2024 Bentley Continental GT Speed prototype drive

On track in the prototype of the new Bentley Continental GT... It’s going to be a thoroughbred

Bentley Continental GT Speed

This is more of an amuse-bouche report prior to the proper review I’ll write later in the year because I only drove the new, heavily revised Continental GT in prototype form, on a race track, its exterior was disguised and I had to promise not to mention the interior, not that there would have been much to discuss if I had.

So what do we know? Well, the car I drove is the replacement for the outgoing 6-litre 12-cylinder Speed model, and uses in its place a 771bhp hybrid 4-litre V8, boosting output by 120bhp. But all the electrical paraphernalia has also added 180kg to its mass, bringing total weight uncomfortably close to 2½ tonnes.

But… the electric motor alone supplies more torque than a Porsche 911 Carrera motor can in total, so turbo lag is eliminated, and the additional weight of its 25.9kWh battery – big enough to let the car run 50 miles on electricity alone – is entirely below the rear axle line. So the result is the first Continental GT with a true 50/50 weight distribution.

And when you drive it, at least on a race track, that’s what you notice most. The car is thunderously fast, but it is its new appetite for getting into a corner and slithering sideways away from it that appears to have brought a new dimension to the driving experience. This is clearly no time to be making definitive verdicts, but the signs that this may appeal to real drivers like none that has come before are impossible to mistake. AF

Bentley Continental GT Speed

  • Price £TBC, but more than £200,000
  • Engine 4.0 litres, eight cylinders, petrol, hybrid drive
  • Power 771bhp
  • Torque 737lb ft
  • Weight 2453kg (estimated)
  • Transmission Eight-speed double clutch, four-wheel drive
  • 0-60mph 3.6sec
  • Top speed 208mph
  • Economy n/a
  • CO2 n/a
  • Verdict Can’t say much… but wow!