24/08/2011 New Bentley Continental GTC to debut at Frankfurt
Official images of the second generation of Bentley’s Continental GTC have been released, ahead of the convertible’s launch at September’s IAA in Frankfurt.
Apart from the soft-top roof, the car is essentially the same as its coupé sibling. As you would expect, refinement and quality is at the top of the GTC’s list of priorities, with the multi-layered fabric hood being complemented by acoustic glass and under-body panels for optimum noise isolation. The hand-crafted cabin is the traditional Bentley affair; soft-touch leather hides, high quality wood veneers, cool-touch metals and deep-pile carpets. The new GTC is also more practical than its predecessor, with additional rear legroom and new storage solutions as well as a Bentley-designed Neck Warmer - just as well, seeing as top-down motoring can get a little chilly at the car's top speed of 195mph.
The 6.0-litre twin-turbocharged W12 engine is a familiar one, producing the same 567bhp and 516lb ft as it does in its roofed relative. The 0-62mph sprint is completed in 4.5 seconds, while 0-100mph is dispatched in a correspondingly brisk 10.9 seconds. The GTC uses an identical 6-speed ‘Quickshift’ transmission to that found in the coupé, which allows double-downshifts and reduces shift times by 50% compared to the old model. As with all Continentals, power is sent to all four wheels – however, the new convertible shares the same 40:60 rearward bias as the coupé, rather than the 50:50 split in the previous generation – in an attempt to minimise understeer. Said wheels come in 20-inch size as standard, but Bentley also offers a 21-inch option in three different designs.
Bentley claims that advanced manufacturing processes have allowed it to produce the aluminium front wings “without the need for seams or welds, creating the look and feel of a coach-built car”. This allows a single panel to wrap around the front of the car – from the edge of the familiar Bentley grille to the leading edge of the door – while retaining a characteristic new contour line. Certainly, the new GTC has a much more assertive stance than its predecessor, giving it a more contemporary look.
The Bentley Continental GTC will be formally unveiled at September’s IAA in Frankfurt, but orders can be placed at a Bentley dealership now. Prices begin at £149,350, and the first cars will be delivered before the end of the year.