Bentley reveals all-new Continental GTC Convertible at 2012 Qatar Motor Show

Article by Christian Andrei, on January 23, 2012

Bentley Motors has launched its new Continental GTC Convertible at the Qatar International Motor Show. The all new convertible, which takes cues from its GT coupe sibling launched in 2011, boasts of an even more luxurious and spacious hand-crafted cabin.

It also has soft-touch leather hides, cool-touch metals, deep-pile carpets and an extensive range of wood veneers. It enables faster gear changes more than ever, thanks to a more powerful 575PS 6.0 liter, twin-turbocharged W12 engine and the new QuickShift transmission.

Bentley Motors' member of the board for sales and marketing, Alasdair Stewart, commented that the new GTC has always been the "most emotional model" in the Continental lineup and "a showcase" for Bentley design. He added that the GTC is "a pure British convertible" true to the classic Bentley units, but with the performance, technology and overall design excellence put into the vehicle, the automaker is now "writing a new chapter for the Bentley convertible driver.">

The new GTC is founded on the previous cabriolet, which launched in 2006. The automaker's engineering and design teams have virtually boosted every aspect of the renowned convertible with an unbending focus on quality.

The Bentley Mulsanne is also featured at the Qatar Motor Show. It continues to do remarkably well in the Middle East. It is a comprehensively modern flagship that catches the essence of the Bentley brand. It produces effortless performance from the classic 6.75-liter V8 engine while having an extravagant cabin with advanced technology and handcrafted luxury. It symbolizes the best of British luxury motoring that still attracts considerable interest in the Middle East market, which comprises 15% of worldwide sales.

The Qatar car show opens as Bentley returns to pre-recession demand levels. Sales increased by 37 percent worldwide last year to 7,003 cars, accelerating as the year progressed. Last month, 1,059 units were delivered to customers, an increase by 69 percent from a year before. December was the automaker's best month since the pre-recession record of 2007, and the second best month in its history.

Exterior Design

Bentley's Director of Design Dirk van Braeckel had quite a task in front of him when the Directors decided they wanted the GT Continental to be completely redesigned. In an effort to improve upon previous generations of the model, the team had to first acknowledge the past and see where they had gotten things right and where updated technology and new ways of thinking could change things for the better.

Looking at the Continental GT Coupe as an example, whose second generation had gone on to win worldwide approval, the new GT would inevitably take a number of cues from the design ideas there and improve on them. The basis for which has led to the new Continental GTC, which has an an exquisite tale whose heritage is clear but has striven to cut its own path. With a new exterior which screams an athletic aesthetic, this four-seat convertible has clear intentions on claiming the type of crown worn by the 1950's R-Type Continental, a legend in its day.

Van Braeckel's team has updated the old Bentley from an elegant design to a sporty, aggressive vehicle with a stronger road presence and lines which look sleek and have been defined to modernise it for today's market. The new look has certain similarities with Bentley's of old but the new GTC is most certainly longer and the waistline has been moved back to grant it an unparalleled stance on the road.

Following the surface lines reveals a tapered off rear and some changes to the traditional matrix radiator grille. The classic Bentley four-lamp headlight design remains but has been improved with the installation of LEDs for the daytime and a distinctive jewel finish lining the lamps.

The wings of the Bentley have been moulded using a new process called Superforming. The objective of which is to create pieces from just a single sheet of aluminium which boosts the tensile strength of the vehicle as there are no joins or welds and saves on waste. The process is done by heating the metal to 500 degrees Celsius and then the aluminium is moulded using air pressure.

Moving to the sides, the Continental GTR reveals some inspiration from the Bentley Mulsanne and this trend continues when you glance at the rear of the vehicle. The classic 'double horse-shoe' motif on the rear lamps remains as part of all the GT range and represent further evidence of the change in position from elegant to sporty for the Continental can be seen in the addition of the parallel exhaust tailpipes which scream performance.

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