Bentley’s second generation Continental GTC convertible will be sharper, faster, and more assertive than the earlier car, Bentley have announced.
The GTC, due to be formally launched in September, builds on the highly successful GT coupé, taking many of its styling cues including the option of 21-inch alloy wheels, aluminium coachwork and an even more luxurious and spacious interior.
It’s faster, thanks to a more powerful 6.0-litre W12, twin-turbo engine that develops 215 hp more than the old one; handles better because of revised suspension and steering, including a wider front track; and is more sure-footed now that the all-wheel drive system has a 60:40 rearward bias.
Performance is, as you’d expect, adequate. Sixty-two miles an hour (100 km/h) is reached in 4.8 seconds, thanks to the massive torque available (700Nm/516lb/ft) and the top speed is 195 mph (314 km/h).
The W12 engine (a new V8 is due out shortly) is ‘FlexFuel’ compatible, so it can run on either petrol, E85 bio-ethanol or a mixture of the two. Consumption is commensurate with the engine size at 17.1 mpg (16.5 l/100km), giving a range of around 340 miles (550 km). CO2 emissions are a whopping 384 g/km.
The headlights are now jewelled with LED daytime-running lights, a more upright radiator grille and the ‘double horseshoe’ rear profile from the Bentley Mulsanne.
The new convertible has more rear legroom, a touch-screen “infotainment” system and a Bentley-designed “Neck Warmer” for trouble-free top-down motoring even when it’s chilly, by blowing warm air on the occupants’ necks. Customers can customise the interior, choosing from 17 standard leather colours, a range of seven different wood veneers, ‘cool-touch’ metals, and deep-pile carpets.
“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 Dürheimer, Chairman and Chief Executive of Bentley Motors.
The new GTC costs £149,350 ($212,800, €170,060, both plus taxes). The first customer cars will be delivered at the end of 2011.