Bentley has revealed the 2012 Bentley Continental GTC ahead of a debut at Frankfurt 2011 in September. On sale before the end of the year.
Bentley are busy updating their cars, a process which started with the new Bentley Mulsanne and carried on with the 2012 Continental GT this time last year. And now, just too late for summer, we get the 2012 Bentley Continental GTC – the one with the soft top.
As you would hope, in an age when lightness and frugality are key, Bentley has managed to cut the weight of the new Continental GT – but only by 70kg over the current model.
Just like its tin-top sibling, the drop-top Continental GTC benefits from some smarter lines and a more aggressive stance, helped by the 20″ wheels which are standard and even more so by the 21″ option wheels.
Inside is the sybaritic wonderland you would expect from Bentley (and that’s before you avail yourself of their bespoke stuff) with more room to wallow than before – certainly in the back – with ample choice of soft-touch hides and wood veneers, cool metals and deep-pile carpets.
Toys include a new touchscreen infotainment, seatbelts that reach out to offer and Bentley’s Neck Warmer for those Winter days when you just must put the hood down. That’s a tailored, multi-layered fabric hood with acoustic glass for optimum noise insulation.
Just like the Coupe, the convertible Continental gets a wider track, sharper steering and tweaked and fettled suspension. There’s also a bit of a reworking of the 4WD to give a bit more RWD bias – it’s now split 40:60 – which should take away that hint of understeer when you’re really pushing on.
And you can push on a bit harder in the 2012 Continental GT, thanks to the 567bhp the 6.0 litre W12 delivers through its new QuickShift ‘box, helped in its task with an extra dollop of torque – there’s now 516lb/ft on offer.
Bentley boss, Wolfgang Dürheimer, says of the 2012 Continental GTC:
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.
And he’s right. We should all be jumping up and down and proclaiming Bentley to be one of the greatest marques in the world. And if it wasn’t for an inherent snobbery about ‘VW’ Bentleys we’d all be doing exactly that.
The new Bentley Continental GTC goes on sale in December at £149,350.
2012 Bentley Continental GTC Photo Gallery
(16 photos – click any thumbnail for full gallery)
2012 Bentley Continental GTC Video
Bentley Continental GTC Details – Power, Performance & Features
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.
• 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.