Bentley unwraps most powerful drophead ever

Bentley unwraps most powerful drophead everCrewe, England  - Bentley has given the Continental GTC a minor facelift and added a high-performance Speed model to bring the drophead into line with the rest of the GT range. It is the most powerful convertible ever made by the Crewe-based company.

The upgrade to the V12 engine boosts power output to 600 horsepower compared with the 552 bhp of its forerunner and with the roof down, the cabriolet can dash from zero to 100 kilometres (62 miles per hour) in 4.5 seconds, just 0.3 seconds behind the closed GTC version.

"The GTC Speed completes the family of Continental Speed models and broadens the appeal of the GTC to customers who demand a more focused, open-top driving experience," said Bentley chairman Dr Franz-Josef Paefgen.

Other improvements include lowered suspension along with new dampers and springs. Both the standard GTC and the drophead are treated to a new electronic stability mode called Sport Traction to improve grip on poor surfaces.

The upgraded GTC is recognizable by a new, more upright, darkened mesh grille, a lip spoiler on the boot and a new front bumper along with larger air intakes to improve engine cooling. The Speed also boasts 20-inch wheels on bespoke Pirelli tyres.

The cabin now features Mulliner-specification quilted leather upholstery which is an option on the standard GTC. Prices start at around 222,600 euros (298,000 dollars) with fuel consumption to match.

The Bentley uses an average of 16.6 litres of fuel per 100 kilometres, rising to 25.3 litres in urban driving. Carbon dioxide C02 emissions are given by the manufacturer as 396 grams per kilometre. (dpa)

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