2009 Bentley Continental GTC Speed Revealed

Bentley confirmed today that it will debut its quickest ever convertible at the 2009 Detroit Auto Show. Just how fast is this portly 5478 lb convertible? Bentley says the Continental GTC Speed will charge to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds and continue on to a top speed of 200 mph with the top up or 195 mph with the top down.

The new GTC Speed is the final addition to the Speed family of Continentals that includes the GT Speed and the Flying Spur Speed. The same monster 600 hp W-12 engine from the other two models finds a home under the hood of the GTC Speed. The engine produces nine percent more horsepower and 15 percent more torque than in a base GTC, and the power is still routed through a six-speed ZF automatic transmission to all four wheels.

GTC Speed models will be distinguished from lesser GTCs by their standard dark tinted upper and lower matrix grilles and wider twin-rifled tail pipes. The dashing drop top will wear 20-inch multi-spoke alloy wheels with Pirelli PZero ultra-high performance tires. The suspension is lowered and upgraded to enhance the car’s cornering ability and a new trunk-mounted spoiler enhances high speed aerodynamics.

Some of the minor styling revisions for the 2009 GTC Speed pass on to the standard GTC such as the refreshed grille with a more upright appearance. The lower air intakes are also bolder and the headlights receive new chrome bezels. Both models will be offered in two new exterior colors as well as a new leather interior selection.

The 2009 models will also be offered with two new options. First, to haul the cars down to a stop, buyers can opt for the largest production passenger car brakes in the world. The brakes are fade-resistant, carbon-ceramic and span a whopping 420mm (about 16.5 inches) in the front and a mere 356mm in the back. The other option is a new adaptive cruise control system. The system uses a long range radar sensor that manages throttle and brakes and can bring the car to a compete stop.

Bentley estimates the GTC Speed will account for up to two-thirds of GTC sales worldwide in its first year of production. Expect pricing for the 2009 GTC to be just under $200K with the GTC Speed ringing up somewhere north of $215,000.