If you like a British model that looks just as good with its top off as it does covered up, if you want a model that makes you feel privileged to be inside it and you want your model to tell the world you’re rich, powerful and good-looking, then the Bentley Continental GTC is for you.
If you already have the hottest partner anyone has ever seen, the penthouse in Manhattan, villa in Tuscany and resort in the Bahamas, if you’ve already sold your Internet company for ridiculous amounts and your investments are performing healthily, if you pass the day writing and producing art-house films that are critical and commercial successes, but for all this, you feel there is something missing, then perhaps this car is the very thing that will make your life complete.
Don’t expect to drive this car around town anonymously. The Bentley is one of those cars that draws the attention of everyone. Some will gaze longingly at the bodywork, some will immediately size up the driver, others will glare with jealousy, but everyone will stare.
This car has it all – brains, brawn and beauty. The chassis is reportedly the most rigid of all sports convertibles, an underpinning it shares with the Volkswagen Phaeton. The W12 engine produces 567bhp, with maximum torque of 700Nm and accelerates from 0-100kph in 4.5 seconds reaching a maximum speed of 314 kph. An all-wheel drive powertrain gives the Continental GTC strong traction in all conditions. The impressive power of the W12 engine is sent to all four wheels, with a 60:40 rear power delivery bias for optimum handling. As a result, it is not simply one of the fastest convertibles in the world but also one of the most confidence-inspiring, delivering exceptional grip and control.
The bodywork is the clincher though, refined and muscular yet graceful and seductive. The sheet metal is formed through a technique known as super-forming – exerting high-pressure air under temperatures of over 500°C it allows for much more complex shaping of the body parts and it is evident in the sharp lines in the front all the way to the rear.
Inside the controls have been cleared and paired back, the ‘cobra’ seats are streamlined and give the cockpit a surprising spaciousness. The whole cabin has been designed to give a living, intuitive feel that is not separate from the engine or body but part of an inclusive meld. You will never fit anybody in the back seats, but who cares, you will never cart around screaming brats in this car.
Many of the best luxury car coupe versions lack something. It somehow seems as if the convertible concept is something that’s approached after the final design is signed off on. The Bentley Convertible GTC is different though; it looks and feels distinct form its mother, the Bentley GTC. It has inherited all her looks and intelligence and charm, but she’s just a bit sportier. Nice.
by Hugo M Cafferty