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Making its debut at the 2006 New York International Auto Show, the 2007 Bentley Continental GTC was a four-seat luxury convertible based on the Continental GT coupe. However, it was more than simply a GT with the roof chopped off – more than half of the body shell was unique to the drop-top.
The GTC proved to be popular with the public, or at least with those who could afford the $196,285 base price. Car and Driver reported in February 2007 that of the 2,700 GTCs Bentley had allocated for the U.S. market, 2000 were already spoken for.
Not surprisingly, Bentley Motors then-Chairman and Chief Executive, Dr. Franz-Josef Paefgen, was a GTC enthusiast. “The Continental GTC is the most distinctive new Bentley yet,” Paefgen said. “It is very elegant and at the same time effortlessly modern. It will appeal to many different customers: people who are tired of driving sports cars that require too much effort; people who want to move up from more standard convertibles; and people who want to make a statement about what they drive, yet still own a car that they can use every day of the year.”
Off to the Races
W.O. Bentley founded the company that bears his name on July 10, 1919. The motor company’s first major event was the 1922 Indianapolis 500. A modified road car driven by Douglas Hawkes completed the full 500 miles and finished 13th after starting in 19th position.
New and Fast
At 5,580 pounds, the GTC was 222 pounds heftier than the GT. That didn’t mean it wasn’t sprightly. Its twin-turbocharged, 6.0-liter, W12 engine enabled the GTC to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 4.8 seconds and reach a top speed of 195 mph.
Compared to the GT, the GTC’s trunk lid was higher, the rear seats lower, and the windshield more steeply raked. To compensate for the lack of roof structure, the vehicle was strengthened with steel reinforcements in the door sills. A rear suspension redesign was needed to accommodate the folded fabric of the soft top in the rear deck. With the press of a button, that top would vanish in less than 25 seconds.
2007 Bentley Continental GTC Specs:
- Twin-turbocharged, 6.0-liter, W12 engine
- 552 hp
- 479 foot-pounds of torque
- Six-speed automatic transmission with manumatic shifting
- All-wheel-drive system
- 108.1-inch wheelbase