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With peak power of 616hp, the new Continental GT Speed is the most powerful model in the current two-door Bentley Continental family. A full throttle standing start sees 60mph flash past in just 4.0 seconds. Top speed, should you have the opportunity to explore it, is 205 miles an hour.

Yet Bentley’s engineering team has ensured that the new GT Speed W12 engine and powertrain is just as fuel-efficient as the new Continental GT. The latest engine management system, a new eight-speed transmission and careful refinement of the turbocharger settings have seen an overall improvement of 13% in fuel economy, with a commensurate increase in tank range.

A revised Electronic Stability Programme calibration gives the driver free rein to explore the limits with safety, while the new chassis tune and lowered suspension accentuates the glued-to-the-road sensation during high-speed cornering.

The GT Speed’s touch screen infotainment system both entertains and informs. At its heart is a 30GB hard drive, which offers up to 15GB of storage space for music as well as a continent’s-worth of mapping data. For the new GT Speed, the infotainment system features Bentley’s latest software upgrades, including refinements such as point of interest mapping, optional satellite landscape imagery, live traffic data and, where supported, digital radio.

While the 15 Gigabytes of available music space is enough to last you on a round-the-world tour without hearing the same track twice, you can also play music via an iPod, MP3 player, the car’s own six-disc CD changer or even an SD card. Balanced Mode Radiator (BMR) speakers, which combine the functions of separate tweeter and midrange speakers in one unit, direct the sound with accuracy and provide greater clarity across the audible spectrum.

Nothing compares with the sound of a Bentley engine in full cry, but the GT Speed’s infotainment system provides plenty of alternatives.

The sumptuous Continental GT cabin is given a more sporting twist on the Speed model. A new engine spin option in Dark Tint Aluminium is available, unique to the Continental GT Speed, and available for the fascias, console and roof console. Alternatively you might choose the Carbon Fibre option for fascia; or fascia, roof console and centre console, its satin finish specially developed to reduce unwelcome reflections.

With these new options and a wide range of Bentley veneers to choose from - including Dark Fiddleback Eucalyptus, previously exclusive to V8 models - the sporting intent of your Continental GT Speed can find its true reflection in the cockpit. As a final confirmation of this car’s performance focus, the Mulliner Driving Specification becomes standard.

As in every Bentley, the choice of interior colours is almost endless. Seventeen different hide colours are available, but you also have the choice of single or two-colour hide upholstery with darker colours, recommended for surfaces such as the fascia top roll to prevent unwelcome reflections. Needless to say, the choice of carpet and seat belt colours is just as extensive.

So whether you want your seat belts to match the main hide or the secondary hide, whether your carpet overmats have contrast binding or single colour, your Continental GT Speed will be crafted to your specifications. For the Continental GT Speed, duo-tone seats are now available as a no-cost option.

And after you have made your choice of primary and secondary hide colours, there’s the hand-stitching to consider. Choose contrast stitching, and thread of a contrasting colour will be used for the stitching on the seats, doors, rear quarter panels, centre console and all armrests. You can, if you wish, also specify contrast stitching on the steering wheel. Or for the ultimate in hand-craftsmanship, you can choose hand cross-stitching on all four seats and outer armrests.

From steering wheel to gearlever, seat and armrest, every soft-touch surface in the cockpit is covered with soft, flawless leather. No wonder no other car feels quite like a Bentley.

* Not available in all markets
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