The Bentley Continental GT Speed Is Man’s Best Friend

While the W12 grand tourer has bark and a bite, nothing is as much of an all-rounder as this.

Automotive 
5,506 Hypes 2 Comments

Paris Hilton had one in baby pink. Kim Kardashian had one in black, inspiring her viral phrase “Honey, would you put a bumper sticker on a Bentley?”. Katie Price, footballers, and reality TV stars from The Only Way In Essex also had one. The car in question is the Bentley Continental GT, the car described as singlehandedly inventing “the modern luxury grand tourer segment.” It became an instant hit for its handsome looks, 200 MPH-plus top speed, and class-leading driving experience, but had its reputation muddied by the car’s sophisticated – yet ironically chintzy – appeal. Today, it looks as if Bentley has gone back to its roots.

When Walter Owen Bentley founded his eponymous motoring company in 1919, grand touring was all the rage. The firm’s 3-Litre, which was released in 1921, was designed to take passengers across Europe. Likewise, the 1926 6 ½-Litre model became a benchmark for GT excellence and went on to shape the marque’s now-historic racing legacy, as the car was modified into the Bentley Speed Six, which won the 1929 Le Mans race. The marque’s history goes on, including the 8-Litre from 1930, dubbed W.O. Bentley’s “masterpiece” for its 100 MPH top speed. It was the quintessential Bentley, combining speed and sophistication with comfort and class. As Captain W. Gordon Aston wrote for The Tatler, “Never in my life have I known a vehicle in which such a prodigious performance was linked to such smooth, unobtrusive quietness.”

It’s these attributes that went on to define Bentley over the next 70 years, which saw the British automaker create machines fit for aristocrats and royals. Yet with the launch of the Bentley Continental GT in 2003, the historic brand reached a new market and an emergent form of wealth, tapping a young, new money generation of early influencers and Premier League footballers alike. 

The 2022 version of the Continental GT Speed shows how far the car has come in two decades. While Hypebeast’s example was finished in a plumb-shade of black and featured over-the-top 22-inch rims, diamond-like headlights, black exterior detailing, a shouty Akrapovic exhaust system and plenty of interior bling, it seems as if the car is more refined than ever. 

Whether we were stuck in London rush hour traffic or blasting around country lanes, the Continental managed to make passersby put their thumbs up and grin in appreciation. Likewise, sitting at traffic lights welcomed neighboring cars to wind their windows down and initiate a conversation about the Bentley’s presence, a car known and loved by generations young and old. 

But this was no surprise to us. Inside, you’re cocooned in ample amounts of finery from some of the highest quality leather that’s stitched meticulously into a diamond pattern across the door sills and seats (ones that massage you, no less). Alcantara coats the dashboard and headliner, while the control panel is covered in a mixture of metal and piano black detailing, accented with clear crystal-like controls, metal vents and physical buttons, and even an infotainment screen that rotates on itself to reveal vintage dials reading temperatures and a lap timer. With that in mind, there’s no doubt that the Continental is going to be a showstopper inside and out. 

However, what did surprise us was the dynamism of the Continental GT Speed. Sure, “Speed” is in its name and it does feature a thumping six-liter W12 engine that produces over 650 HP, but it’s also a luxury barge that weighs more than 2.3-tonnes and can seat four people in unrivaled comfort for its vehicle class. Regardless, this behemoth became a stealthy motorway mile muncher and a poised dart around the tree-lined lanes, expertly handling every ripple and bump by simply flattening them – because no Bentley driver wants to be disturbed by such faults. 

After a week with the car, it became clear that the Continental could fit into your life comfortably. It makes sense that people have been so willing to spend upwards of $275,000 USD on a car like this – capable of being driven responsibly to the shops or being hooked up in Sports mode for some more frivolous activities. 

Above all else, the Continental GT Speed was one of the only cars to feature on Open Road that we’ve not wanted to give back. It became a part of the family in such a short period. At times it’s too big and feels cumbersome to drive, and the interior felt too beautiful to soil with our feet, and for that, the Continental GT Speed is not flawless. 

But there’s a certain je ne sais quoi to the Bentley that seldom features in modern cars: It’s one thing for a car to put a smile on your face, but for it to put a smile on the face of others? That is the Bentley charm.

Read Full Article

What to Read Next

Bentley Unveils All-New Continental GT S
Automotive

Bentley Unveils All-New Continental GT S

“A leaner, meaner take on the Continental GT.”

Bentley Mulliner Creates Its Most Luxurious Continental GT Yet
Automotive

Bentley Mulliner Creates Its Most Luxurious Continental GT Yet

Accompanied by a “Double Diamond” grille and 641 horsepower.

