This is the new Bentley Continental GTC, announced ahead of its official world premiere at – you guessed it – the Frankfurt motor show.
The second-generation of Bentley’s iconic drop-top has been “improved in virtually every aspect” over the first, some feat considering the original was a lightly monstrous machine.
Power from the 6.0-litre twin-turbocharged W12 engine has swollen from 552bhp to 567bhp, while torque rises from an already gargantuan 479lb ft to 516lb ft, which is enough to send the echoes of the Big Bang skittering back into the corners of the universe.
See more pics of the new Bentley Continental GTC
The 0-60mph dash is covered in 4.5 seconds (0-62mph in 4.8s), 0-100mph takes 10.9 seconds and the top speed is 195mph. In fact, 30-50mph takes only two seconds, and 50-70mph takes a blink-of-an-eye longer (2.4s). And should your moral allegiances force you into acting greenly, that W12 also runs on E85 biofuel too.
That prodigious power output is, again, sent to all four wheels via a ‘Quickshift’ six-speed auto ‘box (said to cut shift time by up to 50 per cent), while a new rear-biased torque split of 40:60 is said to reduce understeer and allow for “throttle steering”. There’s another name for that. Hooning.
Bentley says advanced manufacturing techniques have produced new aluminium front wings without the need for seams or welds, “creating the look and feel of a coach-built car”, while you are suitably indulged inside with soft-touch leather, wood veneers, ‘cool-touch’ metals, deep-pile carpets and a tailored, multi-layered fabric hood developed for optimum noise isolation. Rear passengers even get more legroom.
Top Gear drives the Bentley Continental GTC Speed
Wolfgang Dürheimer, Bentley chairman, said: “The GTC has always been the most emotional model in the Continental range and a showcase for Bentley design. It’s a pure British convertible true to those classic Bentleys of the past, but the excellence invested in this model means we are now writing a new chapter for the Bentley convertible driver.”
Ah yes, the typical Bentley convertible driver. We’ll set aside such quandaries for the time being, and allow you lot to wallow in the £149,350 GTC’s magnificence. Like it?