Wednesday, January 7, 2009


The new GTC models share a fresh frontal appearance. The radiator grille is more upright with a more pronounced square edge, accentuating the Bentley profile, and bolder lower air intake. These latest models are further distinguished by chrome headlamp bezels, the availability of two new exterior paints and a new colour hide.

For the standard GTC, new low-friction dampers provide improved ride comfort. In addition, two significant new options may be specified on both GTC models: lightweight, fade-resistant, carbon-ceramic brakes, the largest production passenger car brakes in the world, and a sophisticated follow-to-stop Adaptive Cruise Control system with long-range radar sensor that monitors traffic ahead and manages throttle and brakes to maintain a driver-selected time gap.

The GTC’s chassis and exceptionally rigid steel body have proved more than capable of coping with the power of the 552bhp (560PS) 6-litre W12 engine. For the new Continental GTC Speed, Bentley’s twin-turbocharged W12 now develops 600bhp (610PS) that delivers true 200 mph (322 km/h) performance, with the roof up, with exhilarating, effortless acceleration. Even with the roof down the GTC Speed can reach 195 mph (312 km/h).

The Continental GTC Speed is visually distinguished by subtle design enhancements which emphasise its higher performance credentials. At the front, the radiator and lower air intake grilles feature a dark tinted matrix as standard. Larger diameter 9.5J x 20-inch, multi-spoke alloy wheels with Bentley-bespoke Pirelli PZero ultra-high performance (UHP) tyres, lowered and uprated suspension, wider twin-rifled exhaust tail pipes and a new boot-mounted lip spoiler that enhances high speed aerodynamics, reinforce the sporting character of the Speed model.

The GTC Speed’s 600bhp (610PS) W12 engine develops 9 per cent more power than the standard GTC. However, it is the 15 per cent increase in torque that really distinguishes the Speed model, which now develops an impressive output of 750 Nm (553lb ft). This is achieved across virtually the complete rev range, from just 1700 to 5600 rev/min, delivering that characteristic Bentley wave of torque.

The 0-60 mph sprint is despatched in a mere 4.5 seconds (0-100km/h in 4.8 seconds) and 0-100 mph in 10.6 seconds (0-160 km/h in 10.5 seconds).

Both Continental GTC models are powered by Bentley’s 6-litre, twin-turbocharged W12 engine which is produced exclusively at the company’s Crewe engine plant. The Bentley W12 is the most compact 12-cylinder engine in production with 48 valves and 4 camshafts with continually variable valve timing. Power is transmitted via a ZF six-speed automatic transmission.

The new Continental GTC Speed is powered by Bentley’s W12 engine in its most powerful, 600 bhp (610PS) form. It develops 15 per cent more torque and 9 per cent more power than the 552bhp (560PS) standard GTC.

Engine efficiency improvements result from the use of lower friction, lighter-weight components and a new engine management system, while twin, low inertia turbochargers with minimal turbo lag contribute to the W12 engine’s flat torque curve. In 600 bhp (610PS) form, the W12 develops a maximum torque of 750 Nm (553 lb ft) from 1700 rev/min all the way up to 5600 rev/min. The GTC Speed engine is visually differentiated by the ‘crackle black’ finish to the intake manifold.

This endows the GTC Speed with a top speed of 200mph (322 km/h) with the roof-up and a 0-60mph sprint time of just 4.5 seconds (0-100 km/h in 4.8 secs). It also accelerates from 0-100 mph in just 10.6 seconds (0-160 km/h in 10.5 seconds).

The GTC Speed’s suspension is lowered by 10 mm at the front and 15 mm at the rear for improved handling, while the retuned speed-sensitive steering system and solid-mounted front subframe, shared with the standard GTC, benefit steering response.

The wider 9.5J x 20-inch multi-spoke alloy wheels, unique to the GTC Speed, are fitted with bespoke 275/35 ZR20 Pirelli PZero ultra-high performance tyres that provide the car with superior grip as well as sharper steering response and feel.

To ensure optimum aerodynamic balance at speeds up to 200 mph (322 km/h) the new GTC Speed is fitted with a discreet spoiler on the trailing edge of the bootlid. This provides additional downforce and increases the top speed.

The standard-fit tyre-pressure monitoring system (TPMS) allows drivers to select tyre type and speed range parameters. As well as monitoring pressures, the system warns drivers if their speed is too high for the tyre pressures or if tyre speed ratings are exceeded on winter tyres.

Luxurious hand-crafted cabin

The cabins of both GTC and GTC Speed are available with a choice of 6 natural, unbleached, laser-cut wood veneers and 17 premium grade leather hides, including the new option, Aquamarine.

