The Bentley GTC has only been out for two years and a bit, but you might not know that; the car is so popular in some parts that it has become something like Ugg Boots for the monied-up automotive fashionista. Like its other Continental stablemates, Bentley has finally taken the drophead into their Speed garage for the transformation from really fast to "Egads!" fast.
It emerges from said garage with its twin-turbo W12 producing 553 lb-ft. of torque and 600 horsepower - 100 ponies more than the Azure T, making it the most powerful convertible Bentley has ever made. The Speed treatment alters the front end, with a more upright, dark-tinted matrix grille flanked by chrome bezels around the headlights, and the face is framed by firmer lines sweeping up from the lower air dam.
While it is still not - and isn't mean to be - a sports car, the handling ante is upped by a lowered ride height, low-friction dampers, stiffer rear axle bushings, wider tires, and retuned steering. When it's time to stop, newly available carbon-ceramic brakes, at 16.5 inches up front and 14 inches in back, are the largest factory-fitted brakes on a passenger car today.
When it's time to get on it, you'll reach 60 in 4.5 seconds, and with the top up you'll find terminal velocity is 200 miles-per-hour with the lid up. Should you not wish to go easy on your follicles, the GTC will still reach 195 mph with the top down - just make sure to lather up your 'do with plenty of product.
There are two new official exterior paint choices from the factory: Aquamarine and Blue Crystal, and you can get the interior done in Aquamarine as well. However, since Bentley's bespoke department will make your GTC any color you want, that's probably of little concern to most buyers. Even so, we must ask: who's been requesting an Aquamarine interior? Check out the full GTC Speed press release after the jump, and the gallery of high-res photos below.
New Bentley Continental GTC Speed and GTC
• The new GTC Speed builds on the success of Continental GTC
• The 200 mph GTC Speed is Bentley's most powerful convertible ever
• The latest GTC range is refined and extended with two new models
• The new GTC delivers enhanced style, comfort and choice
Since its debut in 2006, the Continental GTC has enjoyed sales success in over 50 countries across the globe, attracting younger buyers to the Bentley marque. Customers are attracted to its sleek design, interior craftsmanship, refined performance and agile handling.
Now, the introduction of the new 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) 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 color hide.
For the standard 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 Continental GTC Speed, Bentley's 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 GTC Speed can reach 195 mph (312 km/h).
The Continental GTC Speed is visually distinguished by subtle design enhancements which emphasize 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) tires, 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.
The 0-60 mph sprint is reached in a mere 4.5 seconds (0-100km/h in 4.8 seconds) and 0-100 mph in 10.6 seconds (0-160 km/h in 10.5 seconds).
The GT Speed coupe, which debuted in 2007, has become the top selling GT model across the globe. This was followed in summer 2008 by the 4-door Continental Flying Spur Speed. Now, the Speed family is completed with the introduction of the GTC Speed, which is expected to account for up to two-thirds of GTC sales worldwide in its first year of production.
Bentley Chairman and Chief Executive, Dr. Franz-Josef Paefgen explains the rationale behind the GTC Speed:
"The Continental GTC is an elegant Grand Touring convertible in the Bentley tradition, exciting the emotions with its distinctive blend of performance, luxury, craftsmanship and modernity. The GTC Speed completes the family of Continental Speed models and broadens the appeal of the GTC to customers who demand a more focused, open-top driving experience."
BENTLEY CONTINENTAL GTC – NEWS IN BRIEF
Continental GTC range
• New more upright front grille and larger, lower air intake
• Chrome headlamp bezels
• Retuned Servotronic power steering for improved feedback and feel
• Optional follow–to -stop, radar–based Adaptive Cruise Control system
• Optional fade-resistant high-power carbon ceramic brakes (only available with 20 - inch wheels)
• Two new exterior colors – Aquamarine & Blue Crystal
• New interior color – Aquamarine
Continental GTC Speed
• 600 bhp (610PS) W12 engine, 9 per cent more power and 15 per cent more torque
• Top speed (roof up) of 200 mph (322km/h) and 0–60 mph in 4.5 secs (0–100 km/h in 4.8 secs)
• Top speed (roof down) of 195 mph (312 km/h)
• Lowered suspension (10mm front, 15 mm rear) features revised spring, anti-roll bar and damper settings for optimized ride quality, comfort and refinement
• New design 9.5J x 20-inch multi-spoke alloy wheels with Bentley-bespoke Pirelli PZero UHP 275/35 tires
• New 'Dynamic' mode for ESP 8.1 system with progressive intervention
• Dark-tinted matrix grilles to upper and lower air intakes
• Bright chrome matrix grilles available as a no cost option
• Dark tint finish to alloy wheels available as an option
• Wider rifled sports exhaust tail pipes
• New aerodynamic rear spoiler
• Black lower bumper valance
• 'Speed' treadplates to both doors
• 3-spoke Sport leather steering wheel
• Drilled alloy sport foot-pedals
• Knurled chrome and hide gear lever
• Diamond quilted hide to seat facings, door pads and rear quarter panels
• Optional turned aluminum inserts to fascia, centre console and door pad inserts.
