2008 Bentley Continental GT Speed

David Axberg
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2008 Bentley Continental GT Speed

Sometimes it's hard to be impressed when a sportier version of an existing model debuts, particularly when the base model is already impressive. Take the new Bentley Continental GT Speed for example. Its top speed is 4 mph faster than the regular GT. Yawn. Its 0-60 mph time is a paltry 0.3 seconds quicker. Boring. Its like, "Can't they do any better than that?"

Well, no. It's easy to make a slow car faster. Much harder is the task of making an insanely fast car even quicker. As you know, the base Continental GT will do 198 mph and manages to get from naught to sixty in just 4.6 seconds. The fact that the GT Speed can reach 202 mph makes it the fastest production Bentley ever. It's also the most powerful ever, as it takes no less than 600 horsepower to get the heavy coupe past the double century mark. Bear in mind, that's an additional 48 horsepower to make the GT Speed go just 4 mph faster at the top end. So, even the seemingly small performance boost by this new Speed model is actually quite a feat.

All that aside, what really makes this car special are all the exclusive details that are unavailable on the lesser model. It's just as important that the car look faster than the regular Conti, as it is that it actually be faster. And so the car sits distinctively on twenty inch wheels, hunkered down on a lowered suspension. The grille is dark-tinted and sportier looking, and the tail pipes have been fattened up beneath a black bumper valance.

The cabin is a place anyone would want to spend time. Building on an optional interior trim package for the standard GT, buyers can spec their car from a wide range of premium wood, metal, and leather choices. The seats have a diamond-quilted pattern with embroidered Bentley emblems, and there's also a new three-spoke wheel that looks much better than before. As with all Bentleys, GT Speed customers can pretty much personalize their cars however they like, of course - even by mixing their own shade of paint if the 33 available Continental colors or full range of Arnage colors do not satisfy them.

Numbers on paper never tell the whole story about how a car is in reality. On paper, the Bentley Continental GT Speed is a very impressive car. In reality, it's mind-blowing.

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