2013 Bentley Continental GT Speed Convertible
By Laura Burstein
On Sale: Summer 2013
Expected Pricing: About $240,000
Bentley pulled the wraps off a rare update to its flagship drop-top just ahead of its January 2013 debut at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. With a top speed of 202 mph and a 0-60 mph time of 4.1 seconds, Bentley says the Continental GT Speed Convertible is the fastest four-seat production convertible in the world. That's particularly impressive considering the convertible's whopping 5,500-pound curb weight (Bentleys have never been dainty).
At the heart of this refined beast is a twin-turbocharged 6.0-liter W12 engine, the same powerplant used on the latest Continental GT Speed coupe. It's good for 616 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque, an increase of 16 hp and 37 lb.-ft. over the outgoing model. It's mated to the latest version of Bentley's ZF-sourced 8-speed automatic transmission, and, like all Bentley models, comes standard with all-wheel drive.
Bentley claims the new Continental GT Speed Convertible is 15 percent more efficient, with fuel economy expected to be rated at 12 mpg in the city and 15 mpg on the highway.
On the outside, the mid-cycle update is subtle. That car's track is slightly wider than the outgoing model, and it rides on unique 21-inch alloy wheels, available in silver or a dark tint. The front radiator grille and air intakes are finished in dark-tint chrome.
The new 2013 Continental GT Speed Convertible sits 10 mm lower thanks to a revised, stiffer suspension, which uses double wishbones in front and a multi-link setup in the rear. A self-leveling air suspension helps to keep the hefty four-seater smooth over bumps and around corners.
In the cabin, a redesigned interior includes diamond-quilted leather upholstery and a dark-tint aluminum Engine Spin finish, which was inspired by the dashboards of the Le Mans winning Bentleys of the 1920s. Optional interior trims include a variety of wood or carbon fiber.
The Continental GT Speed also debuts an updated version of Bentley's infotainment system. An optional Naim audio system automatically recalibrates when the roof is down to provide optimal sound quality.
Pricing hasn't been released yet, but we figure it will start at about $240,000. Expect it to hit dealerships this summer, just in time for top-down weather.