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CAR OF THE MONTH June 2007

2007 Bentley Continental GTC Review

Flying Open Cockpit

A three-quarter front view of a a white 2007 Bentley Continental GTC

In short: A most sporty, ultra luxurious convertible.

A decade ago, there were not too many automobiles adorned with winged Bs sold. Today, customers have to be patient as the revamped Bentley line (owned by Volkswagen, like other prestigious dream brands such as Bugatti and Lamborghini) does all it can to keep up with demand. All models still have limited production runs, but apparently there are enough philanthropists out there ready to drop $200,000 or more for one of these masterpieces.

This craft is not for everyone, but if money is no object and you want to secure an exclusive ride that offers a lot, please apply. First of all, it’s simply gorgeous and masterful. At a gross weight of 6,393 pounds, it’s quite a bit of metal and cargo to haul around, but it does come equipped with a big engine. The GTC’s 552 horsepower powerplant with twin turbocharger (something the brand has provided for several years) enables it to glide to 60 mph in just 4.8 seconds. That’s tres fast, mon ami.  Et oui, it also requires beaucoup fuel and in the process gets slapped with a $3,700 gas guzzler tax, but that pittance won’t deter customers who can afford this car.

The gear shifter of the Bentley Continental GTC The interior of the Bentley Continental GTC

As manufacturers move away from soft tops to retractable hard tops, we appreciate all the efforts the engineers at Crewe made to keep the classic styling. The good news is that with the top up, there is absolutely no noise of any kind. Drivers can retract the multi-layered canvas, rubber and velour top even while moving at up to 20 mph, and everything tucks away nicely and seamlessly. With the top down, drivers can hear the rumbling thunder-tuned engine, and are ready for some serious flying. Alright, we’re not talking about go-kart behavior, but pretty close to it with its continuous all-wheel drive system. Who could have ever imagined something that masterful would be that nimble? The GTC, like its GT coupe predecessor, is a true performer that will not disappoint. Unlike exotic racers, you won’t need a crane to be extracted out of the cockpit. All this happens in style and effortlessly for up to four passengers, albeit they will be rather cramped in the back seat. Trunk space is relatively good, though.

The 6.0-liter twin-turbocharged 12-cylinder engine of the Bentley Continental GTC

All 21st-century electronics are present and fine to deal with once one gets a little training to push and twist the right buttons. However, such high-end niceties as night vision, adaptive cruise control, park assist and heads-up display are not offered. One nice touch is you can raise the car to facilitate navigation in rough terrain, angled driveways and to clear small obstacles.  You may also select the level of sportiness you desire with the adaptive air suspension, as well as synchronize your Bluetooth phone and crank some tunes on the ten-speaker audio system.

At first, you might find this Bentley a bit large for run-about city activities, but we assure you it’s a great open road as well as a city car. We hear that 190 mph with the top down is possible. Even Lindbergh did not go that fast flying open cockpit mail planes. So, the first question new purchasers may ask is, “Do you have directions to the nearest track?”

A three-quarter rear view of a white 2007 Bentley Continental GTC The Bentley Continental GTC's roof can be retracted at speeds of up to 20 mph

Warranty/Service: 3-year/unlimited mile basic, 3-year/unlimited mile drivetrain, 3-year/unlimited mile roadside, 3-year/unlimited mile rust.


QUICK SHEET
Base Price: $189,990/As Tested: $201,615

Technical Specifications

Vehicle type: midsize convertible

Engine: 6.0-liter twin-turbocharged 12 cylinder
Horsepower: 552 hp
Torque: 479 ft-lbs.

Curb weight: 5,456 lbs
Wheelbase: 108.1 in
Length/Width/Height:
189.1/75.4/55 in
Turning circle: 36.7 ft

Brakes: ABS with Brake Force Distribution and Brake Assist

Safety: Electronic Stability Program, traction control, driver and passenger front and side impact airbags, Roll-Over Protection System

0-60 mph:
4.8 seconds
Top Speed: 195 mph

EPA City: 11 mpg
EPA Highway: 18 mpg

Likes: exclusivity; power; looks

Dislikes: gas mileage; blind spots; price

Check out other Bentley Models
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Visit the Bentley Website

PJW042707
(Updated: 12/27/12 NW)

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