• Power output of the standard W12 engine remains at 552bhp (560PS)
• Top speed is unchanged at 195mph (312km/h) with a 0–60mph time of 4.8 secs (0–100 km/h in 5.1 secs)
• Improved ride comfort with new low-friction dampers
• Bentley 'B' brake pedal
Enhanced powertrain delivers more power and 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 new 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 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 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.
Both the GTC and GTC Speed also feature an advanced electronic stability program (ESP 8.1). The 'Sport Traction' mode for the GTC moderates ESP intervention at low speeds, benefiting driver interaction and control, particularly on low traction surfaces. The 'Dynamic Mode' of the GTC Speed allows increased wheel slip at higher speeds compared to the standard chassis. This ensures that torque is reinstated more quickly, allowing the driver to exploit the full potential of the engine.
Brian Gush, Director, Chassis and Powertrain Engineering, comments:
"The new GTC Speed exemplifies our passion for creating cars that deliver exceptional performance and driving enjoyment. It is a driver's car which will redefine people's expectations of what a luxury convertible can achieve."
A luxury convertible with outstanding ride and handling
The Continental GTC's steel body has an exceptionally rigid torsional stiffness of around 30Hz that not only minimizes 'scuttle shake' but provides a very stable platform for the aluminum-intensive suspension system, optimizing its performance. Despite the boost in power and torque for the GTC Speed model, no changes to the body structure were required.
For the 552bhp (560PS) GTC, new low-friction dampers provide improved secondary ride (the response of the car to poor road surfaces) and even greater levels of comfort.
The GTC Speed has a range of dynamic enhancements that deliver a more sporting, open-top Bentley driving experience. The retuned Continuous Damping Control (CDC) system ensures that the body response matches the inputs from the new sports wheels and tires, while improved body control reduces pitch and roll when cornering enthusiastically. In addition, stiffer rear axle bushes deliver better axle control and turn-in response.
The GTC Speed's suspension is lowered by 10 mm at the front and 15 mm at the rear for improved handling, while the retuned speed-sensitive steering system and solid-mounted front subframe, shared with the standard GTC, benefit steering response.
The wider 9.5J x 20-inch multi-spoke alloy wheels, unique to the GTC Speed, are fitted with bespoke 275/35 ZR20 Pirelli PZero ultra-high performance tires that provide the car with superior grip as well as sharper steering response and feel.
To ensure optimum aerodynamic balance at speeds up to 200 mph (322 km/h) the new GTC Speed is fitted with a discreet spoiler on the trailing edge of the bootlid. This provides additional downforce and increases the top speed.
For both models, Bentley's carbon-ceramic brakes (CCB) are offered as a cost option. Larger diameter (420 mm front, 356 mm rear), lightweight discs and eight-piston calipers offer fade-resistant braking performance with minimal disc distortion under high thermal conditions. A 20kg weight saving reduces unsprung mass and benefits steering response and handling. This braking system may only be specified with 20-inch diameter wheels and are the largest and most powerful brakes ever fitted to a production car.
The standard-fit tire-pressure monitoring system (TPMS) allows drivers to select tire type and speed range parameters. As well as monitoring pressures, the system warns drivers if their speed is too high for the tire pressures or if tire speed ratings are exceeded on winter tires.
Commenting on the GTC Speed's character, Dr. Ulrich Eichhorn, Member of the Board, Engineering, said:
"The GTC Speed offers supercar performance, superb refinement, comfort and unrivalled craftsmanship all in one car. It perfectly evokes the spirit of the original Bentley 'Speed Model' of the 1920s."
Subtle evolution of the GTC's distinctive style
Both the GTC and GTC Speed benefit from subtle revisions to their frontal appearance.
The matrix grille is now more vertical and has a more pronounced square edge that accentuates the distinctive Bentley profile. A new lower bumper design with a widened air intake reinforces the sporting stance of both GTC convertibles, complemented by new chrome headlamp bezels. The new design also provides a practical benefit by improving airflow to the more powerful Speed engine by 14 per cent.
The GTC Speed has a unique set of design cues, notably a dark-tinted matrix grille to the upper and lower air intakes, a black lower bumper valance, wider, rifled exhaust tailpipes and 20-inch, silver-painted, multi-spoke alloy wheels. The wheels are available as an option with a special dark tint finish.
GTC and GTC Speed customers have a choice of 17 'standard' paint colors including two new colors (Aquamarine and Blue Crystal).
Luxurious hand-crafted cabin
The cabins of both GTC and GTC Speed are available with a choice of 6 natural, unbleached, laser-cut wood veneers and 17 premium grade leather hides, including the new option, Aquamarine.
