- Bentley Motors on Tuesday unveiled the 2022 Continental GT Speed, a new performance version of its bestselling car nameplate.
- The car is expected to cost about $274,900 when it goes on sale in the U.S. and Europe in the third quarter, followed by other markets in the fourth quarter.
- The vehicle is expected to continue Bentley's sales momentum after a record year in 2020.
Bentley Motors is not resting on its laurels following a record year of sales in 2020 for the famed British luxury carmaker.
The Volkswagen-owned company on Tuesday unveiled the 2022 Continental GT Speed, a new performance version of its bestselling car nameplate. Bentley is calling the vehicle the "most capable, performance-focused Bentley ever."
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The car is expected to cost about $274,900 when it goes on sale in the U.S. and Europe in the third quarter, followed by other markets in the fourth quarter.
The two-door performance car features a 6.0-liter 12-cylinder engine rated at 650 horsepower and 664 foot-pounds of torque. The car runs 0-60 mph in 3.5 seconds. Its top speed is 208 mph, according to the automaker. The performance is slightly better than the Bentley Continental GT and Continental GT convertible with the same engine. It also features additional performance parts and tuning, officials said.
"The new Continental GT Speed represents the very pinnacle of performance grand touring," Matthias Rabe, Bentley's head of engineering, said in a release.
The third-generation Continental GT Speed could be one of the last, if not the last, nonelectrified versions of the car. Bentley plans to exclusively offer plug-in hybrid electric or battery electric vehicles by 2026, and full electric vehicles only by 2030.
"This is a big change for a company that's grown up on 6.75-liter engines and W12 engines," Bentley CEO Adrian Hallmark said during a media event. "We know that legislation, customer taste and the characteristics of battery-electric transmissions fit perfectly with the Bentley strategy, so we're very excited about it."
Hallmark said the company does not plan to have plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) with V-12 engines. He said V-8 engines combined with electrification are expected to achieve similar or better performance. PHEVs blend battery technology with internal combustion engines.
Bentley sold 11,206 vehicles in 2020 — despite a seven-week closure of its factory in England during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic last spring. It topped the company's 11,006-unit record in 2019. The Bentley Continental GT and Continental GT Convertible combined to account for 39% of its sales.