Crewe-based luxury car maker Bentley has put its new Continental GT Speed Convertible on show at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
The new model is powered by a 616 bhp twin-turbocharged 6.0 litre W12 engine, which is capable of reaching speeds of up to 202mph (325 km/h).
The enhanced efficiency of the W12 engine also provides a 15% improvement in driving range, fuel economy and emissions
The close-ratio eight-speed transmission, uprated and lowered suspension and re-tuned steering aim to provide drivers with exhilarating acceleration and sharp, communicative handling without affecting comfort.
Design features include exclusive 21-inch alloy wheels, dark-tint grilles and ‘rifled’ exhaust tail pipes.
“Following the recent successful introduction of the GT Speed, the new GT Speed Convertible will appeal to drivers who seek the sensory thrills of the world’s fastest four-seat soft-top and the practicality of a year-round grand tourer,” said Bentley chairman and chief executive Dr Wolfgang Schreiber.
The Continental GT Speed convertible shares its powertrain specification with its Bentley stablemate the GT Speed coupé. The 625 PS (616 bhp) twin-turbocharged, 48-valve, W12 engine powers the new convertible to 60 mph in 4.1 seconds (0-100 km/h in 4.4 s.).
Nought to 100 mph (160 km/h) is despatched in only 9.7 seconds. Peak torque – an impressive 800 Nm (590 lb.ft) – is reached at just 2000 revs/min and maintains that level through to 5000 revs/min for effortless, refined performance at all times.
The new Continental GT Speed Convertible offers the luxury and refinement of a coupé yet transforms into a head-turning open tourer at the touch of a button.
The four-layer hood ensures high levels of refinement and acoustic insulation. Exhaustively tested in all conditions from -30°C to +50°C or more, it resists even monsoon-force rain and maintains comfortable, draft-free warmth even on the coldest days. A true open road thriller, for use 365 days a year.
In the first nine months of 2012 Bentley’s global sales were up by 25% with 5,969 cars delivered to customers and growth in every region. The Americas remain Bentley’s largest global region with 1750 deliveries (up by 29%) whilst in China deliveries were up by 25.7% to 1525 cars.
In Europe deliveries were up by 20% (950 cars delivered) and by 9.6% in the UK (854 cars delivered). The Middle East significantly increased its deliveries by 42.7% (531 cars) and deliveries were also up 34.7% in Asia Pacific (229 cars delivered). Deliveries in Japan rose by 68.8% to 130 cars.
Bentley Motors is the third largest R&D investor in the UK’s automotive sector and the 18th largest nationally. The company employs around 4,000 people in Crewe which is home to all its operations including design, R&D, engineering and production.