New Bentley Continental GT Speed heads for global debut, fresh from Norway feat

LONDON: The new, fourth-generation Continental GT Speed will make its global public debut at this week’s Goodwood Festival of Speed.

The Continental GT Speed had recently achieved an unofficial underwater speed record, believed to be the fastest a car has ever travelled through a tunnel, reaching 335kph.

This supercar, both in coupe and convertible versions, will feature at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, running the famous Hill Climb twice daily from Thursday to Sunday.

In addition to the Hill Climb, a third Continental GT Speed will be displayed in a unique "FOShtank" at the festival.

This display mimics Bentley’s 'Toy Box' units from its Dream Factory campus in Crewe, England, but with a twist: it includes a custom-built fish tank.


The Tourmaline Green car will be showcased behind a three-tonne fish tank containing 1,400 litres of water and 30 goldfish. The tanks, weighing over three tonnes when full, use 80 mm thick acrylic sheets to hold back the water and are maintained by an on-site aquarium specialist throughout the event.

An LED screen will play the Underwater Speed Record launch film and behind-the-scenes footage of the record attempt.

On April 18, the new Continental GT Speed set its top speed in Norway's 14.5 km Ryfylke tunnel, the world's longest and deepest sub-sea road tunnel.

The car, powered by Bentley's new Ultra Performance Hybrid electrocharged powertrain, achieved 782 PS and 1,000Nm using Coryton’s SUSTAIN renewable biofuel and a hybrid battery charged by Bentley's solar panels.

The powertrain offers more horsepower and torque than its predecessor with a significant reduction in CO2 emissions.

Achieving this record required 13 months of planning. The Ryfylke Tunnel was chosen for its straight and smooth path.


Bentley worked with the Norwegian highways authority and local police to secure the tunnel and necessary permits.

Computational Fluid Dynamics simulations indicated 11% higher aerodynamic drag in the tunnel, affecting the car's aerodynamics. Bentley’s engineers assessed these forces, emphasising the importance of keeping the car centered to avoid suction effects from the tunnel walls.

The record-setting car, equipped with a roll cage, bucket seats, and 22” Pirelli tyres, was driven by former British Rally champion Mark Higgins. The top speed runs took place at 1am (local time) to minimise traffic disruption, with the Continental GT Speed accelerating to 335kph in 33 seconds and maintaining top speed for the film’s duration.

Autos Bentley