Bentley Continental GTC (2011) first official pictures

Published: 24 August 2011

Bentley has shown the convertible sister to the new Continental GT coupe: it's the new Conti GTC, due to be unveiled at the 2011 Frankfurt motor show.

The Continental GTC Mk2 is entirely in line with the latest coupe - a sophisticated, subtle update to the 2005 original. There's the same smoother front end styling, the more squinty headlamps and a more exaggerated 'power line' with incredibly sharp creases.

Bentley Continental GTC: first official pictures

Styling chief Dirk van Braeckel gave CAR a guided tour around the new Continental convertible. 'The front end is like the GT coupe's, the large headlamps set into the single piece superformed front wing,' he said. 'The radii of the surfaces along the sides are reduced by half compared with the previous model. It makes a real tension in the surfaces. The stance is wider, the tracks front and rear are stretched and we now offer 20in and 21in wheels.'

The rear deck - now fashioned from SMC composite and incorporating the aerial antenna - is longer, too, an there are new oval LED rear lamps.

And inside the new Conti GTC (2011)?

'The character is completely different inside,' van Braeckel told us. 'It's far more complex as a design. We did a lot of work on the design of the seats - the seatbelts are no longer incorporated into the seats - and there is now 36mm more rear legroom.'

The same new front seats now have 10-bag massage function to wobble your bits every which way, and they're ventilated and boast neck warmers too.

Yet despite a plethora of new gizmos, the Bentley Conti GTC is actually 70kg lighter than before, boosting performance and economy.

Bentley Continental GTC: the engineering story

This is the stiffest convertible in the world, says powertrain chief Brian Gush. It'll help make the Conti rag-top ride and handle better than before, and they've stuck with a three-layer fabric roof to save on boot space (which remains identical roof up or down).

Like in the Conti GT coupe, the 6.0-litre W12 swells in power and torque, now boasting 567bhp and 516lb ft at just 1600rpm and driving through a six-speed ZF auto. It remains flexfuel compatible, although Bentley has decided not to spend any more time engineering biofuel solutions. The future is all hybrid in Crewe under the new management.

The W12 will top 195mph and sprint to 60mph in just 4.5sec (a third of a second faster than before). You'll hit a tonne in just 10.9 seconds, too.

The smaller 4.0-litre V8 will arrive in due course, probably in 2012, stretching both Continental ranges down in to more affordable territory. It has been co-engineered with Audi and will offer cylinder deactivation to pare fuel consumption.

Anything else?

New goodies galore include an 8in touchscreen, a 30GB hard drive and much improved sat-nav functionality, which finally accepts seven-digit UK postcodes.

The new 2011 Bentley Continental GTC goes on sale in winter 2011-2012.

By Tim Pollard

Editorial director of CAR's digital publishing arm. Motoring news magnet