The GTC Speed’s cabin is based on that of the Mulliner Driving Specification (a cost option on the standard GTC). It features diamond quilted hide seats with embroidered Bentley emblems, a knurled chrome and hide gearlever and a three-spoke multi-function steering wheel with brushed aluminium switch surround. These are complemented by drilled alloy foot-pedals and ‘Speed’ logos to the polished treadplates. The standard GTC also receives a new Bentley ‘B’ brake pedal.

A sophisticated follow-to-stop, radar-based Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) system is now available on both GTC and GTC Speed. It uses a long-range radar sensor, mounted in the lower front grille, to monitor the road ahead for other vehicles. When a slower moving vehicle is detected, the system automatically adjusts the throttle or brakes to maintain a ‘time gap’, as selected by the driver.

GTC and GTC Speed interior key features:

* Electronically powered, insulated three-layer fabric roof folds flat in 25 seconds
* True 2+2 configuration
* Fully adjustable electric front seats incorporating three-position memory (seats, steering column, exterior mirrors) and electric lumbar control with optional massage facility
* Rear seat panel removable to reveal lockable ski hatch
* Electronic climate control system
* Comprehensive infotainment system includes:
o DVD satellite navigation system with route guidance and post-code entry
o Optional television tuner (except for US market)
o Climate control operation
o Computerised suspension control operation (damper and ride height settings)
o 6-CD auto changer in glove compartment
o Optional Naim for Bentley premium audio system featuring 1100 Watt amplifier and 14 speakers
* BluetoothTM remote SIM access profile telephone system with wireless connectivity for rSAP-enabled telephones, most BluetoothTM-enabled telephones and onboard SIM-card reader
* Telephone voice dialling (n/a Japan)
* Keyless entry and keyless ignition system
* Power latching of doors for easy exit and entry
* Console-mounted start/stop button
* Electronic park brake with move-off assist (move-off assist n/a for USA)
* Column-mounted gearshift paddles for sequential gear shifting
* Stainless steel-faced foot pedals and driver’s footrest
* Comprehensive anti-theft and immobiliser systems
* An advanced rollover protection system is installed beneath the rear headrests - two reinforced steel hoops deploy in a split second when a potential roll-over situation is detected.

Type Twin-turbocharged W12 engine
Installation Front, longitudinal
Construction Alloy block and heads
Bore/stroke 84.0 x 90.2 mm
Capacity 6.0-litre, 5998 cc
Compression ratio 9.0:1
Valve gear Chain-driven DOHC per bank, 4 valves per cylinder, cam phased inlet and outlet

GTC Speed 600 bhp / 610 PS / 449 kW @ 6000 rev/min
GTC 552 bhp / 560 PS / 412 kW @ 6100 rev/min
GTC Speed 750 Nm / 553 lb ft between 1750 – 5600 rev/min
GT 650 Nm / 479 lb ft @ between1600 – 6100 rev/min
Fuel 98 (95) RON

Type Continuous all-wheel drive
Gearbox ZF 6-speed automatic with fully automatic or
sequential ‘manual’ operation with paddleshift feature; torque converter lock-up clutch

Overall length 4804 mm (189.1 in)
Overall width (inc. mirrors) 2194 mm (86.4 in)

Height (roof raised)
GTC Speed 1388 mm (54.6 in)
GTC 1398 mm (55.0 in)
Wheelbase 2745 mm (108.1 in)
Front track 1623 mm (63.9 in)
Rear track 1607 mm (63.3 in)

Front headroom 942 mm (37.1 in)
Front legroom 1075 mm (42.3 in)
Front shoulder room 1568 mm (61.7 in)
Rear headroom 979 mm (38.5 in)
Rear legroom 743 mm (29.3 in)
Rear shoulder room 1318 mm (51.9 in)

Top speed (roof up)
GTC Speed 200 mph (322 km/h)
GTC 195 mph (312 km/h)

Top speed (roof down)
GTC Speed 195 mph (314 km/h)
GTC 190 mph (306 km/h1)

0-60 mph (0-100 km/h)
GTC Speed 4.5 seconds (4.8 seconds)
GTC 4.8 seconds (5.1 seconds)

0-100 mph (0-160 km/h)
GTC Speed 10.6 seconds (10.5 seconds)
GTC 11.4 seconds (11.4 seconds)

GTC Speed and GTC 11.2 mpg (25.3 litres/100 km)
Extra-Urban 24.3 mpg (11.6 litres/100 km)
Combined 17.0 mpg (16.6 litres/100 km)

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