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2025 Bentley Continental GT Speed Goes Hybrid, Points to the Future

by | June 25, 2024

Bentley continues its march towards electrification with the 2025 Continental GT Speed. GT Speed will get a hybrid-powered V8 for the first time ever as the brand prepares for its long-term push into the EV segment.

The 2025 Bentley Continental GT Speed is the first production Bentley to be equipped with its new Ultra Performance Hybrid engine.

Bentley has made it clear that it still sees pure electrification as the next stage of its history even as the brand has been forced to make adjustments to some of its plans due to slumping consumer demand for EVs and outside forces that have played a role in slowing the adoption of EVs as a whole.

Bentley says that all of its lineup will eventually consist of only EV models, but for now, the company is taking a calculated approach and is currently focusing on expanding its hybrid offerings to help give customers a bridge from pure ICE-powered models to a BEV. That includes the introduction of its fastest hybrid model yet, the 2025 Bentley Continental GT Speed.

Hybrid engine signals a new era in performance

Unlike Bentley’s older hybrid powertrains, the GT Speed benefits from advancements that help improve performance and fuel economy when compared to the old W12 engine.

Bentley axed its long-running W12 engine a short while ago and the newest iteration of the GT Speed is entering uncharted territory with the model being the first GT Speed in history to be powered by a hybrid engine with all models being powered by a 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8 that’s paired with a 25.9 kWh rear-mounted battery pack and a small electric motor. Dubbed the “Ultra Performance Hybrid” The GT Speed is the first model to use this engine and it’s capable of producing a combined system output of 779 hp and 738 lb-ft of torque. These figures not only make it the most powerful Bentley yet, but the V8 also eclipses the bigger W12 which made 740 hp when it was used in the limited production Batur model. Bentley says the GT Speed can make the sprint to 60 mph in 3.1 seconds before topping out at 208 mph. A convertible version is also available but the top speed in these models is reduced to 177 mph due to the additional bracing and structural changes needed to make its folding soft top work.

The electric motor makes 187.4 hp on its own and mainly provides “torque fill” at low speeds though it’s also used to smooth out the shifts from the eight-speed dual-clutch automatic. In addition to those benefits, the electric motor also provides limited all-electric driving capability with Bentley saying the motor allows the GT Speed to go up to 50 miles on battery power alone when measured on the WTLP Cycle though it remains to be seen how it does when measured to U.S. measurements. The company also says the electric motor can be used at speeds up to 87 mph before the gas engine is forced to kick back in. Using the electric motor to torque fill is an inventive use for it and expect that party trick to make its way to other hybrid models such as the Bentayga SUV to help smooth out the driving experience for those owners too when the SUV gets its next major revamp.

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Facelifted styling mixes familiarity with Batur DNA

The interior maintains its familiar roots but gets updates to help boost the amount of luxury and personalization that it has.

In addition to the hybrid powertrain, Bentley designers also gave the GT Speed a facelift. While it still has some familiar traits from the outgoing model, the headlights switch from a twin setup to a new single-piece design. The twin headlights were a core design item on the Continental since its appearance in 2003, and the company also revealed that this would be the first time since the 1959 S2 that a production Bentley will feature single headlights. The rear of the car gets tweaked taillights that get more detailing but retain the same basic shape.

The interior of the GT Speed has also been reworked with the seats and the door panels getting new quilted patterns while a new air ionization system cleans the air to keep undesirable odors and germs out of the cabin when owners are commuting. Bentley also confirmed that owners will continue to have a high degree of personalization features at their disposal with a new Dark Chrome Specification package adding custom trim pieces for the door handles, speaker grilles, and other areas in the cabin. Mulliner will also be offering several other custom features to further enhance the GT Speed’s curb appeal among style-conscious buyers.

What’s next for Bentley’s hybrid technology?

Bentley’s Ultra Performance Hybrid engine will play a bigger role in the company moving forward and might be used in other models like the Bentayga SUV.

Bentley views hybrid models as a stepping stone for owners to make their way into pure EVs. As a result, look for the company to find more ways to expand the “Ultra Performance Hybrid” powertrain to other models. That would include the Bentayga SUV which is currently the brand’s only entry in the SUV market. The Bentayga received its last major update in 2021 and it pitched its W12 engine as part of its 2024 updates to focus on smaller engines moving forward.

Having a GT Speed equivalent of the Bentayga equipped with the new hybrid V8 would allow the SUV to have a halo model that will draw in more buyers while also allowing the utility to have a performance option that will allow it to make more power and get better fuel economy at the same time. While electrification will eventually take center stage at Bentley, look for the brand to use hybrid powertrains as a short-term solution to meet its green goals with these models also buying Bentley engineers enough time to develop the EV platform and technology needed to make Bentley’s debut in the EV segment a long-term success.


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