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First Drive: 2013 Bentley Continental GT Speed

Autobahn Worthy

by on Jan.03, 2013

Tearing up the Autobahn at triple-digit speeds.

It was a scene I did not expect, but should have given the prodigious performance of the 2013 Bentley Continental GT Speed.  Not satisfied with the mere 198 mph top speed of the “base” Continental GT, Bentley’s team of engineers, led by the effervescent Brian Gush, massaged the potent twin-turbo W12 engine in the GT Speed to output 616 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque. Top speed after the upgrades: 205 mph.

We were encouraged by the Bentley media team to safely explore the upper limits of this beast, keeping in mind that our primary test route, the famous Autobahn network of highways across Germany, did have some sections with well-enforced speed limits.

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My driving partner and I were a bit late as we approached our departure from scenic Bavaria, Germany, as we had taken a bit too much time shooting video of the new GT Speed during our lunch stop.  So to make our international flight back home, we bypassed the route chosen by Bentley and tried typing the direct destination into the car’s GPS.

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Bentley Considering All-New Model Line

Third model may be critical to long-term success, says outgoing CEO Paefgen.

by on Jan.17, 2011

Dr. Franz-Josef Paefgen (right) hands over the keys to his successor as Bentley CEO Wolfgang Durheimer.

Bentley management will  face a critical decision in the coming months: whether to develop an all-new third product line to compliment the ultra-luxury maker’s mid-range Continental and top-line Mulsanne offerings.

The decision will be handed to a management team led by new CEO Wolfgang Durheimer, who takes over from Franz-Josef Paefgen, the executive who led the British marque through some of the most dramatic changes it has faced in nearly a century of carmaking.  Paefgen steps down as chief executive on February 1st, though he will remain a Bentley consultant.

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In a conversation at the Detroit Auto Show, Paefgen told TheDetroitBureau.com he is looking forward to retirement, which comes after “nine years develop(ing) Bentley into a company in a stable situation leading the luxury segment and strong enough to grow further.”

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