Bentley has never built anything like this before!

Luxury cars with a dozen cylinders have been overpowered for years. Trying to contain massive torque in a smooth package is now made easier thanks to a proactive chassis, and that is why the Bentley Continental GT Speed arrives with more power and comfort.

Their flagship grand tourer is becoming more distinct from the W12 and V8 siblings. In a quest to harness 650 horsepower, the chassis has gained four new technologies. Starting with the center differential, the torque distribution has been recalibrated to send more power to the rear wheels. It is there they encounter Bentley's first electronic limited-slip differential. Predecessors were forced to use the brake calipers to control torque left or right, but now it can be done in a twinkling of an eye.

When that refined power reaches the rear wheels, they can turn with or against the fronts using the latest in all-wheel steering. Not only does this cut the turning circle of the big girl, it adds incredible grip at high speeds. Also onboard is the 48-volt active sway bars pioneered on the Bentayga. They can add or pull 959 lb-ft of vertical torque against each hub to keep the car flat in hard corners.

Each one of these systems has unique tuning between Comfort and Sport modes, and they represent months of relentless testing by professional drivers and engineers. The largest silicon-carbide rotors they've ever offered are clamped by 10-piston calipers. To put their abilities into perspective, they convert 9,478 BTU of motion into heat.

You will have 664 lb-ft of torque across most of the tachometer. It launches you to 60 mph 3.5 seconds on your way to 208 mph. Most of the time you will be cruising on six cylinders, and because the valves and injectors are shut down you won't notice the switch. Power and technology meet old-world leather and wood to become a car that is unmatched by anything else before.

Images (C) Bentley Motors