A Little Bit More, Everywhere

In 2003, the year we reviewed the to start with Bentley Continental GT, Dave Brailsford took more than as general performance director of British Biking, where by he became regarded for the phrase, “the aggregation of marginal gains.” He discussed the doing work philosophy to the BBC as breaking down just about every facet of riding a bicycle—from pedals to the greatest pillows for the most effective sleep—and improving upon every element 1 per cent to accomplish a significant cumulative improvement.

The shepherds of the Bentley Continental GT have mastered marginal gains, punctuated by the occasional leap. When we reviewed the to start with GT Pace in 2008, it weighed 5180 lbs ., made 600 horsepower and 553 pound-ft of torque from a 6.-liter twin-turbo W-12 motor, achieved 60 mph in 4 seconds, and could strike a claimed 202 mph. 13 several years later on, the 2022 Bentley Continental GT Pace weighs a claimed 5011 lbs ., will make 650 horsepower and 664 pound-feet from an up to date 6.-liter twin-turbo W-12, launches from a standstill to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds, and operates out of steam at 208 mph.

The style or general performance of other cars could have progressed additional or more quickly, but if any automaker understands what it has, it is Bentley. The system labored in 2003, and as we found in Sicily guiding the wheel of the most recent Continental GT Pace, it performs just as nicely nowadays.

The third-gen Continental produced a leap in appears, turning the prior model’s enforcer physique into that of a pentathlete. To create the Speed—which is offered as a coupe or a convertible—24 more horses joined the W-12’s corral, then Bentley’s wardrobe section place a dark end on the grilles, included a carbon-fiber splitter, reshaped the side sills, and in shape a exclusive established of 22-inch wheels. Marginal, in truth.

The Speed’s roughly $50,000 quality around the typical vehicle is squandered money in day-to-day driving. As in the normal GT that can make the identical torque, copious shove hustles 2.5 tons of Anglo-German matériel, and copious hides turn that matériel into a hush home at a private London club. The triple-chamber air suspension with adaptive damping and 48-volt energetic anti-roll bars separates the driver from worldly unpleasantness like Welsh Guards shielding Windsor Castle.

On Sicily’s slim, tangled road community, the potholes and bizarrely uneven pavement have been witnessed but not felt. Desperately uncouth surfaces compelled a roar from the Pirelli P Zero PZ4s—275/35R-22 in front, 315/30R-22 in back—but you can find only so a great deal thunder a single can conceal right after placing 5000 lbs on lower-profile rubber with make contact with patches as big as elephant feet.

The challenge for this new Speed was that when Bentley desired to make this Continental GT superior, as engineer Nigel Hamlyn instructed us, “We’d maxed out all the resources we had.”

So engineers made a leap, escalating this Bentley’s software set. A reworked, additional rear-biased all-wheel-drive technique ordinarily sends 90 per cent of the W-12’s torque to the rear wheels, but up to 36 p.c can be despatched to the fronts to make the most of the readily available traction or to counteract oversteer. The Speed also borrows the rear-wheel-steering method released on the Traveling Spur, with 4.1 degrees of max steering lock for enhanced handling and lower-speed maneuverability. Brake-centered torque vectoring stays on the entrance axle, but at the rear, engineers extra an digital confined-slip differential (eLSD).

As a outcome, the latest Pace the first of its form to wag its tail in the language of an fanatic. Squirting out of a limited exit into an additional switchback, a blend of generous throttle and steering lock will get the rear steering and eLSD to snap the again around. The very best little bit arrived in a flat open region we could handle like a skidpad, ladling on throttle until eventually the far more forgiving ESC carefully fed the backside into a Quickly and Furious: Tokyo Drift stance. Jolly good stuff.

This remains a large GT, even though, not a sports vehicle. Allowing the eight-pace twin-clutch automated shift for you, even in the now more quickly-shifting Sport method, implies attempting to time steering and pedal inputs to the twin-scroll turbos heading complete boost. Much better to take about shifting and keep the turbos spooled, even if it usually means being so superior in the rev vary that the W-12’s normally threatening rumble turns into a gravelly yelling. And neglect about theatrics these as pops on downshifts and overrun Bentley has largely tuned out these types of extra.

Bentley set up a twisting class at an deserted NATO base—derelict nuclear-missile silos and all—to give us a right go the place retaining partitions and police wouldn’t destroy the working day. Regrettably, our minders placed “BRAKE NOW” signals so conservatively that generous application of the optional carbon-fiber discs still left ample room just after halting to choose an Uber to the corner. The 17.3-inch entrance rotors with 10-piston calipers clearly are the product or service of someone at Bentley HQ who enjoys singing, “I like huge brakes and I cannot lie.” Stomp on them and their comical halting electric power will have your eyes bulging like Wile E. Coyote’s, not to point out the eyes of any motorists behind you.

The Speed’s new dynamism is the payoff for several years of marginal gains plus this most current tiny leap. And that brings us again to British Biking, which experienced won a one Olympic gold medal in the 95 years prior to Brailsford took in excess of. The group rode 5 years of marginal gains to eight golds in the 2008 Olympics. From 2007 to 2017, according to James Clear’s e-book Atomic Patterns, Brailsford’s countrywide and BSkyB trade staff riders received 178 planet championships and 66 Olympic or Paralympic gold medals and captured five Tour de France victories. He is now, unsurprisingly, acknowledged as Sir David Brailsford.

You will find no personal at Bentley to confer a knighthood on, and there are no gold medals for producing an superb GT more great. But the crew from Crewe has shown just as nicely as Brailsford how substantially can be obtained by carrying out just a tiny bit a lot more, everywhere.


Technical specs

2022 Bentley Continental GT Velocity
Motor vehicle Type: front-motor, all-wheel-travel, 4-passenger, 2-door coupe or convertible


Coupe, $277,625 Convertible, $305,125


twin-turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 48-valve W-12, aluminum block and heads, port and direct gas injection
Displacement: 363 in3, 5952 cm3
Electricity: 650 hp @ 6000 rpm
Torque: 664 lb-ft @ 1500 rpm


8-speed twin-clutch automatic


Wheelbase: 112.2 in
Duration: 190.9 in
Width: 76.9 in
Peak: 55.1–55.3 in
Trunk Quantity: 13 ft3
Curb Fat (C/D est): 5050–5400 lb

Efficiency (C/D EST)

60 mph: 3.1–3.2 sec
100 mph: 7.4–7.6 sec
1/4-Mile: 11.3–11.6 sec
Top rated Pace: 208 mph

EPA Gasoline Financial state (C/D EST)

Put together/City/Freeway: 15/12/19–20 mpg

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