Our spies have got us pictures of the 2012 Bentley Continental GTC Speed out testing. A good scoop. But what’s a better scoop is that we can reveal the car will be launched with the 4.0 litre V8 that Crewe has co-developed with Audi, NOT the existing W12 6.0 litre as many are speculating.
The Bentley Continental GT coupe got a redesign at the end of last year. But the convertible GTC models on Bentley’s price list today are still based on the old Conti GT model. So it’s no real surprise that the boys from Crewe are working on an update to bring both two-door Continental models in line.
We also know that Bentley uses the ‘Speed’ moniker for a higher power version of the Contis. Last time round there was a coupe and a convertible, both with a 592bhp W12 6.0 petrol engine. And many assumed they’d do the same again with the second generation Speed models which, like the first gen, get more aggresive frontal treatment, larger exhaust pipes and a (probable) weight reduction. We’ve also spotted a rear spoiler atop the boot lid.
But we’ve checked the details of this test car and it’s actually running a 3,993cc engine, which we are guessing is the V8 that Bentley has confirmed would be coming to the model in 2012. Co-developed with Audi, it will be shared with some Audi models and although it’s being added to the Bentley range to reduce the emissions and fuel consumption of the Continental models, in twin turbo form it’s likely to be more than powerful than the W12, exceeding 600bhp. Expect to see a version of this engine in some Audi RS models too, as well as a revised R8.
Our bets are on this being one of the tuned twin turbo V8 versions right here in these pics. The 600bhp plus Speed will be joined by Continental models using a single turbo version of the same engine, with around 450bhp.
The W12 is meant to be soldiering on, but with the same power figures and better economy and emissions from the V8, who’d want it?
Expect to see the Continental GTC and the tamer V8 shown at the Frankfurt motor show in September. The Speed models may be a little behind that.