Expected to bow in early next year as a 2010 model, the upcoming Bentley Continental GTC Speed has been spotted in prototype form testing at Germany's Nurburgring circuit. Looking largely the same as the last sighting, with a very slightly more aggressive face thanks to its opened-up mesh-grille lower intakes and a lower ride height, the car's sophisticated design still shines through.
This time around, however, we also get a peek at the interior of the car. The steering wheel is the primary change from the driver's point of view, doing away with the horizontal layout for a new split three-spoke design with brushed metal accents and a stitched leather rim. Drilled aluminum pedals add to the sporting feel, while the remainder of the interior appears to be nearly identical to the non-Speed variant.
Like the previous Flying Spur and GT models, the GTC Speed will feature an uprated version of the standard car’s twin-turbocharged 6.0L W12 engine. Specific changes to the engine include a new crankcase design, a lighter camshaft chain and a faster cam sensor, as well as increased boost pressure from the turbos.
The mega powerplant is officially rated at 600hp (448kW) and 553ft-lb (750Nm) of torque in the Speed models, and manages to move the coupe from 0-100km/h in under five seconds. The slightly heavier GTC drop-top should do the same sprint in around five seconds flat, while top speed should come in at around 300km/h.
Other Speed attributes include 20in wheels, a stiffer suspension and a unique front bumper. Inside, the car gets the usual plush Bentley appointments such as Nappa leather trim, seat piping, an 1,100W Naim audio system, and plenty of wood and chrome.