These are the first pics of the new Bentley Continental GTC, a car which will be formally unveiled at the Frankfurt motor show next month.
Anyone familiar with the second-generation Continental GT, launched a year ago, will recognise the latest GTC’s sharper styling lines, more upright grille and striking LED headlamps. There are standard 20-inch wheels, with the option of 21-inch. Make no mistake, Bentley wants this to be viewed as a more overtly sporting convertible – and one that gets you noticed.
That message should be carried through into the driving experience. The new GTC is 70kg lighter than its predecessor, has a 40mm wider track, retuned steering for sharper responses and sportier suspension settings. The all-wheel drive system now has a 40/60 split front to rear, changed from 50/50 in order to dial out some understeer and allow a degree of steering on the throttle should the mood take you.
The 6.0-litre, twin-turbocharged W12 now produces 567bhp (up from 552bhp), while torque is up by 5.11kgm to 71.3kgm and is coupled to a new six-speed transmission – dubbed ‘Quickshift’ – which halves gearchange times to 200 milliseconds and allows double downshifts. The 0-100kph sprint takes 4.5sec, 0-160kph is dispatched in 10.9sec and the top speed is 313kph.
The interior, too, is completely reworked in line with the GT’s, and includes a much-needed, all-new touchscreen infotainment system. Thinner front seats also increase space in the rear. As ever, leather, metal and carpeted surfaces abound, and Bentley promises roof-up noise insulation so good that “you’ll believe you’re in the coupé”.
Deliveries will begin at the end of this year or early 2012; prices are yet to be announced.