The clock is ticking for brands that make big, expensive, combustion-engined luxury cars like Bentley’s new Continental GT Speed.
Long-stated government policy and associated legislation will allow them to continue to sell their petrol-fuelled wares, but public opinion, and the buying behaviour it influences, is a moving target. Depending largely on which zero-emission alternatives arrive, big-emitting fossil-fuelled luxury sports cars may become very hard to sell in key markets well before the UK’s 2030 ban on combustion-engined cars comes into force.
It helps explain why we’re seeing this Speed performance version of the Bentley Continental GT just three years into the third-generation model’s life cycle, when we didn’t see the equivalent in previous generations until years later on. But that time pressure, assuming it was a factor, hasn’t turned this range-topping GT into a rushed effort: the GT Speed adopts chassis technologies never before seen on a production Bentley.
Although slightly less potent than the end-of-the-line, last-generation GT Supersports, it’s lighter than that car, has bigger wheels and brakes, features more specialised driveline technology and, Bentley claims, is just 0.1sec slower from rest to 62mph.