Taking cues from its GT coupe sibling launched last year, the new Continental GTC builds on the highly successful foundation of the previous cabriolet, which premiered in 2006. Bentley's design and engineering teams have improved virtually every aspect of the iconic convertible with an uncompromising focus on quality.
While the first Continental GTC was elegant and understated, the sharper radii and assertive stance of the new model delivers a more contemporary and muscular presence. Advanced manufacturing techniques produce aluminium front wings without the need for seams or welds, creating the look and feel of a coach-built car. Twenty-inch wheels are now standard with three styles of 21-inch wheel, a first for GTC, available as an option, reinforcing the distinctive, sporting stance of the new Bentley.
The four-seater luxury convertible features a new, even more spacious and sumptuous hand-crafted cabin, with soft-touch leather hides, an extensive range of wood veneers, cool-touch metals and deep-pile carpets. There are 17 standard soft-touch leather hide colours with six colour split combinations, complemented by a range of seven veneers, all produced by Bentley's talented craftsmen and women.
The GTC's renowned coupe-like refinement is also enhanced. The tailored, multi-layered fabric hood is complemented by acoustic glass and under-body panels, for optimum noise isolation.
Superb everyday practicality for a luxury convertible was a hallmark of the original GTC and much valued by its customers. The cabin of the new GTC is now even more practical, with additional rear legroom, new storage solutions and innovative features such as touch-screen infotainment, automatic seat-belt presenters and a Bentley-designed Neck Warmer for comfortable roof-down motoring whatever the temperature.
A wider track, front and rear, sharper steering and retuned suspension provides a more exhilarating and class-leading drive. Bentley's advanced all-wheel drive system features a new 40:60 rear torque bias (compared with 50:50 of the original GTC) minimising understeer during hard cornering and allowing the spirited driver to manage the car's line and balance via precise throttle control.
This compelling dynamic package is combined with a more powerful 6.0-litre, twin-turbocharged W12 engine as well as a new QuickShift transmission enabling faster gear changes than ever before. Power output is raised from 560PS to 575PS (567bhp/423kW) and the famed Bentley 'wave of torque' has been increased by a further 50Nm to 700Nm (516lb ft).
"The GTC has always been the most emotional model in the Continental range and a showcase for Bentley design. With its tailored soft top, the GTC is a pure British convertible true to those classic Bentleys of the past. However, the technology, performance and overall design excellence invested in this model means that we are now writing a new chapter for the Bentley convertible driver", said Wolfgang Durheimer, Chairman and Chief Executive, Bentley Motors.
The Bentley Continental GTC will be available to order in the third quarter of 2011, with first customer deliveries from early 2012.
The new Continental GTC at a glance
Sculpted exterior design
- Advanced production techniques such as aluminium Super Forming (front wings) allow for a more sculpted body and sharp 'power lines.'
- Unique jewelled headlamps with LED daytime-running lights.
- More upright matrix radiator grille and new 'double horseshoe' rear profile first shown on the flagship Bentley Mulsanne.
Luxurious, practical hand-crafted cabin with class-leading infotainment
- New interior with a bold, sweeping dashboard and instrument panel finished in premium soft-touch leather.
- Choice of 17 hide colours, six colour split combinations and seven veneers.
- Distinctive 'cobra style' seats for added comfort and enhanced rear cabin space.
- Automatic seat-belt presenters and optional Neck Warmer system for front seats.
- A new touchscreen, 30GB infotainment system introduces advanced satellite navigation with dynamic route guidance, seven-digit postcode entry and Google Map compatibility (market specific).
- Audio systems feature the latest wide-frequency Balance Mode Radiator speakers as standard.
- Revolutionary Dirac Dimensions DSP for exceptional sound reproduction (Naim for Bentley premium audio).
More powerful 6-litre W12 engine with FlexFuel capability
- 6-litre W12 engine twin-turbocharged engine produces 575PS (567bhp/423kW) and 700Nm (516lb ft) of torque.
- FlexFuel capability - runs on E85 biofuel, petrol or any combination of the two.
- 0 - 60mph 4.5 secs (0-100 km/h 4.8 secs).
- 0 - 100mph 10.9 secs (0 - 160km/h 10.9 secs).
- Top speed 195 mph (314 km/h).
- Overall weight saving of 70kg (154lb) versus predecessor.
Dynamic Bentley driving experience
- ZF 6HP28 transmission with 'Quickshift' system that cuts shift times by up to 50% and enables double downshifts.
- New 40:60 rear-biased torque split for the all-wheel drive system reduces understeer when powering out of bends and provides for better modulation of line and attitude by 'throttle steering.'
- Increased front and rear track improves grip and stability.
- Advanced ESC system fully exploits the potential of the more powerful W12 engine and improved chassis.
- 20" 'Five Spoke' alloy wheels with optional 21" wheels in 'Five Spoke Two-Piece', 'Seven Spoke Elegant' and 'Ten Spoke Propeller' designs.