Posted on January 10, 2017 by Matt Pressman
The Bentley Continental GT Speed Black Edition starts at $242,125. It's a favorite of many celebs in the Hollywood crowd. But then again — so is the Tesla Model S. The difference? A top-end Model S goes for about 1/2 the price. Does that mean the Model S' performance suffers versus the Bentley? That's what the folks at BBC wanted to find out when they pitted the two cars against one another. But in this case, they chose a more expensive, souped-up, limited-edition Bentley Titan* that has best-in-class features including a performance-enhancing aero kit and sports exhaust.
Above: Tesla Model S (Image: Autoblog)
Car and Driver writes: "The speediest Bentley ever just got a bit speedier. A power boost for the top-dog Continental GT Speed adds 7 horsepower and 13 lb-ft of torque to the car’s monstrous twin-turbo W-12 engine, bringing totals to an impressive 633 hp and 620 lb-ft. There’a also a new Black Edition model for the Continental GT Speed that gains, as you’d expect, a array of contrasting dark trim. The extra grunt from the 6.0-liter W-12 comes from more turbo boost across the rev range, and the increased torque peak is still delivered between 2000 and 5000 rpm... [the] power is routed through an eight-speed automatic and an all-wheel-drive system."
Above: Bentley 'Titan' Continental GT Speed Black Edition (Image: Benz Bavarian*)
For the BBC's Royal Institution Christmas Lecture, chemist Saiful Islam explores one of the most important issues facing the modern world — how to store energy. In the episode, he hands it over to last year's Christmas Lecture host, Danielle George, to demonstrate the raw power (and torque) of battery-powered electric vehicles by pitting Titan vs. Tesla. In an exhilarating race between these two automotive beasts, we get to see who reigns supreme...
Above: Clip from the BBC's Royal Institution Christmas Lecture showcasing the Titan vs. Tesla race (Source: Benz Bavarian* via BBC)
The race leaves BBC's Danielle George with that Tesla-smile claiming the Model S "is seriously like being on some sort of rollercoaster." She concludes that it's: "one mean, green speed machine." As discussed in the episode, the secret sauce in an electric vehicle (non-existent in an internal combustion engine) is instant torque — EVs don't have to waste time changing gears like gas-powered cars. As the BBC episode goes on to explain, it's hard for even the most elite gas-powered cars to keep up with high-performance electric cars. So even though the Bentley is a pretty ritzy (and noisy) gas-mobile, it doesn't stand a chance against the silent (and sexy) all-electric Tesla.