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Bentley Continental GTC Speed ​​review

Bentley Continental GTC Speed ​​in Kingfisher

Adam Jeffery | CNBC

The V-12 is dead. Long live the V-12.

In the coming years, supercar companies like Lamborghini, Bentley, and Rolls-Royce have announced the phasing out of their V-12 engines as they enter the era of hybrid and electric cars. In the meantime, they’re spouting 12-cylinder masterpieces that are odes to extreme petrol power—and affluent customers snap them at a standard clip.

In other words, at the top of the auto market, the 12-cylinder is dying, and demand has never been stronger.

With the combustion king nearing the end of its road, Bentley has launched the Continental GTC Speed. It’s a “W-12” road stove, with three banks of four cylinders arranged in a sort of “W” configuration. Its raw power is matched only by its elegant interior.

Bentley Continental GTC Speed ​​in Kingfisher

Adam Jeffery | CNBC

Although it has a price tag of close to $400,000, the GTC Speed ​​sells quickly. Bentley CEO Adrian Hallmar said there were “very few” left before Bentley rolls its last 12-cylinder engines off the production line in April 2024.

“These models are almost sold out,” Hallmark told CNBC. “It is the end of a great era.”

So with the Continental GTC Speed, Bentley decided to party like it was 1999.

The model I drove carried a price tag of $384,000. Its color is called the Kingfisher, a shimmering, shimmering blue born to fly, much like the bird of the same name. And it’s loaded with some of Bentley’s most iconic options, including 22-inch black-painted “Speed ​​Wheels,” a Touring Package for added comfort and generous carbon-fiber assistance.

Bentley Continental GTC Speed ​​in Kingfisher

Adam Jeffery | CNBC

Inside, the GTC Speed ​​was dripping with luxury extras, from contrast stitching on the seats (with “Kingfisher” and “Beluga” color threads) to a Bang and Olufsen audio system, micro-diamond quilting, and deep carpeting for underfoot comfort.

My favorite, and also one of the most popular, is the “rotating display,” where a portion of the carbon-fiber dashboard flips over as the car begins to reveal its digital screen, much like the secret wall-busting car version of the Palace Library. It costs an extra $6,600—but when you’re spending $380,000 for a car, what’s an extra six thousand? (It contains about 70% of Bentley owners.)

The most beautiful part about the Continental GTC Speed ​​is the driving. As befits a car with multiple personalities, the GTC Speed ​​has three driving modes: Comfort, Custom, Bentley and Sport Enhanced. Driving in Comfort mode is like floating on a cloud, even on the potholed streets of New York and New Jersey. Bentley’s positioning provides a balance between comfort and sportiness.

CNBC’s Kelly Evans and Robert Frank in a Bentley

Scott Millian | CNBC

You can easily imagine the Comfort Mode transporting its wealthy chauffeur to the country clubs of Southern California and Southern Florida, two of Bentley’s biggest markets. All-wheel steering helps on those rare occasions when you have to park the car yourself rather than having a valet do it.

Switch to Sport mode, however, and the W-12 growls like a dragon awakened from sleep. The suspension stiffens in the bend and the GTC goes 0-60 in 3.6 seconds. It can reach a top speed of 208 mph.

Even with an unladen weight of over 5,300 pounds, the Continental GTC Speed ​​takes corners, stops, and accelerates like the most agile supercar. Its windshield and aerodynamics allow for top-down driving even at high speeds without a hair out of place.

Sure, there are better pure sports cars and better ride comfort. But arguably no car brings the two together – with the W-12’s shrill swan song – quite like the Continental GTC Speed.

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