Robb Report Car of the Year 2008: No. 4 Bentley Continental GT Speed

  • Gregory Anderson, Paul Dean and Marco R. della Cava

More Bucks, More Bang.
The Bentley Continental GT—our 2004 Car of the Year winner—may be a bit long in the tooth compared to the rest of this field, but the fresh, new Continental GT Speed edition is one incredibly sharp canine. The Speed’s $25,000 premium pays for an extra 50 hp, along with a dark chrome grille, 20-inch wheels, larger exhaust pipes, diamond-quilted leather seats, and the word Speed etched onto the metal plates along the doorsills. Best of all, if you ever find a sufficiently straight and traffic-free highway, you can drive your aptly named Speed-mobile faster than 200 mph. Of course, for $20,000, you could hire an aftermarket tuner to install a computer chip that will enable your standard Continental GT to develop a couple hundred extra horsepower. But you can own the factory-tuned GT Speed without having to relinquish Bentley’s power train warranty.—Gregory Anderson

Power with Polish
Bentley’s Continental GT, now five years into what appears to be endless celebrity, has become a superlative and a synonym for high-performance, luxurious transportation. In the GT Speed, you can relish the same twin-turbo package but with 602 hp, a top speed north of two bills, and a diamond-quilted leather interior that someone at Buckingham Palace may have authorized. The Speed passes lesser traffic in a single gulp and almost in silence. The majestic and comfortable appointments contribute more to interior decorating than to automobilia. Everything about the car is an attack on whatever school of thinking seems to dictate that violent speed and acceleration can be delivered by only noisy, cumbersome, and uncouth machinery. —Paul Dean

Show Car
The Bentley is a shoo-in for Car That Looks and Smells Most Like an English Drawing Room honors. The Speed comes with an F/1-style, paddle-shifting transmission, but you will not feel compelled to drive it like you would a racecar. Although the car has plenty of muscle under the hood, its considerable weight makes spirited driving an afterthought. No, this car is better suited to showing the world that you roll in style. —Marco R. della Cava

Bentley,www.bentleymotors.com

Layout
Front-engine, all-wheel drive
Engine
6-liter, twin-turbocharged W-12
Transmission
6-speed automatic
Power
602 hp, 553 ft lbs
Zero-to-60
4.3 seconds
Top speed
202 mph

BASE PRICE: $206,285
PRICE AS TESTED: $226,555
ROBB REPORT RATING: 96.5

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