Bent­ley Con­ti­nen­tal GTC

Se­ri­ous pace, tweed roof

Autocar - - THIS WEEK - RACHEL BURGESS

The Bent­ley Con­ti­nen­tal GT Con­vert­ible is just 0.1sec slower to 60mph from a stand­ing start than its coupé sib­ling, de­spite weigh­ing an ex­tra 160kg.

The new drop-top fea­tures a 626bhp 6.0-litre W12 en­gine and, along with that im­pres­sive 3.7sec 0-60mph time, de­liv­ers a top speed of 207mph – the same as the coupé ver­sion. That’s de­spite the new Z-fold roof mech­a­nism con­tribut­ing to a hefty weight of 2414kg. The roof, along with some rear styling fea­tures, are the only ma­jor changes from the coupé, with the two cars nearly iden­ti­cal me­chan­i­cally.

Bent­ley says the GT Con­vert­ible’s Z-fold roof – able to re­tract in 19sec at speeds of up to 30mph – of­fers a “sportier ap­pear­ance” and a three-deci­bel noise re­duc­tion com­pared with its pre­de­ces­sor. Seven dif­fer­ent fab­ric roofs are avail­able, in­clud­ing a tweed fin­ish for the first time.

While the front of the GT Con­vert­ible is the same as its hard-top sib­ling, the rear has some de­sign tweaks. The ab­sence of the re­tract­ing spoiler on the con­vert­ible means the Gur­ney spoiler is slightly larger to help aero­dy­nam­ics. For the same rea­son, the cor­ners above the rear lights are dif­fer­ent, with a wider lip than the coupé and more con­cave sur­faces, all of which con­trib­ute to down­force.

In­side, the GT Con­vert­ible gets the same in­te­rior as the coupé, in­clud­ing a dig­i­tal in­stru­ment panel and ro­tat­ing dis­play with a 12.3in touch­screen. The car has heated seats and steer­ing wheel as be­fore, plus wider neck-warm­ers and new heated arm­rests.

Rear leg room is iden­ti­cal to the coupé, while boot space is

235 litres, 123 litres fewer than the hard-top and 23 litres fewer than the pre­vi­ous GT con­vert­ible.

The car fea­tures a bodyin-white struc­ture that is stiffer and lighter than its pre­de­ces­sor, with a 5% im­prove­ment in tor­sional rigid­ity and a 20% re­duc­tion in struc­tural weight.

As with the coupé, it gets a 48V elec­tric ac­tive roll con­trol sys­tem, ac­tive all-wheel-drive sys­tem and a torquevec­tor­ing-by-brake sys­tem. There are four driv­ing modes: Sport, Com­fort, Bent­ley and Cus­tom.

Bri­tain is an im­por­tant mar­ket for the GT Con­vert­ible: the pre­vi­ous-gen­er­a­tion GT ac­counted for 43% of Bent­ley’s over­all UK sales, 5% more than global fig­ures.

Pric­ing of the car has yet to be con­firmed, but an in­crease of around 10% over the £156,200 coupé is ex­pected.

There are two tech­nol­ogy packs avail­able at launch: City Spec­i­fi­ca­tion, which in­cludes traf­fic-sign recog­ni­tion and city brak­ing sys­tems; and Tour­ing Spec­i­fi­ca­tion, in­clud­ing adap­tive cruise con­trol, a head-up dis­play and pre-sense brak­ing. V8 ver­sions of both the coupé and con­vert­ible are due next year.

EX­CLU­SIVE PIC­TURES UK de­liv­er­ies of new GT Con­vert­ible are due in May 2019

In­te­rior in­cludes 12.3in screen

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