Bentley Continental GTC Speed review

It’s the same but more, and the more the better

By Fraser Martin

Bentley GTC Speed

No matter what model, no matter what specification and no matter which country they have been built for, all Bentley Press Fleet cars come here at a retail price of ‘around Dhs.1.2million’ – they always have and I suspect that they always will: it just seems to be a sort of benchmark price to build to, and this head-turning and, in my view, absolutely delicious Citric and Beluga Continental GT Speed Convertible is no exception.

Bentley GTC Speed

The pictures, shot by the Sainted One (Shahzad Sheikh, in case you’re wondering) in Mushrif Country Park over the Eid weekend do the car justice, but not the colour: Citric, is a solid, non-metallic, non-pearl, non-fancy-shmansie clever colour, and is like looking at the fluorescent numbers on a watch, but in daytime! It is exceptional, and never failed to turn heads.

Bentley GTC Speed

Combined with the Beluga primary and secondary hides, black roof and everything else “to match Secondary Hides”, except the steering wheel, trim and emblem stitching in Citric-matched thread, this Continental looks good enough to eat.

Bentley GTC Speed

And here’s something I love about Bentleys: the way the build sheets describe them! For the few, it will be possible to bespoke tailor a car, but for the rest of us, given a build sheet with seventeen separate components to specify colours for, in the interior alone, it might well be possible to spend as much time fine-tuning your optimum car as Bentley will take to build it for you! And to cap that, the build sheet for Dubai M 75782 lists no non-standard features whatsoever!

Bentley GTC Speed

It was a bit toasty for roof-down driving as you can see from the 44 degrees on the outside temperature reading (and the fact that I had my legs out!) but it was impossible to resist. I would like to be able to say that with the wind rustling through my hair, I could have been on the Cote D’Azure, but there is little hair to rustle now and in any case, with the side windows up, there is no rustling either. The air conditioning was well up to keeping me comfortable as we tootled around the park looking for shady areas to stop in, and a gentle breeze around the buttocks, courtesy of the splendid ‘cooling’ seats made what for me is the insufferable experience of car photography, more than tolerable.

Bentley GTC Speed

Not much chance to push the envelope inside a public park obviously, so I took the opportunity over the long weekend to give the Bentley a bit of exercise. There is much said amongst my peer group of Muttering Wrotters, that Bentleys never seem to change; there is always another one around the corner that is the new ‘fastest Bentley ever created’ – and it has to be said that this one is no exception.

Bentley GTC Speed

It is the quickest and fastest Bentley convertible ever conceived and with 616 horsepower, 800 Newton Metres of torque and a delivery envelope starting at 2000rpm, that is hardly surprising.

Bentley GTC Speed

What is surprising, is that no matter how quick, or fast, or powerful or strong they get, they just get on and do it with the most refined understatement, that you really need to be in one to properly appreciate what a masterpiece of engineering these cars are.

Bentley GTC Speed

There is a decadent incongruity in the sheer raw potency of a twin turbo, W12, 6-litre engine, an 8-speed gearbox and permanent all wheel drive as state-of-the-art engineering statements, and the quaintness of diamond-pattern leather and organ stop air vent controls, the clunkiness of the paddle shifters and the svelte movement of the fully retractable soft top.

Bentley GTC Speed

It is these attributes that Bentley maintains its unique position of the Gentleman’s Express. There is simply no one else manufacturing cars today that can carry this off!

Bentley GTC Speed

The current crop of Bentleys may not have changed dramatically, but each new variation that appears, brings one specific attribute that builds on what was there before, that improves things subtly, that hones an already sharpened edge, that fine-tunes limits already reached: I think that attribute is ‘relentlessness’ – an ability to pursue, in miniscule proportions, that which needs no improvement.

Bentley GTC Speed

I have said it before and I will say it again. I will not make any apologies for saying it. I am entitled to my opinion no matter how wrong anyone else thinks it is and I’m not really bothered what anyone else thinks anyway.

I bloody love Bentleys!

Bentley GTC Speed

2013 Bentley GTC Speed
Specs
Prices: AED1,110,520 ($302k)
Engine: 6.0-litre Twin-turbo W12, 616bhp @ 6000rpm, 590lb ft @ 2000rpm
Performance: 4.4secs 0-100kph, 325kph, 14.9L/100
Transmission: Eight-speed auto, four-wheel drive
Weight: 2495kg

Do you bloody love ‘em? Let us know in the Comments section below

One response to “Bentley Continental GTC Speed review”

  1. Jonathan Castle says:

    Bloody right I do too!

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