The GTC Speed's cabin is based on that of the Mulliner Driving Specification (a cost option on the standard GTC). It features diamond quilted hide seats with embroidered Bentley emblems, knurled chrome and hide gearlever and a three-spoke multi-function steering wheel with brushed aluminum switch surround. These are complemented by drilled alloy foot-pedals and 'Speed' logos to the polished treadplates. The standard GTC also receives a new Bentley 'B' brake pedal.
A range of options give further opportunities for personalization, including fascia panels, centre console, door pads and rear quarters in bright aluminum. Uniquely, the GTC Speed is also available with a dark tint aluminum option.
New adaptive cruise control system
A sophisticated follow-to-stop, radar-based Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) system is now available on both GTC and GTC Speed. It uses a long-range radar sensor, mounted in the lower front grille, to monitor the road ahead for other vehicles. When a slower moving vehicle is detected, the system automatically adjusts the throttle or brakes to maintain a 'time gap', as selected by the driver.
GTC and GTC Speed interior key features:
• Electronically powered, insulated three-layer fabric roof folds flat in 25 seconds
• True 2+2 configuration
• Fully adjustable electric front seats incorporating three-position memory (seats, steering column, exterior mirrors) and electric lumbar control with optional massage facility
• Rear seat panel removable to reveal lockable ski hatch
• Electronic climate control system
• Comprehensive infotainment system includes:
▬ DVD satellite navigation system with route guidance and post-code entry
▬ Optional television tuner (except for US market)
▬ Climate control operation
▬ Computerized suspension control operation (damper and ride height settings)
▬ 6-CD auto changer in glove compartment
▬ Optional Naim for Bentley premium audio system featuring 1100 Watt amplifier and 14 speakers
• BluetoothTM remote SIM access profile telephone system with wireless connectivity for rSAP-enabled telephones, most BluetoothTM-enabled telephones and onboard SIM-card reader
• Telephone voice dialing (n/a Japan)
• Keyless entry and keyless ignition system
• Power latching of doors for easy exit and entry
• Console-mounted start/stop button
• Electronic park brake with move-off assist (move-off assist n/a for USA)
• Column-mounted gearshift paddles for sequential gear shifting
• Stainless steel-faced foot pedals and driver's footrest
• Comprehensive anti-theft and immobilizer systems
• An advanced rollover protection system is installed beneath the rear headrests - two reinforced steel hoops deploy in a split second when a potential roll-over situation is detected
Technical specs may be found below.
Accredited Media: for additional press information and photos, please register at www.BentleyMedia.com
CONTINENTAL GTC SPEED AND GTC
Body type Two-door, 2+2 Grand Tourer convertible
Construction Steel monocoque with aluminium, steel and composite panels and closure
Type Twin-turbocharged W12 engine
Installation Front, longitudinal
Construction Alloy block and heads
Bore/stroke 84.0 x 90.2 mm
Capacity 6.0-litre, 5998 cc
Compression ratio 9.0:1
Valve gear Chain-driven DOHC per bank, 4 valves per cylinder, cam phased inlet and outlet
GTC Speed 600 bhp / 610 PS / 449 kW @ 6000 rev/min
GTC 552 bhp / 560 PS / 412 kW @ 6100 rev/min
GTC Speed 750 Nm / 553 lb ft between 1750 – 5600 rev/min
GT 650 Nm / 479 lb ft @ between1600 – 6100 rev/min
Fuel 98 (95) RON
Type Continuous all-wheel drive
Gearbox ZF 6-speed automatic with fully automatic or
sequential 'manual' operation with paddleshift feature; torque converter lock-up clutch
Ratios 1st: 4.17
Final drive: 3.524 (front), 3.528 (rear)
Front Four-link double wishbones, computer-controlled self-levelling air suspension, anti-roll bar
Rear Trapezoidal multi-link, computer-controlled self-levelling air suspension, anti-roll bar
Springs Computer-controlled progressive air springs
Dampers Continuous damping control, with four adjustable settings
Type Rack & pinion, power-assisted, speed-sensitive
Turns lock to lock 2.7
Turning circle (kerb to kerb) 11.4 m ( 37' 5")
