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Bentley Continental GTC Speed Review

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Bentley Continental GTC Speed (2010)

In road tests, our editors found the Continental GTC to be a tremendously dynamic drive, while remaining buttoned-down If the rear seats are unoccupied -- they are surprisingly spacious -- a chrome and aluminum wind blocker can be raised over them to greatly reduce wind turbulence. Thanks to a modified version of the coupe's rear suspension, the top folds completely flat and maintains a sleek profile. With the push of a button, the convertible fabric top opens or closes in about 25 seconds and will even operate while the car is moving (at speeds up to 20 mph). This package adds "51" badging, 20-inch polished wheels, three-tone interior color schemes, unique upholstery with contrasting piping/stitching and exclusive wood veneers.

 For 2010, the Series 51 option of pre-selected interior treatments debuted. There are a variety of lambswool rug choices, 17 colors for the interior and 15 for the exterior. Buyers can choose between different colors for the convertible top and styles of wood trim. The options are virtually limitless (though you'll pay handsomely for them).

 Inside, the Bentley Continental GTC is packed with features and amenities and is fitted with the finest wood and leather. Despite these performance upgrades, the GTC Speed retains every drop of civility normally associated with Bentley's vehicles. In addition to the bigger engine, the Speed version gets bigger wheels, bigger brakes, a retuned suspension and consequently improved handling dynamics. The GTC Speed features 600 hp and 553 lb-ft of torque, and gets from zero to 60 in 4.6 seconds.

 The base GTC produces 552 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque, which takes the GTC from zero to 60 in 5 seconds. All-wheel drive is standard. Both versions of this luxury convertible are powered by a twin-turbocharged 6.0-liter W12 engine attached to a six-speed automatic transmission. There's also the GTC Speed, a higher-performance variant. The Bentley Continental GTC is a two-door luxury convertible with seating for four.

 Current Bentley Continental GTC. But for those financially fortunate souls just wanting a luxury-focused grand touring four-seater, it doesn't get any better than Bentley's new GTC. It's true that a couple of other high-end convertibles are a bit more agile in terms of handling. Curb weight is a couple hundred pounds more than the coupe. To make up for lost body stiffness due to the lack of a fixed roof, Bentley has fitted the GTC with additional structural reinforcements.

 Like the coupe, the GTC has a powerful turbocharged W12 engine, all-wheel drive and an adjustable air suspension. As its name suggests, the GTC is the convertible version of Bentley's successful four-seat Continental GT coupe. It's a high-performance drop top that manages to provide every bit of luxury you'd expect in a traditional Bentley, only now with more attitude and agility. In that fashion, the Bentley Continental GTC is more than just a posh convertible.

 But with the help of its parent company, Volkswagen, Bentley has recently done a remarkable job in shedding its stuffy image and establishing itself as a contemporary luxury coachbuilder.  Some might find it hard to believe that Bentley actually competed in the 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race a few years ago -- and won.

Bentley Continental GTC Speed (2010)
Bentley Continental GTC Speed (2010)
Bentley Continental GTC Speed (2010)

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