Bentley has announced details of its new Continental GT Speed, which develops 616 bhp and has a top speed of 205 mph.

Fitted with a new ZF eight-speed transmission, the GT Speed despatches the 0-62 mph sprint in 4.2 seconds and can reach 100 mph from a standing start in just 9.0 seconds. The chassis has been uprated with new springs, anti-roll bars and bushes, a lowered ride height (by 10mm front and rear) together with re-tuned dampers and steering.

Distinguishing features of Bentley's GT Speed include exclusive 21-inch, ten-spoke alloy wheels, dark-tint radiator shell and lower bumper grilles and 'rifled' exhaust tailpipes. The interior of the Speed model comes with the Mulliner Driving Specification, featuring quilted, perforated leather and bright metal detailing.

We have yet to drive the new model, but we did drive the GT Speed version of the previous Continental, and we were pleasantly surprised by how much more sporting and agile it felt compared to the standard car, while losing very little in the way of refinement. If the new model continues that tradition, it will be an excellent car.

Meanwhile, the standard W12 versions are receiving an upgrade, with a new engine management system and the same eight-speed transmission as the GT Speed. In addition, all W12 engines now feature an energy recuperation system. Together, these deliver a 12% improvement in fuel economy and CO2 emissions across the GT W12 range and a 10% improvement for the GTC W12. The Continental GT now has an official fuel consumption of 19.5 mpg and CO2 emissions of 338 g/km. Still not very green, then.