Introduction of the new Bentley Continental GTC range builds on this success with a subtle evolution of its distinctive style and a range of technical and feature enhancements benefiting comfort and customer choice. The appeal of the GTC is further strengthened by the addition of the new 600bhp (610PS) Bentley Continental GTC Speed model. It is Bentley’s most powerful convertible ever and inspired by Bentley’s legendary ‘Speed Models’ from the 1920s.
The new GTC models share a fresh frontal appearance. The radiator grille is more upright with a more pronounced square edge, accentuating the Bentley profile, and bolder lower air intake. These latest models are further distinguished by chrome headlamp bezels, the availability of two new exterior paints and a new colour hide.
For the standard Bentley Continental GTC, new low-friction dampers provide improved ride comfort. In addition, two significant new options may be specified on both GTC models: lightweight, fade-resistant, carbon-ceramic brakes, the largest production passenger car brakes in the world, and a sophisticated follow-to-stop Adaptive Cruise Control system with long-range radar sensor that monitors traffic ahead and manages throttle and brakes to maintain a driver-selected time gap.
The GTC’s chassis and exceptionally rigid steel body have proved more than capable of coping with the power of the 552bhp (560PS) 6-litre W12 engine. For the new Bentley Continental GTC Speed, twin-turbocharged W12 now develops 600bhp (610PS) that delivers true 200 mph (322 km/h) performance, with the roof up, with exhilarating, effortless acceleration. Even with the roof down the Bentley Continental GTC Speed can reach 195 mph (312 km/h).
The Bentley Continental GTC Speed is visually distinguished by subtle design enhancements which emphasise its higher performance credentials. At the front, the radiator and lower air intake grilles feature a dark tinted matrix as standard. Larger diameter 9.5J x 20-inch, multi-spoke alloy wheels with Bentley-bespoke Pirelli PZero ultra-high performance (UHP) tyres, lowered and uprated suspension, wider twin-rifled exhaust tail pipes and a new boot-mounted lip spoiler that enhances high speed aerodynamics, reinforce the sporting character of the Speed model.
The GTC Speed’s 600bhp (610PS) W12 engine develops 9 per cent more power than the standard GTC. However, it is the 15 per cent increase in torque that really distinguishes the Speed model, which now develops an impressive output of 750 Nm (553lb ft). This is achieved across virtually the complete rev range, from just 1700 to 5600 rev/min, delivering that characteristic Bentley wave of torque.
Both Continental GTC models are powered by Bentley’s 6-litre, twin-turbocharged W12 engine which is produced exclusively at the company’s Crewe engine plant. The Bentley W12 is the most compact 12-cylinder engine in production with 48 valves and 4 camshafts with continually variable valve timing. Power is transmitted via a ZF six-speed automatic transmission.
The Bentley Continental GTC Speed is powered by Bentley’s W12 engine in its most powerful, 600 bhp (610PS) form. It develops 15 per cent more torque and 9 per cent more power than the 552bhp (560PS) standard Bentley Continental GTC.
Engine efficiency improvements result from the use of lower friction, lighter-weight components and a new engine management system, while twin, low inertia turbochargers with minimal turbo lag contribute to the W12 engine’s flat torque curve. In 600 bhp (610PS) form, the W12 develops a maximum torque of 750 Nm (553 lb ft) from 1700 rev/min all the way up to 5600 rev/min. The GTC Speed engine is visually differentiated by the ‘crackle black’ finish to the intake manifold.
This endows the Bentley Continental GTC Speed with a top speed of 200mph (322 km/h) with the roof-up and a 0-60mph sprint time of just 4.5 seconds (0-100 km/h in 4.8 secs). It also accelerates from 0-100 mph in just 10.6 seconds (0-160 km/h in 10.5 seconds).
The six-speed transmission can be left in two fully automatic modes (Drive and Sport) or used as a clutchless manual where the driver can change gears sequentially, via either the gearlever or paddles mounted behind the steering wheel.
The advanced continuous all-wheel drive system of both GTC models provides exceptional traction in all weathers. The drive is transferred between the front and rear axles via a highly sensitive centre Torsen differential. If the differential detects a deviation in torque demand between the two axles it automatically sends more power to the wheels with greater grip.