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Bentley Motors was founded in 1919 and for the next ten years it developed into one of the most exciting car brands in the world. James Bond's car in the Original novel Casino Royale was a Bentley. Bentley's customers were an eccentric bunch a group of which were referred to as "the Bentley Boys" who helped cement Bentley's reputation as a high performance brand by winning Le Mans no few than 5 times in ten years including four years on the trot.

The end of the twenties however brought the great depression, and with it sales of Betleys fell. The company was forced to sell out to a company called British Central Equitable trust. It wasn't until the paperwork had been signed that it was revealed that it had in fact been a front for Rolls Royce. Rolls Royce now owned Bentley and immediately put a stop to Bentley's racing programme. All future Bentleys would from then on variants of Rolls Royce models and would stand in the shadow of their former rival.

W. O. Bentley, the founder of the company left Rolls royce in 1935 to join Lagonda, later to be joined with Aston Marin and did some interesting work there but we will never know how Bently could have developed in the 20th Century if had been left to grow.

Fast forward to 2002, Rolls Royce had been bought by BMW some four years prior and the VW group now had control over Bentley. Finally for the first time in over half a century A new bentley would not share a platform with Rolls Royce. They called it the Bentley Continental GT. It was a huge hit for the company. Sales of bentleys in 2003 the year they started shipping the Continentatl GT had fallen to just over 1000 units. By 2007 that figure had grown to over 10,000.

Ten years on from it's debut we now have the second generation of the Continental GT and this, the fastest production car Bentley have ever made, the Continental GT Speed. The 6.0 Litre twin turbo W12 engine delivers 616 bhp and will get the get the GT Speed all the way up to 205mph. It will get from 0-60mph in 4 seconds flat and will hit a 100mph from a standing start in just 9 seconds.

Design wise the GT Speed remains largely the same, with a new darker grille, chrome around the rear light cluster, a rifled exhaust and this, a W12 badge to show off that you didn't cheap out and go for the V8 version.

The Leather and wood interior remind you that you've paid £151,000 pounds on your car and make the GT Speed a genuinely pleasant place to spend a few hours while you eat up the miles.

Depending on your mood for the day you can choose refined comfort, luxury and style, or raw power with luxury and style. Because,
despite what I may have hoped when they told me this car was two different vehicles in one. It doesn't actually change shape like a transformer.

It seems in life you can't have everything. The Bentley continental GT speed however is one hell of a car, whether you want to smoothly chew up motorway miles or scare yourself half to death on mountain roads the GT speed has you covered.


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