The Bentley GTC Speed, the fastest and British-est sports car on the road Featured

If James Bond ever grew up, this would be his car. Devastatingly desirable.
by 07 October 2009

If James Bond were to ever grow up, he would buy the Bentley GTC Speed. Not only is it the fastest Bentley ever made, perfect for escaping villains and careening at break-neck speed along a skinny mountain path, the quintessentially British retro styling makes it the classiest sports car on the road.

You only have to touch your toe to the drilled alloy sports pedal to feel the dark growl of the Speed’s fierce engine. Press the discreet silver button on the centre console and a series of smooth mechanics tuck your convertible roof into the rear bonnet of the car. Then you can experience the real rush; the thrill of taking this low rider through its paces with nothing between you and the bright, blue Dubai sky.

The Bentley’s modern aesthetics have been subtly reworked to hint at the power beneath the sedate but sexy styling. The GTC Speed has a dark chrome grille, 20” multi-spoke sports wheels and twin sports tail pipes. Inside, amid the soft toffee leather, the shiny chrome instruments and smart technology, you feel as though you’re comfortably ensconced in the auto-version of an exclusive gentleman’s club. No one’s getting in here, unless they can absolutely afford it. And if you have to ask the price – you probably can’t.

One of the major benefits of this over your equivalent 007 performance car is what Bentley term the “spacious architecture”. This design feature allows four grown ups (those in the rear requiring comparatively shorter legs) to sit fairly comfortably. It may not fit four pairs of luggage in the boot either, but who cares when you look this good driving down Marina Promenade.

Traditional cues like the bulls-eye air vents and the organ stop controls are framed by wood veneers and the interior is trimmed everywhere in the most tactile hide. The polished veneers in fact, are a big deal for Bentley. They take extreme care to create them in the most sustainable way, fashioning them by hand and working with only natural colours.

For genuine car enthusiasts, it may be of interest to note that the GTC’s six-litre engine is configured in four banks of three cylinders in a W formation. This is rare, but takes up less space in the bonnet, giving you significantly more interior space and improved dynamics.

The engine may be small, but like all the finest diminutive things in life, it still packs a punch. Twin turbochargers boost the power output to an incredible 600 bhp, taking you to a top speed of 322 km/h with the roof up. In just 4.5 seconds, this unabashed supercar will propel you a staggering 60 mph. With the lowered ride height and the Sport mode on ESP, improved handling and tight surface grip, you are in for quite a ride.

And while you rip up the streets in our motor-loving city, bear this in mind: Bentley has filled this stately speed demon with a brace of safety features. A roll-over protection system is installed behind the rear seats, which deploy automatically in the event of an accident. Along with additional protection from the seatbelt pre-tensioners and the reinforced windscreen, your superfast drive is sure to leave you shaken, but not stirred.

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