We know there are some cars covered here that you probably don’t have a shot at buying in your lifetime. That’s OK, though. While I might get a shot at driving them, I’ll never sniff the downpayment on many of these rides, either.
But, like supermodels off in the distance, we can look, study, enjoy and dream. To that end, I give you the Bentley Continental GTC 6.0 Liter W12. It debuted in its current form at the recent Beijing Auto Show, and it fits right into Bentley’s line of big, powerful, smooth, luxurious and brutally expensive cars.
While a price was not openly discussed for the Continental GTC, they did make sure the world is aware of the latest improvements, including a 6.0 liter, a sculpted design that matches the plump, sculpted lines of the Bentley look, and a hand-built cabin. You also get an uprated chassis for better convertible performance.
Bentley’s are traditionally big and stuffy. In fact, while the dimensions may actually vary, they come off as the biggest and sturdiest cars in the luxury or super car class. Maybe Bentley is aware of this image as they did restyle the exterior of the Continental GTC for a sportier look with aluminum front wings and 20-inch wheels.
According to Bentley, the car’s muscular front wings are created through a manufacturing process called “aluminum Super-forming.” They heat the aluminum to nearly 500 degrees Celsius before shaping it with air pressure to produce sculpted body panels free of welds.
The classic Bentley radiator grill gets new headlights in traditional four-lamp format and ED daytime-running lamps.
It’s a four seat luxury convertible with leather everything, wood veneers (not just trim) and carpets thicket than those in most American homes. You can choose from 17 leather colors with six combinations and seven veneers.
My personal favorite feature of the car is not its engine or its sumptuous interior. It comes with a neck warmer in the head rest to keep your nape toasty while cruising with the top down.
Obviously, I led with the appearance and styling of the car. Its on-road performance matches its prettied up insides. Bentley’s all-wheel drive system cuts down on understeer – an important feature for a bigger luxury car.
The 6.0-liter, twin-turbocharged W12 engine utilizes a QuickShift transmission (with a shifting time of 200 milliseconds) – combined to lay down 567 horsepower. The result goes 0-60 mph in 4.5 seconds and a top speed of 195 mph.
To make that the power remains constant, the Fuel Quality Sensor monitors the ratio of any flex fuels used, telling the Engine Control Unit to adjust the engine’s timing.
While not all of the car’s older, richer drivers can make this claim, the GTC body is the stiffest in the world to provide a firm foundation for the precise control of suspension components. That’s important for a performance convertible because the loss of a roof can greatly reduce a car’s stability. But, the concept of “instability” and Bentley aren’t in the same dictionary.
And, of course, all this speed, handling and luxury comes complete with five airbags, a driver’s knee bag and a very cool Roll Over Protection System. If the car’s onboard computer senses that the car is about to roll during an accident, two reinforced steel hoops deploy in a one second to protect passengers in the front and rear.