Bentley Motors and The Macallan's "The Horizon" Is the World’s First Horizontal Single Malt Whiskey
Food & Beverage

Bentley Motors and The Macallan's "The Horizon" Is the World’s First Horizontal Single Malt Whiskey

Made with copper from Macallan’s former distillery and aluminum from Bentley.


Adidas Originals Drops a Refreshing Korean Tea-Inspired ZX8000
Footwear

Adidas Originals Drops a Refreshing Korean Tea-Inspired ZX8000

A fitting addition for the spring season.

A Closer Look at the adidas Crazy 1 "Stormtrooper"
Footwear

A Closer Look at the adidas Crazy 1 "Stormtrooper"

Now available on HBX.

Patta and Nike Officially Reveal "The Next Wave" Air Max 1
Footwear

Patta and Nike Officially Reveal "The Next Wave" Air Max 1

Arriving in a “Dark Russett” colorway.

Modders Have Turned 'GoldenEye 007' Into a Full 'The Spy Who Loved Me' Game
Gaming

Modders Have Turned 'GoldenEye 007' Into a Full 'The Spy Who Loved Me' Game

You can even run it at 4K on 60 fps.

Kotobukiya Reveals Its ARTFX+ 1:10 Scale Take on Boba Fett
Toys

Kotobukiya Reveals Its ARTFX+ 1:10 Scale Take on Boba Fett

Available in January 2023.

adidas Spezial Explores Britain’s Electronic Music Scene for Summer 2022
Fashion 

adidas Spezial Explores Britain’s Electronic Music Scene for Summer 2022

A portrayal of Yorkshire-born synthpop band, Working Men’s Club.


Balenciaga's Paris Sneaker "BB Monogram" Deviates From Distressing
Footwear

Balenciaga's Paris Sneaker "BB Monogram" Deviates From Distressing

A far cry from Demna’s previous anti-fashion efforts.

Dover Street Market's Exclusive Gucci "Love Parade" Drop Spreads Positivity
Fashion

Dover Street Market's Exclusive Gucci "Love Parade" Drop Spreads Positivity

Featuring a special character, glittery garments, love-enhancing T-shirts, Hawaiian prints and more.

Everything Dropping at Palace This Week
Fashion

Everything Dropping at Palace This Week

Featuring the Formula Jacket, Uni Hood, Velvet Jean and more.

Giancarlo Esposito Reveals He's Talked With Marvel, Interested in Playing Professor X
Entertainment

Giancarlo Esposito Reveals He's Talked With Marvel, Interested in Playing Professor X

Calling the role “something that is a little bit different.”

Apple Rumored to Be Developing Four New Smart Home Devices
Tech

Apple Rumored to Be Developing Four New Smart Home Devices

Including a smart display for your kitchen.

More ▾
 
Subscribe to our Newsletter

Gain access to exclusive interviews with industry creatives, think pieces, trend forecasts, guides and more.

By subscribing, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Looks like you’re using an ad-blocker

We charge advertisers instead of our readers. Support us by whitelisting our site.

Whitelist Us

How to Whitelist Us

screenshot
  1. Click the AdBlock icon in the browser extension area in the upper right-hand corner.
  2. Under “Pause on this site” click “Always”.
  3. Refresh the page or click the button below to continue.
screenshot
  1. Click the AdBlock Plus icon in the browser extension area in the upper right-hand corner.
  2. Block ads on – This website” switch off the toggle to turn it from blue to gray.
  3. Refresh the page or click the button below to continue.
screenshot
  1. Click the AdBlocker Ultimate icon in the browser extension area in the upper right-hand corner.
  2. Switch off the toggle to turn it from “Enabled on this site” to “Disabled on this site”.
  3. Refresh the page or click the button below to continue.
screenshot
  1. Click the Ghostery icon in the browser extension area in the upper right-hand corner.
  2. Click on the “Ad-Blocking” button at the bottom. It will turn gray and the text above will go from “ON” to “OFF”.
  3. Refresh the page or click the button below to continue.
screenshot
  1. Click the UBlock Origin icon in the browser extension area in the upper right-hand corner.
  2. Click on the large blue power icon at the top.
  3. When it turns gray, click the refresh icon that has appeared next to it or click the button below to continue.
screenshot
  1. Click the icon of the ad-blocker extension installed on your browser.You’ll usually find this icon in the upper right-hand corner of your screen. You may have more than one ad-blocker installed.
  2. Follow the instructions for disabling the ad blocker on the site you’re viewing.You may have to select a menu option or click a button.
  3. Refresh the page or click the button below to continue.