With 616bhp and 590lb ft, it can defy its 2.4-ton bulk with a 4.1sec 0-60mph time and a 202mph top speed – making it the world’s swiftest four-seater cabriolet. Bentley claims it’s more economical than its predecessor, though 19mpg and 347g/km of CO2 are unlikely to win it green-thinking awards.
Compared to the standard Continental GTC, the speed rides 10mm lower, gets 21in alloy wheels, retuned steering, new tailpipes, a more aggressive grille and a standard Mulliner-spec interior. A small boot-lid spoiler is the only visual nod towards improved aerodynamics.
The covers were whipped off the GTC Speed alongside some good news from Bentley; despite an unsettled car market, its sales rose 22 per cent in 2012, with 8510 cars registered worldwide.