Second-gen Continental GTC convertible on its way

Bentley has announced it will reveal the all-new Continental GTC convertible at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show next week. The new model is to receive improvements in almost every area; most notably refinement, powertrain and, er, aesthetics.

From the outside the new GTC’s body features a more aggressive and muscular styling, as opposed to the previous gen’s more subdued look. The front wings are now without seams or welds, and twenty-inch wheels come standard, with a choice of three 21-inch wheels optional … if you’re a fan of ‘Pimp My Ride’.

Inside, cabin space has been increased with additional rear legroom – the GTC is a proper four seater - while added tech innovations included a touchscreen infotainment system, automatic seat-belt presenters and a Bentley-designed neck warmer. Acoustic glass and under-body panels aid the fabric-top with noise isolation, and 17 soft-touch leather hide colours fill out the interior.

As in the GT coupe, a more powerful 6.0-litre, twin-turbocharged W12 engine has been fitted to the GTC, raising outputs to 423 kW and 700 Nm. A ‘quickshift’ six-speed auto transmission has also been installed for faster gear changes. Wider front and rear tracks, sharper steering and re-configured suspension are said to improve the drive, while torque bias is now 60:40, in order to address the previous GTC’s understeer-prone 50:50 set-up.

"The GTC has always been the most emotional model in the Continental range and a showcase for Bentley design. With its tailored soft top, the GTC is a pure British convertible true to those classic Bentleys of the past,” said Wolfgang Durheimer, Bentley’s Chairman and Chief Executive.

“However, the technology, performance and overall design excellence invested in this model means that we are now writing a new chapter for the Bentley convertible driver."

European pricing for the new Continental GTC starts at €170,060. When it arrives here early next year, expect pricing to be around $25,000 more than the GT coupe, which currently retails for $405,714.

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