Front 405 mm ventilated discs (optional 420 mm carbon/ ceramic, cross-drilled discs – with 20-inch wheels)
Rear 335 mm ventilated discs (optional 356 mm carbon/ ceramic, cross-drilled discs – with 20-inch wheels)
Anti lock Standard ESP and Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD)
WHEELS & TYRES
GTC Speed 9.5J 20-inch Alloy
GTC 9.0J 19-inch Alloy (optional 9.0J 20-inch Alloy)
GTC Speed 275/35 x ZR20 bespoke Pirelli PZero UHP
GTC 275/40 x ZR19 Pirelli PZero Rosso
(optional 275/30 x 20 Pirelli PZero)
Overall length 4804 mm (189.1 in)
Overall width (inc. mirrors) 2194 mm (86.4 in)
Height (roof raised)
GTC Speed 1388 mm (54.6 in)
GTC 1398 mm (55.0 in)
Wheelbase 2745 mm (108.1 in)
Front track 1623 mm (63.9 in)
Rear track 1607 mm (63.3 in)
Front headroom 942 mm (37.1 in)
Front legroom 1075 mm (42.3 in)
Front shoulder room 1568 mm (61.7 in)
Rear headroom 979 mm (38.5 in)
Rear legroom 743 mm (29.3 in)
Rear shoulder room 1318 mm (51.9 in)
WEIGHTS & CAPACITIES
GTC Speed & GTC
Kerbweight 2485 kg (5478 lb)
Gross vehicle weight 2900 kg (6393 lb)
Luggage capacity 235 litres
Fuel tank capacity 90 litres (24 US gallons)
Top speed (roof up)
GTC Speed 200 mph (322 km/h)
GTC 195 mph (312 km/h)
Top speed (roof down)
GTC Speed 195 mph (314 km/h)
GTC 190 mph (306 km/h)
0-60 mph (0-100 km/h)
GTC Speed 4.5 seconds (4.8 seconds)
GTC 4.8 seconds (5.1 seconds)
0-100 mph (0-160 km/h)
GTC Speed 10.6 seconds (10.5 seconds)
GTC 11.4 seconds (11.4 seconds)
GTC Speed and GTC
Urban 11.2 mpg (25.3 litres/100 km)
Extra-Urban 24.3 mpg (11.6 litres/100 km)
Combined 17.0 mpg (16.6 litres/100 km)
Co2 emissions 396 g/km
Emission controls EU 1V and US LEV II
EPA DRIVE CYCLE
GTC Speed and GTC
City Driving 10.0 mpg (US)
Highway Driving 17.0 mpg (US)
CONTINENTAL GTC SPEED
EXTERIOR FEATURES Dark tinted radiator grille and lower grille
Chromed headlamp bezels
Twin rifled oval stainless steel sports tail pipes
Lowered sports suspension
20-inch, two-piece, multi-spoke alloy wheels
INTERIOR FEATURES Unique treadplates bearing 'Speed' model name
Diamond quilted hide to seat facings, doors
and rear quarter panels
Embroidered Bentley emblem to seat facings
Cloth hide headlining
Single-tone, hide-trimmed multi-function steering
wheel in a 3-spoke sports design with brushed silver
Sporting gear lever finished in knurled chrome and hide
Drilled alloy sport foot-pedals
EXTERIOR FEATURES Bright chromed radiator grille
Chromed headlamp bezels
Twin oval stainless steel tail pipes
INTERIOR FEATURES Single tone, hide-trimmed multi-function
steering wheel in a 4-spoke design
Brake pedal with Bentley 'B' emblem
Hide and chrome trimmed gear lever with
manual shift change facility
SELECTION OF OPTIONS AVAILABLE
'Naim for Bentley' premium audio system
20-inch, two-piece, seven-spoke alloy wheels (GTC only)
Fade-resistant carbon ceramic brakes
ACC Adaptive Cruise Control
THE MULLINER DRIVING SPECIFICATION
(STANDARD ON GTC SPEED, OPTIONAL ON GTC)
THIS PACKAGE INCLUDES:
• Choice of veneers - Burr Walnut, Dark Stained Burr Walnut,
Piano Black (additional veneers available at extra cost)
• Drilled alloy sport foot-pedals
• Sporting gear lever finished in knurled chrome and hide
• Diamond quilted hide to seat facings, doors and rear quarter panels
• Embroidered Bentley emblem to seat facings
• 20 inch 2-piece alloy sports wheels (GTC only)
• 20 inch multi-spoke alloy wheels in Dark Tint painted finish (GTC Speed only)
MULLINER FEATURES AVAILABLE SEPARATELY FOR BOTH MODELS:
• Mulliner alloy fuel filler cap
• Exterior paint match service to customer specification
• Exterior paint colour from Arnage range
• Contrast stitching to seats and door panels
• Cross-stitching to seats and door panels (in contrast)
• Embossed 'BENTLEY' to seat facings
• Choice of premium veneers – Chestnut and Olive Ash
• Fascia panels available in bright or dark tint* aluminium
• 4-spoke wood and hide-trimmed multi-function steering wheel
(choice of veneers - Burr Walnut, Chestnut, Dark Stained Burr Walnut,
Madrona, Piano Black)
• Lambswool rugs
• Deep-pile carpet mats with hide trimming to front and rear footwells
(matched to carpet)
• Boot carpet to match interior carpet
*Available on GTC Speed only