The Continental GTC is the world’s fastest four-seat convertible, and thanks to Bentley’s craftsmanship the most luxurious too

For the ultimate wind in your hair experience, look no further than the Bentley Continental GTC. With a top speed of 195mph, the W12 6.0-litre turbocharged machine is the world’s fastest four-seat convertible, and the most luxurious too. Based on the standard Continental GT, the GTC develops 567bhp and a staggering 700NM of torque. A six-speed automatic gearbox, which can be controlled by steering wheel-mounted paddles, drives all four wheels. But it’s the attention to detail that sets this car apart from rivals, with a beautifully crafted interior that’s a joy to look at and supremely comfortable to sit in. And despite its massive bulk – the GTC tips the scales at 2.5 tonnes – it’s also surprisingly rewarding to drive, with four driving modes that transform the car from a relaxed cruiser to snarling supercar.

Our Choice:Bentley Continental GTC

Styling

Though the all-new Bentley Continental GTC looks very similar to its predecessor, every body panel is very slightly different. It’s also wider and has a longer wheelbase. As a result the GTC looks more purposeful and in profile it’s more sporty too. The fabric folding roof blends into the bodywork perfectly and, if you look closely at the material, there’s not a thread out of place. Inside, you’ll see why Bentley has such a special reputation. Wood veneers are flawless, and the hand-stitched leather seats shows off a skill that would put a Saville Row tailor to shame. There’s no shortage of hi-tech toys to play with too, including a Google-based sat-nav system that offers satellite imagery of your location, making it even easier to follow.

Driving and Performance

The W12 engine is not exactly what we would describe as environmentally friendly, yet constant development has made sure that it’s more fuel efficient than before. It’s also incredibly powerful, delivering huge amounts of torque and acceleration. The car has four driving modes, from comfort to sport. In comfort the car rides smoothly over bumps in the road, while in sport the chassis stiffens up, improving the accuracy of the steering. Impressively, the 2.5 tonne car seems to shrink around you on winding roads, and it’s nowhere near as intimidating to drive quickly as its awesome performance figures suggest.

MPG and running costs

At full throttle, the Bentley will race to a top speed of 195mph. And consume as much as a gallon of fuel every three miles. Drive very carefully and you might just scrape 17.5mpg. You can also expect to spend at least £2,000 a year on servicing. And don’t even think about depreciation – the experts say you should expect its value to drop by between £4,000 and £7,000 a year.

Practicality

You really can take the family for a spin in the GTC. The rear seats are only really big enough for kids and if you’re planning a week away, it’s worth considering a courier to take your luggage to your destination for you. At just 235 litres, the boot is only really big enough for a couple of small bags. That aside, there’s lots of storage space up front and the glovebox is a reasonable size too.

Safety and reliability

The W12 engine might be big, but it’s also bomb proof. During its development, it was forced through a test that saw it run at full power for 24 hours while rotating a giant spit. It passed with flying colours. The heavy duty gearbox has no known problems, while the standard of quality inside means it will look as fresh as the day you bought it, even a decade on. Safety is first rate, thanks to plenty of airbags and a robust construction.

 

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