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W12 powertrain helps realise fastest four-seat convertible

Bentley is to debut the world’s fastest four-seat convertible car at next week’s Detroit Motor Show.

The new GT Speed Convertible combines roof-down luxury touring with shattering performance thanks to its twin-turbocharged W12 engine that delivers 625ps, meaning that a top speed of 325km/h (202mph) is possible.

Commenting on the latest Bentley development, chairman and CEO Dr Wolfgang Schreiber said: "Following the recent successful introduction of the GT Speed, the new GT Speed Convertible will appeal to drivers who seek the sensory thrills of the world’s fastest four-seat soft-top and the practicality of a year-round grand tourer, together with unrivalled levels of luxury and refinement. It is designed for those who accept no compromise."

The Continental GT Speed convertible shares its powertrain specification with its Bentley stablemate the GT Speed coupé. As such, the W12 powers the new convertible to 100km/h in just 4.4 seconds (60mph in 4.1 seconds). Peak torque – an impressive 800Nm – is reached at just 2,000 revs/min and maintains that level through to 5,000 revs/min for effortless, refined performance at all times.

The latest ME17 engine management system, capable of performing 180 million individual calculations per second, provides enhanced turbocharger control and torque management, enhancing driveability. In common with all W12-engined models, the GT Speed convertible features an energy recuperation system. Together with a close-ratio, quick-shifting eight-speed transmission, Bentley says that this has resulted in a 15% improvement in fuel economy and CO2 emissions compared with the first generation Speed, with a commensurate increase in tank range.

With torsional stiffness a class-leading 22,500 Nm/degree, the bodyshell of the Continental GT Speed convertible is exceptionally rigid. The aluminum double-wishbone front suspension and trapezoidal multi-link rear setup feature revised air suspension springs and dampers for improved agility and body control with little sacrifice in ride comfort.

The self-levelling system is set 10mm lower than the 575ps Continental GT convertible. Stiffer suspension bushes ensure sharp, communicative handling, while uprated anti-roll bars optimize the handling balance. The result is improved body control under hard cornering together with greater agility and, because steering plays an essential role in feeding response and grip back to the driver, the Servotronic steering has also been recalibrated for the Speed specification.

The ESC system is optimized for the new engine management system to deliver both outstanding safety and greater driver involvement. The ESC system retains the dynamic mode setting that allows increased wheel slip at higher speeds, with engine torque reinstated more quickly after a system intervention.

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS
GT Speed Convertible GT Speed

Engine
Type 6-litre twin-turbocharged W12
Max Power 616 bhp / 460 kW / 625 PS @6000 rpm
Max Torque 800 Nm / 590 lb.ft @ 2000 rpm

Transmission
Type ZF 8-speed automatic with Quickshift, Block Shifting and wheel-mounted paddleshift
Driveline Continuous all-wheel drive (40:60 rear bias)
Ratios 1st : 4.71; 2nd: 3.14; 3rd: 2.1; 4th: 1.67; 5th: 1.29; 6th: 1.00; 7th: 0.839; 8th: 0.667
Final Drive 2.85

Brakes
Front 405mm ventilated discs (optional 420mm Carbon Silicon Carbide, cross drilled)
Rear 335mm ventilated discs (optional 356mm, Carbon Silicon Carbide, cross drilled)

Wheels and Tyres
Wheels 9.5J x 21”
Tyres 275/35 ZR21

Steering
Type Rack & pinion, power assisted, speed-sensitive ZF servotronic
Turns lock-to-lock 2.6 turns
Turning circle 11.3 m

Suspension
Front Four link double wishbones, computer controlled self-levelling air suspension, with anti-roll bar
Rear Trapezoidal multi-link, computer-controlled self-levelling air suspension, with anti-roll bar
Damping Continuous Damping Control, tuned for dynamic performance

Dimensions
Wheelbase 2746 mm / 108.1 in
Overall length 4806 mm / 189.2 in
Width (across body) 1944 mm / 76.5 in
Width (inc. mirrors) 2227 mm / 87.7 in
Overall height 1393 mm / 54.8 in 1394 mm / 54.9 in
Fuel tank 90 litres / 20 gallons / 24 US gallons
Boot volume 260 / 9.18 cu ft 358 litres / 12.6 cu ft
Kerb weight (EU) 2495 kg / 5500 lb 2320 kg / 5115 lb
Gross vehicle weight 2900 kg / 6393 lb 2750 kg / 6063 lb

Performance
Top speed 202 mph / 325 km/h 205 mph / 330 km/h
0-60 mph 4.1 secs 4.0 secs
0-100 mph 9.7 secs 9.0 secs
0-100 km/h 4.4 secs 4.2 secs
0-160 km/h 9.7 secs 9.0 secs

Fuel Consumption (EU cycle)
Urban 12.5 mpg (22.7 litres/100km) 12.7 mpg (22.2 litres/100km)
Extra Urban 27.2 mpg (10.4 litres/100km) 28.0 mpg (10.1 litres/100km)
Combined 19.0 mpg (14.9 litres/100km) 19.5 mpg (14.5 litres/100km)
CO2 emissions 347 g/km 338 g/km

Fuel Consumption (EPA cycle)
City (US mpg) 12 13
Highway (US mpg) 20 20
Combined (US mpg) 15 15
Emissions Controls EU 5 and US LEV II

7 January 2013


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