Bentley Continental GT Speed in the Autoblog Garage - Click above for high-res gallery

While other automakers cut back their development programs in hopes of streamlining overhead during this difficult economic climate, Bentley is taking the opposite approach. Rather than cut back on developing new vehicles, they're actually pushing to move things ahead on their calendar.

According to Automotive News, the logic is based on the projection that the economy is on the road to recovery, and Bentley wants to be there when its wealthy clientele has got more fluid cash on hand to splurge on new six-figure luxury cars. While the replacement for the range-topping Arnage is expected to carry on unchanged, the successor to the Continental range is being moved forward, as confirmed by Crewe's own sales and marketing chief Stuart McCullough.

So whereas the next Continental GT was previously slated for introduction in 2011, the new coupe is now being prepared for its debut next year. No official word on rescheduling the introductions of the Flying Spur and GTC models to go along with it, but we'd expect the sedan to move forward from 2012 to 2011, with the convertible to follow in 2012 instead of 2013 as previously reported.

[Source: Automotive News – subs. req'd]