Bentley GT Speed W12: The bigger ben
Which is what’s different from the Continental V8 we drove earlier this year (TG, April 2012). That car had an engine note that sounded much like bones being crushed. And at 500bhp and 600Nm, it did get around rather quick. The new W12 makes 567bhp and 700Nm. Thankfully, the car you see here is the GT Speed W12.This car makes 616bhp and 800Nm. And with a possible top speed of 330kph, the car I’m inside right now is the fastest production car Bentley has ever made. The W12 sounds smoother and less angry than the V8. But on the German autobahn leading out of Munich into the beautiful town of Berchtesgaden, even at half throttle, this Bentley heads towards the car ahead in the distance, like a piece of iron towards a magnet. And I am yet to floor it.
Whoever coined that term, “being drunk with power” must have envisioned something like a GT Speed. I have driven cars with more horsepower, but the effortlessness with which the GT W12 gets to those last few digits on its speedo is almost criminal. All you hear is a thunderous growl that is so soft, it seems to be somewhere in the distance. Then there’s a bit of wind noise. And while your eyes couldn’t normally distinguish that tiny speck of car far ahead of you, in the Bentley, a second after flooring the throttle, you can minutely observe the granules on the paint job of that car in front.
What takes your breath away is not that this Bentley is fast. What takes your breath away is that this Bentley is eerily fast. If all the supercars in the world were assassins, most of them would capture their victims, subject them to some third degree and keep them on that line between life and death for the longest. But if this Bentley were an assassin, it would complete the job in half a painless second. One jab at a critical point, and the victim would plop painlessly to the ground. It’s that discreet, that clinical and that graceful at high speeds.