In my mind it’s a Fiat Punto, but I really have no clue exactly which variety of vehicular mailbox pulled out into the left lane to pass the commercial truck. I remember that the truck had a cartoon of a hot dog with eyes. This was troubling for several reasons, including the fact that I’m not entirely sure it was a hot dog—where I come from, hot dogs don’t have that little tiara of casing material on the top of their “heads.” But, hey, they have their own kind of wieners in Germany, so I don’t know. But this imposition by the possible Punto was primarily troubling because my co-driver and I were going about 100 mph faster than that shitbox in a 616-hp, two-and-a-half-ton, quarter-million-dollar Burnt Orange Bentley Continental GT Speed, in the very lane of the A8 autobahn it seemed to now be parked in.
|2013 Bentley Continental GT Speed and Continental GT3 Concept Photos|
I tried to remember what the Bentley guy said the previous day about the GT Speed’s brakes, something about them arresting enough energy at full clamp from the car’s 205-mph top speed to power six houses for an hour. Or maybe it was one house for six hours. Would that be any different? And wouldn’t the one (or six) homeowner(s) be better off just using the heat generated by the brakes to warm the house and power the TV with, say, 18 German shepherds on a huge wheel? We were probably driving about 170 mph, so that would be, like, only four houses/hours.
|2013 Bentley Continental GT V8 front end in motion|
|2013 Bentley Continental GT V8 front three quarter in motion|
Anyway, we seemed to have a great deal of time to get our numbers very wrong, since the Punto appeared at first as more of a surprising but emotionless blip on our consciousness. We didn’t really seem to be going that fast, but the Punto was getting too large, too quickly. Then…BRAKES! At that point, the big Bentley went all buns up and swaying—very disquieting. And then, well, then nothing. We didn’t die. Nobody was going to get to scavenge the turned-aluminum sunglasses case (a $470 option) or shattered portions of the monstrous carbon-ceramic brake discs ($13,600) out of the debris field on that particular day.
|2013 Bentley Continental GT V8|
We’d flown halfway around the world for stretches of road like this one south of Munich. Where else could we test the aptly named GT Speed but on the “derestricted” portions of the autobahn? The thing is a speed sled, a huge metal fist punching at the atmosphere (and wayward Puntos) with 12 cylinders and two turbochargers. Where, outside of a specialized test track, could we confirm that the GT Speed could reach 205 mph, a precious and highly theoretical 7 mph faster than the standard GT W-12 coupe (to be known henceforth as the GT UnSpeed)? With only occasional limit-free stretches of highway, though, we admit we never even matched the top speed of the convertible GTC W-12, a measly 195 mph, which is not even 200 mph. We got to 188 mph, which is plenty damn fast, as it turns out.