13.9 mpg loop on Premium means this isn’t a car for penny pinchers. But, at the track, the numbers are pure gold. 4.2 seconds from 0-60; and 12.4-seconds at 119 miles-per-hour for the ¼-mile, both numbers just a few ticks slower than the our test of the GT Speed Coupe.
But, as swift as the 0-60 is, punching it when you’re already cruising at 60 is even more eye opening. It throws you back in your seat and feeds power like there’s no tomorrow. And whenever you have to lift off the throttle, there’s a slight delay before the power stops pouring on as the GT Speed Convertible seems to always be begging you for more.
Top speed runs can be made top down with no adverse effects, and it’s unfortunate most buyers will never experience the stability and serene nature that are present in this car at close to 200 miles-per-hour. You’ll find the expected suite of driving modes, with all systems responding according to whichever mode you’ve dialed in.
In Dynamic Mode, handling is above and beyond what you expect in a 5,550-pound car. Braking is equally impressive, with Carbon Ceramic discs hauling this heavy luxo-beast to a halt in a tidy 117-feet from 60.
High performance hijinks are one thing, but the level of luxury and refinement in the GT Speed Convertible’s cabin are where this car really sets itself apart. Everything you touch reveals a quality feel and substance that most other car makers can only dream about. The rear seats look sexy and comfortable for two, but unfortunately legroom is not a strong suit. Although the also exquisitely finished trunk did provide more space, just over 9 cubic feet, than expected.
Of course such exotic offerings don’t come cheap, but anyone interested in a Bentley is generally not looking for a bargain. It’s a good thing, as this car is really in a class of its own and priced accordingly, starting at $244,425. The majority of buyers will want a few custom options on top of that, so most will leave the showroom at closer to 300-grand.
So, if you’ve got the bucks, and need one car that can do it all, whether it’s turning the speedo to 200 or just turning heads, all while top down driving, the 2014 Bentley Continental GT Speed Convertible, the fastest 4-seater drop top available, is where it’s at. Oh yes, and there is still truth in advertising, as Speed is what the GT Speed Convertible is all about!
Torque: 590 lb-ft.
0-60 mph: 4.2 seconds
1/4 mile: 12.4 seconds @ 119 mph
EPA: 12 mpg city/ 20 mpg highway