New Car

2022 Bentley Continental GT Speed debuts as company's most performance-focused car ever

The newest member of the Bentley Continental GT family was introduced this week.

Photo courtesy of Bentley Motors

The new 2022 Bentley Continental GT Speed is billed as the "most dynamic road car in Bentley's 101 year history and ultimate performance-focused interpretation of the world's benchmark luxury Grand Tourer." That's a lot to live up to.

The third-generation model continues the storied history of Speed variants. For the Continental GT, that lineage can be traced back to 2007 when the first Continental GT Speed was unveiled, itself inspired by the 3-Liter Speed models of the 1920s.

The Continental Speed GT gets a Dark Tint grille and lower bumper grille, uniquely sculpted sports sills, Dark Tint radiator matrix, and chrome Speed badging. "Jewel" versions of the fuel and oil filler caps are standard and illuminated Bentley treadplates on both sills are a nod to the Speed's performance credentials.

The Speed variant of the Continental GT Is honed for performance.Photo courtesy of Bentley Motors

2022 Bentley Continental GT Speed

The power plant of the new model is an upgraded take on Bentley's classic twin-turbocharged 6.0-liter W12 engine. It delivers 650 brake horsepower and 664 pound-feet of torque. It has a top speed of 208 mph and can scoot from zero to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds. The engine is paired with an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission. When in Sport mode, the car up-shifts later and downshifts earlier.

Each 2022 Bentley Continental GT Speed comes with electronic all-wheel steering and three drive modes: Bentley, Comfort, and Sport. At low and medium speeds, the GT Speed's rear wheels are steered in the opposite direction to the front wheels to aid a rapid change of direction, which makes the car feel more nimble. At high speeds, the wheels steer in the same direction to improve stability. Bentley notes that the system is more active on the Continental GT than it is on the Flying Spur.

The car's all-wheel drive has been recalibrated to provide a character shift that's different than the traditional Continental GT. Bentley and Comfort drive modes balance the grip between the front and rear wheels. Sport mode initiates rear-biased torque.

2022 Bentley Continental GTThe car is powered by a twin-turbo 6.0-liter W12 engine.Photo courtesy of Bentley Motors

For the first time in the model's history, there is an electronic rear limited slip differential. It's been built by hand. In Bentley and Comfort model, it provides added traction support. In sport mode, it improves turn-in response and increases straight-line performance.

Each model comes with an air suspension and anti-roll control system. Electronic stability control can be turned off for more driving freedom.

Bentley has engineered a new carbon ceramic brake system for the car that is available as an upgrade. It features carbon silicon carbide discs that combine with the car's 10-piston front calipers and four-piston rears to enable firm braking response while saving weight and creating a very low level of brake dust.

The whole rig rides on 22-inch Speed-unique bright silver wheels. Buyers can opt for Darrk Tint or black gloss wheels.

2022 Bentley Continental GT Speed

2022 Bentley Continental GT Speed

Photo courtesy of Bentley Motors

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Bentley offers the model with a duotone interior color scheme that is handcrafted in hide and matching Alcantara that extends to the steering wheel. Buyers get to choose from 15 main and 11 secondary hide colors, as well as opt for leather in lieu of Alcantara. Bentley's signature Diamond in Diamond quilting is standard.

The centre console can be finished in new dark tint engine turned aluminum. A Piano Black veneer is standard. Crown Cut Walnut, Dark Stained Burr Walnut, and Dark Fiddleback Eucalyptus are no-cost options.

Each Continental GT Speed has the same four seat capacity and 358 liters of cargo space as the traditional GT.

Pricing for the model is around $275,000.

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New subcompact crossover

Honda announces freshened HR-V for 2023

The new HR-V is based on the Civic.

Honda

With the release of the all-new Civic and its performance variants, Honda's lineup grew more exciting this year. Even so, the automaker can't forget about its bread and butter models, which in the United States means SUVs. Its smallest, the HR-V, is getting an overhaul for 2023 with fresh styling and a more responsive powertrain. Honda hasn't elaborated on pricing or given out an exact release date for the HR-V, but we know the SUV is coming this summer.

2023 Honda HR-VThe new HR-V gets fresh styling and a more responsive powertrain.Honda

The 2023 HR-V gets a new grille with a longer hood and sweeping roofline. Honda notes that the new HR-V is based on the Civic, so while we don't have full powertrain and tech details for the new SUV, we can draw some inferences from that information. The new Civic comes standard with a 158-horsepower four-cylinder engine and a CVT, which would be a reasonable choice for the HR-V. As it did in the Civic, the base will likely also bring a lively driving experience and confident handling to the HR-V.

2023 Honda HR-VThe HR-V will hit the streets this summer.Honda

Honda says the HR-V features a large greenhouse with door-mounted mirrors and a low cowl for better visibility. LED headlights and tail lights are standard, and the new rear-end design features a more rounded, grown-up shape than the previous model.

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What was your best car-related experience this year?

Chris Teague

This year has been a lot of things, but it hasn't been boring. Even if we focus only on the car world, there's plenty to talk about, from microchip-related new vehicle shortages to the wave of new electric vehicles hitting the market. That leaves us with a question for all of you: What was the best or most memorable car moment for you in 2021? I'll get the conversation started.

Porsche Cayenne GTSMy SoCal Cayenne śaw snow for the first time in its nearly 200k-mile life last week.Chris Teague

I'd spent a good portion of 2021 wanting a new-old car to drive when I wasn't testing a new vehicle. That's harder than you'd think for someone who thinks, talks, and writes about cars all day, because there are so many interesting, risky, and downright funky options out there in every price range. The added headache for me was that I'd chosen to shop for a "fun" car in one of the most volatile car markets ever seen. Even the extremely high-mileage "untouchable" European cars I wanted to buy were commanding ridiculous prices.

After a solid few months of waffling between various rattletrap Mercedes-AMG, BMW M, and Audi S/RS cars, I landed on an option that had escaped me before: The Porsche Cayenne. First-generation Cayennes are a real bargain now, but the 955/957 (Porsche's internal code for the SUVs) can experience major problems that occur with or without regular maintenance and care. I was determined to buy one, and wasn't overly concerned about mileage, as long as I could count the number of owners on one hand. There was a beautiful 2009 Cayenne GTS with 90,000 miles but nine owners, a gorgeous 2004 Cayenne Turbo with a concerning engine tick, and many more just like them. Finally, I decided to risky-click a 196,000-mile Cayenne GTS in Southern California. It had one owner and one dealer-owner for a month or two prior to sale, its condition looked decent in photos, and I was able to negotiate a reasonable enough price that shipping it from San Diego to Maine wasn't a huge problem.

Porsche Cayenne GTSThe pics look great, but hands-on tells another story.Chris Teague

I had two traveling Euro mechanics check the car out, and both confirmed that it was well-worn but mechanically sound, so I jumped. Ten days later, on a snowy, icy, dark Maine afternoon, the Cayenne arrived. Cosmetically, there were a few things the dealer and mechanics failed to mention, but overall, it looked good. The SUV passed Maine safety and emissions testing without problem, got a new set of Michelins, and I was on my way.

Porsche Cayenne GTSI'm in danger, but thankfully this should be a reasonable fix.Chris Teague

A few days of driving revealed what I was really in for. A check engine light revealed a camshaft position sensor error and the Cayenne displayed a nasty vibration at idle. A new sensor and motor mounts, and I'm on my way. I'll update you as more things break or miraculously work, but I want to hear your memories from 2021.

Email me at chris@automotivemap.com, and I will compile the best and most interesting stories for a story on New Year's Day. May you all have a wonderful 2022.

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