Bentley's new Continental GTC is the convertible version of the automaker's Continental GT coupe, which debuted in the U.S. with the 2004 model. Powered by the same W-12 engine as the GT, the 2+2 GTC features a power fabric roof that can lower in 25 seconds, plus a glass rear window. It hits dealerships in late 2006.
The GTC's performance figures are quite impressive: Bentley says the convertible can accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 4.8 seconds and reach a maximum speed of 195 mph when the roof is up (190 mph when lowered).
The GTC looks much like the GT in front of the windshield, but the GTC's rear deck has a chrome strip in a band around the passenger compartment. The coupe's pronounced rear fenders have been carried over to the convertible, as have its four round headlamps and its wire-mesh grille. The result is a convertible that would be at home in New York City, where the car made its debut, or the swanky Hamptons nearby.
When lowered, the fabric roof stows beneath a flush-fitting leather tonneau cover. The GTC uses a new rear suspension designed with convertible-top storage in mind, and the GTC is 243 pounds heavier than the coupe because of structural steel reinforcements added to compensate for the body rigidity lost along with the metal roof.
The GTC can seat up to four people on front and rear bucket seats, though the rear seats would likely only be comfortable for children. Luxury features include leather seats and wood trim. A number of options, such as a four-spoke wood and leather steering wheel and lamb's wool rugs, are available from Bentley's Mulliner organization.
Under the Hood
A 552-horsepower, 6.0-liter twin-turbocharged W-12 that produces 479 pounds-feet of torque at a low 1,600 rpm drives all four of the GTC's wheels through a six-speed automatic transmission that has a Tiptronic clutchless-manual mode. The convertible has an adjustable air suspension.
Two popup roll bars behind the rear seats deploy in the event of a rollover. All-disc antilock brakes, a tire pressure monitoring system, traction control and an electronic stability system are standard.
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