Bentleys are a rare breed. Save for Beverly Hills, where there seems to be one lurking on every corner, just waiting for a “date”. Travel outside of the confines of that opulent city, though, and eyes will dart in your direction. But as soon as their gaze is laid upon the car, they’re removed. Probably because of resentment, envy, or what I assume to be the most simplest of answers: that guy must be some sort of rich a**hole. All might be true. And you know what? When you drive this car you don’t care. Because attention is attention. And I’ll take it.
The Bentley Continental GT Speed might be best described as a “smooth operator”. And with that there is a slight compromise on handling and a 0-60 time. But both of those are all accomplished in what are an ultra respectable fashion; 0-60 is a mere 4.1 seconds. How? A massive twin turbo charged W12 engine that sucks up 6 liters of fuel – good thing gas prices are down – and a balanced suspension system that is supported by airbags that just about negates any sense of 5,500 lbs (400 more than its coupe brother).
But no one, which is likely a 60+ year old male, buys this car for its handling or break neck speed. They buy it because it’s built and finished like very few cars on the planet. Not a single interior stitch appears off center. The leather is so soft that by contrast a baby’s bottom feels like sand paper.
Now, what is odd, and a juxtaposition, is how terribly slow the infotainment system is. It froze on me one time, and proved more often than not to be an exercise in molasses meets touchscreen. However, saving face is a pretty solid 11-speaker, 900 watt audio system, though for my generation a bit more punch wouldn’t be such a bad thing.
As mentioned our GT Speed was of the convertible ilk. So yes, it’s heavier than the coupe. Nevertheless, the interior is exceptionally quiet, and thanks to heat ventilated seats, you could in theory drive the GT Speed top down full time. Complementing that are massaging seats, a back up camera, Bluetooth audio playback and a ride height and suspension that can be modified on the fly.
So, what’s the price? Ours pushed slightly North of $275,000. That ranks as Gadget Review’s most expensive car to date. It also ranks as one of the cars that garnered the most looks and comments. No questions, just compliments. And surprisingly from “utes”.