2011 LA Auto Show: Breeze-colored 2012 Bentley Continental GTC makes U.S. debut

Article by Christian Andrei, on November 17, 2011

Bentley Motors’ new Continental GTC makes its debut in North America at the Los Angeles Convention Center. The Mulsanne Executive Interior Concept, the next generation of mobile connectivity, could be seen at the Bentley stand.

Targeted at executives, this concept offers a new multimedia experience inside the luxurious, hand-crafted cabin of Mulsanne, Bentley’s flagship model. Alasdair Stewart, Bentley’s Member of the Board for Sales and Marketing, said that the automaker considers Los Angeles to be the “ideal location” for the launching of the GTC convertible. Steward added that Southern California is still the “most successful market” for Bentley in the US. He also said that the U.S. is still the biggest market in the world for Bentley.

In 2011, Bentley’s worldwide sales have increased by a third. This is due largely to the new model introductions like the GTC convertible (which arrives in the U.S. market in the later part of the year) and the new GT coupe (which has already started selling in the spring. It’s expected that many will be on the lookout for the new Continental GTC. The Breeze-colored drophead GTC that debuts at the LA Auto Show has been given crisper lines and a look that’s custom and coach-built. It has aluminum superformed front wings while at the rear, there’s a double-horseshoe design at the rear that’s first seen on Bentley’s flagship Mulsanne.

The GTC can go from zero to 60mph in 4.5 seconds due to a hand-built 567hp powerplant that delivers 516 lb-ft of torque. It has a Quickshift transmission that boosts the acceleration response times and reduces shift times to just 200 milliseconds. The GTC’s chassis, the stiffest found of any convertible in the world, offers a solid foundation for suspension control, minimizing scuttle shake and adding to the GTC’s refined handling. Luxurious wood and leather that’s typical of a Bentley could be seen in the GTC interior.

It has class-leading technology like an eight-inch touch-screen infotainment system, and zip-code entry navigation, which comes with a 30-gigabyte hard drive. To make sure that drivers and passengers have fun in this extended top-down driving season, the GTC is equipped with neck warmers in the rear headrests of its slim-line seats, which have cobra head designs.

Even with the top up, its acoustics are better with the use of acoustically-sensitive undersheet, wheel liners, front and side glass and a three-layer roof with a rubber-film middle layer. The new Bentley GTC convertible, with an MSRP of $212,800, will arrive in the U.S. in late 2011.

Everyday practicality becomes the new norm even from a brand that makes a luxury convertible. This perhaps is the only key to reach a new level of standards while pleasing today’s highly discriminating clients. We think Bentley is aware of this and has applied it on the new Continental GTC model.

The basic principle of Bentley’s design is to ensure that the exterior and interior have complementing outlines. This should appear particularly when the rooftop is folded down. In other words, the cabin’s interior should blend all the way from the front and also to the rear. The Head of Bentley’s Interior Design, Robin Page, sees to it that his team comes up with the most exceptional craftsmanship, quality and comfort.

It’s easy to understand why Page is bent on utilizing a more modern approach into the luxury convertible’s interiors. In fact, this time, the styling team created a more spacious passenger cabin and got rid of some of the unnecessary volume that consumes a lot of space. As a result, the new Continental GTC has 25mm thinner Cobra-shaped front seats. Even passengers at the rear receive greater amount of legroom as with the ones sitting at the front.

If there’s more, the hollow-shaped dashboard also provides the front passengers more room to stretch out their legs. But all the comfort and luxury doesn’t end here. Bentley’s Continental GTC is equipped with layers of foams for better support. For a more pampering experience, Bentley also offers the 10-cell pneumatic massage function to go with the optionally available ventilated front seats.

Overall, the British brand’s “flying wing” motif is visible around the dashboard and instrument panel. Bentley also offers 17 leather hide colours, which can be combined with 6 others plus a choice of 7 veneers. For a distinctive luxury feel, the hand stitched leather hide tonneau cover and other handcrafted materials were made by Bentley’s highly skilled craftsmen in Crewe, England.

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